Cardamom exports this financial year is headed to break a 25-year record, the April-November period already having seen shipments of 3,100 tonnes at the average unit price of Rs.818.54 a kg.

Exports of the Queen of Spices may well surpass 3,500 tonnes this season, thanks to a good crop aided by early summer showers in 2011.

The last five years have not been too good for cardamom either, though 2009-10 saw a jump in exports — 1,975 tonnes valued at Rs.165.70 crore. About 124 tonnes was on offer at the auctions held by South Indian Green Cardamom Company on Wednesday. Of this, 123 tonnes were sold at an average price of Rs.523 a kg. The highest price secured was Rs.680 a kg. According to the Spices Board figures, up to January 23, total arrivals stand at 10,666 tonnes of which 10,360 tonnes have been sold at a weighted average price of Rs.555.08 a kg. During the same period last year, the total arrivals were 6,537 tonnes of which 6,385 tonnes were sold at a weighted average price of Rs.1,109.40 a kg.