KERALA

Pepper prices shoot up

Kalpetta: Pepper prices are on an upward swing fuelled by the great demand of the festival season and scanty arrival of the commodity in the market.

The spot price of MG-1 pepper touched Rs.132 a kg this week against Rs.90 per kg in the corresponding period last year while the futures price closed at Rs.141 against Rs.110 last year.

According to trade circles in Wayanad district, a major pepper-growing region of the country, the momentum is likely to persist considering the expected fall in production in the coming harvest season due to climatic factors.

The stock in the futures exchange is likely to go down considerably by the month-end as soaring prices would naturally prompt the big growers to preserve their stocks for still higher prices and small producers to sell the commodity at their disposal for attractive spot prices, a leading trader said.

The demand-supply gap of the commodity is expected to grow at least till February when fresh stocks begin to arrive in the market.

Here too, there are uncertainties regarding the quantum of output this year as the area has been hit by heavy and often unseasonal rain.—PTI

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