Indian cardamom exporters bet on Gulfood 2024 for Ramadan business.

The start of Gulfood 2024 in Dubai has boosted Indian cardamom exporters’ hopes of gaining a competitive advantage over Guatemalan products in the Persian Gulf market during the upcoming Ramadan fasting season, which begins in March. While shippers expect stiff competition from Guatemala, the lower price of Indian cardamom this season boosted their hopes. Due to higher prices, Indian cardamom lost business last year and the current price differential of $5 per tonne with the Guatemalan crop is expected to generate good sales this time, exporters said, adding that the domestic price would be in the range of ₹1,450 – 1,500. /kg.

However, the deepening Red Sea crisis is preventing exporters from sending cargo to all Gulf countries except Dubai, resulting in transit delays of almost two weeks and higher shipping costs. A cardamom exporter based in Vandanmedu, Iduk, said the emerging situation is delays in realizing funds from abroad, which has affected cash flow in the domestic market as well. This time, Indian prices were favorable, which created interest in buying crops from this region.  However, it was difficult for buyers to make purchases. With the arrival of new crops and stocks bought from Guatemala at cheaper times when Indian crop prices were higher, decision making became more difficult. According to him, the approaching Ramadan sale has also added another layer of complexity to the equation. Unpredictability of Indian cardamom prices has added to buyers’ worries. He added that the question is whether prices will rise in the near future or remain stable at the current level, and whether it makes sense to reserve cargo immediately or wait for eventual prices when new revenues arrive.

Unstable domestic market

KCPMC Ltd CEO PC Punnoonen says the domestic market is volatile due to weakened demand and curbed export purchases since January. Early Ramadan this time helped buyers from the Gulf to meet their needs and the market expects a positive development only when export purchases begin. Similarly, high markets in many North Indian cities are sluggish and the farmers’ strike in Haryana has moved. on. worsened the situation, causing disruption of goods and vehicular traffic. Cardamom production is at the end of the season and the next harvest is expected to start in June, depending on the arrival of the southwest monsoon.

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