Chennai

Hike in ghee, cardamom prices may be bitter pill for Chennai sweet makers

At least 60% of popular sweets, including laddus, require the use of cardamom.

At least 60% of popular sweets, including laddus, require the use of cardamom.  

Traders forced to cut profit margins to retain customers

With Deepavali just a couple of weeks away, the increase in prices of ghee, milk products and cardamom has sweet makers worried. At least 60% of popular sweets, including laddus and halwa, require the use of the aromatic cardamom that also has digestive properties.

“Due to floods in Kerala, the plants were damaged, leading to drop in production. Now fresh crops have arrived, bringing down prices to ₹3,000 - ₹3,700 a kg. We hope that after Deepavali, the prices will come down due to fall in demand,” said Ravindra Jain of Vinod Marketing, a wholesaler of dry fruits.

Last month, cardamom prices shot up to ₹6,000 a kg. “Some six months ago, it was only ₹850 a kg. But now all of a sudden, there is a spike. Some shopkeepers are holding on to stocks so to create an artificial demand, leading to a price spike. This will only lead to manufacturers thinking twice before making sweets using cardamom,” said R. Srinivasaraja of Adyar Ananda Bhavan.

Along with cardamom, prices of ghee and other milk-based products such as butter and khoa have also gone up after the recent revision by dairies. “Ghee is costlier by ₹100 a kg. If we hike prices, customers will be put off. Traders are only reducing their profit margin so that they can retain customers,” said a trader.

R. Ganesh, who will be making and selling sweets for Deepavali for friends and family from a place in Mylapore, said since he does not have to worry about paying salaries, rent and other overheads, the price hike won’t pinch him much.

Anna Nagar resident K. Umashankari said she made sweets at home as it was a lot cheaper and healthier.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:59:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/hike-in-ghee-cardamom-prices-may-be-bitter-pill-for-sweet-makers/article29675621.ece

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