Spices costlier on scanty rains

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 19:00 hrs

Turmeric led the upsurge in spices on Friday due to renewed fear of fall in output this kharif season. Deficient rainfall this monsoon has also hit germination.

While turmeric hit the upper circuit on the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), chilli and other spice varieties remained firm. Sowing of turmeric and chilli were reported lower this season due to shortage of rain.

According to Monsoon Meter, a weekly report on rainfall collated by the NCDEX, the country received cumulative rainfall of 256.4 mm against a normal of 328.1 mm. At the same time last year, rainfall deficiency was one per cent while this year it is 22 per cent.

Commodity (Rs/quintal)
  20-Jul 19-Jul Change (%)
Turmeric 5,696 5,476 4.00
Chilli (Oct) 5,864 5,670 3.40
Pepper (Nov) 45,000 44,460 1.22
Coriander 4,452 4,399 1.21
Jeera 16,348 16,270 0.48
Price of near month contract                                          Source : NCDEX

Farmers begin sowing of turmeric in June for harvesting in December. However, sowing of this rainfed crop was delayed this year due to delay in the monsoon. The meteorological department reported a fortnight of delay in commencement of the monsoon rains resulting in the proportionate delay in sowing of turmeric. Sowing of other spices, including chilli, cardamom and ginger was also delayed.

“Turmeric price has moved four per cent up on stockists buying amid concern of lower output. Scanty rains, so far in key growing regions, also raised concerns over the growth of the sown crop,” said Ajay Kedia, managing director of Kedia Commodity, a Mumbai-based broking firm.

Turmeric is driving all other spices with the prices of jeera, coriander, chilli and pepper rising 10 per cent in two weeks.

Vedika Narvekar, an analyst with Angel Commodities Broking, said, “Although monsoon has recovered in the past week in major turmeric growing areas of Nizamabad (Andhra Pradesh) and Erode (Tamil Nadu), the overall distribution of rainfall is less and may hamper the yield of next year’s crop. Also, overall acreage is expected to decline as farmers are shifting to more remunerative crops. Thus, despite sufficient supplies so far to meet the domestic demand, turmeric prices are trading higher on concerns over next year’s crop.”

At Unjha (Gujarat) market, jeera spot prices witnessed an uptrend in today’s trade. Declining arrivals supported the jeera spot prices. The average price of jeera moved up Rs 4 per kg to Rs 148 per kg along with minimum and maximum prices of Rs 138-158 per kg respectively. Jeera arrivals in the market were reported at 7,000 bags (50 kg each) against the previous trade arrivals of 10,000 bags.

Pepper spot prices continued to be firm across the markets.

At Cochin market MG-1 and un-garbled prices continued to remain firm at Rs 410 per kg and Rs 395 per kg, respectively.

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