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Major spices end 2017 with a mixed taste

The black pepper crop was better than the previous year and only jeera declined.

, ET Bureau|
Jan 02, 2018, 09.51 AM IST
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Generally, it was a good year, with production of most major spices rising.

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KOCHI: It was a mixed bag for major spices in India in 2017. Prices of red chilli, the largest exported spice from India by volume, plunged to the lowest level in a decade, while jeera or cumin, the second-largest exported spice, scaled a new peak.

Generally, it was a good year, with production of most major spices rising. It was a bumper harvest for chilli, while output of cardamom, turmeric and coriander was robust enough to push prices down.

The black pepper crop was better than the previous year and only jeera declined.

Jeera production fell by about 13%, but futures prices on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange touched a new high of ?221per kg. The price increase led to an increase in the sowing area for the crop.

“Speculation had driven up prices. Anyway, the next crop is expected to be good and India is likely to be a major exporter in the global market in the next few months,” said Shailesh Shah, director of Jabs International, a major spice exporter. Chilli prices fell almost 60% to Rs 35 per kg due to a bumper crop, forcing the Andhra Pradesh government to introduce a price support scheme. Prices rose subsequently.

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