Bidding rate reduced to Rs.2 from Rs.5
Cardamom auction resumed at the Spices Park at Puttady on Wednesday after a gap of one month. Twenty-four traders took part in the auction, though those from Tamil Nadu were conspicuous by their absence.
The auction had been boycotted by the traders since September 25 after the Spices Board increased the bidding rate from 50 paise to Rs.5 and reduced the payment date from 21 to 12 days.
The Spice Board last week convened a meeting of cardamom growers and traders’ representatives in an effort to find an amicable solution to the problem, and decided to revise the bidding rate to Rs.2. It also announced that the auction would begin on Wednesday.
The traders were sticking to the stand that any decision to raise the bidding rate from Re.1 was not acceptable to them and there was uncertainty about whether they would participate in Wednesday’s auction. Nearly 90 per cent of the traders are from Tamil Nadu.
An official of the Spices Park said that of the 15 tonnes of cardamom that was put up for auction, 9.7 tonnes was sold. The average price a kg was Rs.678.50, the maximum price was Rs.1,020, and the minimum Rs.473. He said the traders participated in the auction as usual, and two agencies from Kumily and Vandanmedu held the auction.
In the open market, there was a fall in price of Rs.20 a kg and the average price was nearly Rs.700 before the auction began on Wednesday. There was also apprehension that the prices were falling.
However, the official said the fall in the average price could not be construed as a downward trend. It was due to poor quality of cardamom traded on Wednesday. Though the issue had not been resolved, it was expected that more traders would arrive for auction in the coming days.
A traders’ representative from Tamil Nadu said they could not take part in the auction at a bidding rate higher that Re.1.
However, they had taken the stand that those who preferred the bidding rate of Rs.2 were free to participate in the auction.