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Kerala floods sap cardamom supply; price jumps 200%

13 August 2019


According to officials from Spices Board of India, there’s a severe shortage of cardamom in Bengaluru markets due to initial rain deficit and the present downpour in Kerala, which has damaged the crop. The price of the spice has shot up over 200% compared to August 2018. In Bengaluru markets, 100gm of the spice could cost anywhere between Rs 550 and Rs 600 today, say vendors.

The daily auction price of small cardamom stood at Rs 4,465 per kg as of August 13, 2019. The figure for the corresponding date last year was Rs 1,470. Officials say the price could rise further if the current flood situation continues.


Karnataka imports more than 80% of it’s cardamom from Kerala — mainly from Idukki and Kottayam districts, both of which have been severely hit by the floods this year, leading to depleting stocks.

“There has been an unprecedented jump in the prices of cardamom this season. It now hovers around Rs 4,000- 4,500 per kg, which is the highest we have seen in more than a decade,” said a senior official working with the Karnataka regional office of Spices Board of India (ministry of commerce and industry). Mohammed Idrees Choudhury, general secretary, Russell Market Traders Association, said while five or six months ago, Russell Market was selling 4-5kg of cardamom on an average every day, less than 1kg is being sold now.


“We used to get over 150kg of cardamom to the market on a monthly basis, which has now come down to 35-40 kgs. The rate of cardamom has gone up drastically, having increased more than three times in the past five or six months. We think it’ll increase further in the coming months. However, there’s a requirement for cardamom in the city, with Eid, marriages and other events. People are just buying it in much smaller quantities,” said Choudhury.


Box: Clove, cinnamon also hit

Sumeet Nahar of city-based dry fruits company Manak Mewa pointed out how clove and cinnamon were also affected by the Kerala floods. “Known as the king of spices, cardamom is needed in many sweets and desserts prepared during this festive season. We don’t expect new supply of the spice in the coming months since all fresh crop has been damaged in the floods. Clove and cinnamon are also facing a similar situation. These spices dry up very soon and can’t be stored for more than a month,” said Sumeet.



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