Climate demand shapes this year’s taste outlook.

Spices, along with vegetables and pulses, have emerged as one of the factors fueling the rise in food inflation in the country. Consumers are feeling the pinch from spice prices, some of which have risen. While spices have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic, some spices like jeera, fennel, chili, black pepper, turmeric, ginger, etc. saw a significant rally in 2023. Jeera rose to a record high of over ₹ 62,000 per quintal at the key spot market of Unjha in Gujarat, before falling towards the end of 2023. Similar fluctuations were observed in the price of chili. Ginger and turmeric prices fell in late 2023 after rising from July to September. Ginger prices crossed ₹ 40,000 per 100 kg in August before declining. Black pepper crossed ₹ 60,000/100 kg to hit a five-year high, while small cardamom prices hit a three-year high with average auction prices approaching ₹ 2,000/kg.

Several factors behind the increase

A combination of factors created an imbalance between demand and supply, which accelerated the price increase. Against the backdrop of strong exports and domestic demand, various factors such as low yields, changing weather, late and erratic southwest monsoon, farmers’ shift from spices to other crops, pests, etc. Spices are generally weather-sensitive plants and require optimum temperature, rainfall and climatic conditions to produce a good crop.  Listed spice prices hit an all-time high of ₹ 64,000/100 kg on the NCDEX in 2023, but then ended largely flat and are currently near a one-year low. Declining production over the past two years, adverse weather and lower transportation supplies amid strong demand led to the push. However, in the 2023-24 rabi season, jeera production will increase due to larger cultivated area and favorable weather conditions so far in the major jeera-growing states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, which will affect prices.

31% less exports

According to Gujarat State Agriculture Department, Jeera was sown in 5,61,306 hectares by January 15, 2024 compared to 2,75,830 hectares 0.7 5% 201644. within the urban districts. . In Rajasthan, jeera has been sown in 6,87,781 hectares till January 1, 2024, according to the state agriculture department. The decline in exports will also affect the price of jeera. The Spices Board reported that the export of jeera in the first half of the financial year 2023-24 was 84,475.41 tonnes, which is about 31 percent less than the previous financial year. The competitiveness of Indian jeera is low abroad because cumin from Syria and Turkey is available cheaper.

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