Pep­per Prices Cross .₹ 700 a kg in April

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus - Kr­ish­naku­mar.PK @times­

Kochi: In­dian black pep­per prices have in­creased more than 25% in the past year to .₹ 709 per kg, spurred by low out­put and high do­mes­tic de­mand.

Traders ex­pect pro­duc­tion of 40,000 tonnes, much less than 53,000 tonnes pro­jected by In­ter­na­tional Pep­per Com­mu­nity (IPC), an in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion of ma­jor pep­per pro­duc­ing coun­tries.

“There are hardly any ar­rivals. It looks like the out­put could be even lower than 40,000 tonnes. Even in Kar­nataka, the crop is not good,” said Kishor Shamji, an ex­porter.

Kar­nataka is the largest pep­per pro­ducer in the coun­try.

Usu­ally, pep­per prices tend to go up to­wards the end of the year as sup­ply di­min­ishes. In the cur­rent sea­son, though, with the prices hav­ing al­ready touched .₹ 700 in April, traders are not rul­ing out the pos­si­bil­ity of fur­ther ap­pre­ci­a­tion to .₹ 800 in the com­ing months. The pre­vi­ous peak price has been .₹ 765 per kg.

At present, ex­ports are tak­ing place on im­ported pep­per. In­dian pep­per is cur­rently the costli­est in the global mar­ket, at $10,800 per tonne. At $8,300, Viet­nam the largest pep­per pro­ducer, of­fers the low­est rate.

In­dian ex­porters have been im­port­ing pep­per from Viet­nam and Sri Lanka for ex­ports, which have fallen with the jump in prices.

As re­ports of pes­ti­cide residue has turned the buy­ers from Europe to Brazil, Viet­nam still has a huge stock with it which could be ex­ported in the com­ing months.

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