Indian demand helps propel Nigerian ginger prices higher

NIGERIAN dried ginger prices have been subjected to upward pressure of late on dwindling stocks from the 2013 crop and ongoing strong demand from India arising from a shortfall in the Asian country.

Speaking from Nigeria, Robert Brandler of Tillbrook Products UK said Nigerian split dried ginger prices on the local market had gained by 20% over the last six weeks. This was because it was the end of the season and there was little material left unsold. In addition, keen interest from India was helping to push Nigerian values higher.

Mr Brandler added that one of his contacts in India had quoted local prices for Indian ginger of $2,500 a tonne. “So if the Indians can buy Nigerian ginger for around $2,000 they are on to a good thing,” he remarked.

One UK trader viewed Indian interest as ongoing as the Asian country purchased Nigerian ginger for extraction purposes, this being a lower cost option than purchasing from its own market.

One Rotterdam trader commented: “India has been buying already (Nigerian ginger) from the beginning of the season, but now there are not so many parcels available in Nigeria anymore. They (Indian sellers) have also increased their prices, so right now we see a firmer market for Nigerian ginger as well as for Indian ginger. Chinese ginger still looks more or less stable, but there are chances that they will follow also pretty soon.”

The Rotterdam trader said he had seen offers for Nigerian ginger of between $1,900 and $2,000 a tonne c&f. He noted that stocks in Europe were also low, which was helping to maintain steady to firm prices.

Mr Brandler indicated EU-approved Nigerian material in a range of $2,000 to $2,200 a tonne ex-store Rotterdam.

Local Nigerian dealers had reported that prices would have risen even more were it not for travel restrictions and instability around Nigeria’s northern borders. Normally, there are strong cross-border sales to east and north Africa at this time, particularly in the lead up to Ramadan, Mr Brandler said.

Blair Coutts of UK trader Blair Impex said there were varied quotes around but he had seen prices edge up by about $200 a tonne over the last week to $1,810 a tonne cif northwest Europe.

He felt that apart from the recent upturn in India’s purchases of Nigerian ginger, the market as a whole seemed relatively quiet.

Mr Brandler said that with six months to go until the next Nigerian crop, prices at origin were likely to hold stable to firm over the coming weeks, depending on demand. Current arrivals on local markets were not suitable for European consumption, he noted. It was difficult to second guess the extent of stocks held by exporters.

However, Mr Brandler felt that it was unlikely there was much left with exporters. “The local speculators didn’t buy ginger this year, which is why the price suddenly jumped up, because the only availability is from the local market,” he added.

Moreover, he suggested that up to 90% of the EU quality material would have been exported by now. In addition, at this time of year the weather was not conducive to collecting or storing ginger, as it was the rainy season.

Another factor was that Europe was no longer the main market for Nigerian ginger as a lot of product goes to India to be processed.

The UK trader said there had been some interest in Chinese ginger of late but to small quantities.

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