January 14, 2015: Prices of key spices including cumin, turmeric and cardamom have increased by 25 per cent since December 2014, due to lower acreage, high export demand and steady domestic demand. The price of cumin have increased from Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,250 a quintal, a rise of 35 per cent in two months.
As per Ajitesh Mullick, Assistant Vice President, Retail Research, Religare "2014 had started on a high stock level, as the previous monsoon was good. That is why despite delayed rains this season, there was not much price movement till November. However, with delayed sowing and pick-up in export demand, prices have gone up".
There has been a 40 per cent drop in cumin acreage as the area under cultivation had shifted to another crop, dhania, which has seen a 40-45 per cent rise in sowing. However, dhania prices, too are unlikely to see much respite as international demand would be high as per Ajay Kedia, Managing Director, Kedia Commodity.
India accounts for nearly 70 per cent of global cumin production (about 200,000 tonnes), as per Mullick. Supply from Turkey and Syria which account for 16 per cent of global production has decreased due to political turmoil. This would divert demand for export to India. About 90,000 tonnes of cumin have been exported till December 2014, as against 80,000 tonnes last year.
"Demand from the western world has been well this year due to reasonable prices as compared to Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. More, tight supply in some spices and good quality has diverted global demand to India." Jitendra Adani, Managing Director of Adani Food Products stated.
Exports during April- September 2014 stood at 421,570 tonnes, an increase of 12 per cent from 376,584 tonnes for the same period last year as per data from All India Spices Exporters Forum. According to Religare report, " Low stocks and lower production reports are likely to support prices in the medium to long term".