|Subject||Black pepper may get costlier this fiscal year|
KOCHI : Black pepper prices are expected to escalate in the coming weeks as growers are holding on to the crop anticipating higher prices.
Though the production is weak in Kerala, a bumper output in Karnataka seems to have limited the price rise.
The price of garbled pepper is hovering around Rs 656 per kg and is expected to touch Rs 700 in the short-term. In the global market too a bullish trend is prevailing and the scene may witness a change only by the arrival of Indonesian crop in July.
"The domestic demand is good and Karnataka pepper is flowing to Kerala and is finding its way to the north Indian market through Tamil Nadu. The buyer doesn't have to worry about 'C' forms as there is no tax in Tamil Nadu whereas Kerala charges 5% tax," said a leading exporter Kishor Shamji.
The black pepper exports had risen on weak rupee earlier in the fiscal, but have come down as Vietnam has become more competitive by reducing the prices by $200 to $300 a tonne. Indian pepper is selling in the range of $10,600 to $10,900 a tonne, he added. The withdrawal of export incentive for value-added pepper to developed countries too has adversely hit the exports.
Though there is no official figure on the black pepper production in the country, the unofficial figures put it anywhere around 60,000 to 65,000 tonne. Of this, output from Karnataka is reckoned to be around 40,000 to 45,000 tonne. The black pepper prices had touched a level of .`765 per kg last year.
International Pepper Community (IPC) had estimated Indian pepper production in 2015 to double to 70,000 tonne.
Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com
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