Low supply raises Indian cardamom values

INDIAN cardamom prices rose about 10% over the last month due to falling arrivals, rising export demand and a weak rupee, local analysts and traders have observed.

At 4:02pm onMay 15, the benchmark June contract on the Multi Commodity Exchange of India was trading at Rs633.50 ($14.85) per kg, up 0.56%. The contract rose 9.6% in one month to May 14.

Kunal Shah, analyst at Motilal Oswal Commodities Broker, told news agency Reuters: “Arrivals are almost nil at this time as the harvesting season has already ended in March.” India’s cardamom harvest starts in August and continues until March.

Alex Mathews, senior analyst with Geojit Financial Services, said lower output due to decreased acreage in 2007/08 was also boosting the sentiment.

Production in 2007/08 was about 7,700 tonnes, down from 11,300 tonnes, said a Spices Board official.

The area under cultivation fell more than 5% to 69,300 hectares from a year ago, he said.

N Ranganath, marketing manager of Kerala Cardamom Processing & Marketing Company, said supplies would remain tight until the new crop reaches the market, which will not happen until August.

Mr Mathews observed that a weak rupee was also supporting the market while Mr Shah added that strong export demand from theMiddle East and Japan was helping to drive values higher.

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