The price fluctuation experienced by cardamom at the e-auction centres recently is only temporary and normalcy will return soon as there is a high domestic and international demand for the crop, according to Spices Board of India sources.
“Guatemala, the main exporter of cardamom is still facing crisis in terms of production and internal disturbances,” a senior official of the board told The Hindu on Tuesday. Hence demand for the Indian crop is unlikely to fall. According to him, Guatemala depends solely on exports and the domestic demand for cardamom there is nil. The crop's low price there had given that country an edge in the global market. But Indian cardamom has strong domestic demand and hence major price fluctuations are unlikely. Export forms only a minor portion of the total production
The average price of cardamom per kilogram at the auction centre on Tuesday was Rs.1,373.62 with the maximum price reaching Rs.1,628. There were fears that the average price of cardamom will fall below Rs.1,000 as there was a sudden plunge in prices recently. This must have prompted the farmers to adopt a ‘wait and watch' policy before selling the crop, which in turn could have tightened supply and pushed up prices, causing another wave of fluctuations, they said.
The total production of cardamom is expected to increase this season also, said the sources.
The e-auction has brought in a strong price controlling mechanism and traders forming a cartel to bring down the prices have become a thing of the past, according to them.
The quality of cardamom at the high ranges is high with maximum prices reaching Rs.1,500 per kilogram during the last season. The quality is decided by colour, shape and smell of the produce.