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Black pepper prices at an all-time high

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Black touched an all-time high of Rs 354 a kg in the domestic markets here on Tuesday. The best quality pepper from Idukki district fetched the maximum price, while pepper from Wynad region was sold for Rs 350 a kg.

Pepper prices have been rising globally due to low supply from major producing countries like Vietnam and Indonesia. Currently, India is the strongest destination for importers across the world to get pepper at a reasonable price, said a leading Kochi-based exporter.

Vietnam, the largest producer and exporter of the spice is not event quoting the price for Asta grade as the availability is so thin there. Vietnam quotes tags only for 500 gm/litre grade at $7,600-7,650 a tonne. Brazil, India and Indonesia offer Asta grade, of which only India can supply it in large volumes. This is India’s advantage in the current global trade scenario. The Indian offer for Asta is $8,100-8,200 a tonne while Indonesia offers $8,500. Indonesia is not at all aggressive in selling because of low stocks.

The market is clearly poised for a huge increase in the coming months as local demand will be stronger after Diwali. Market analysts expect a price tag of Rs 400a kg after Diwali, when winter season demand will be at its peak.

Though price is high, exporters are aggressive in enhancing the inventory since there is very high global demand. The dollar appreciation also make them comfortable and for the time being India is the most attractive destination for the importers. The current shortage and price rise are expected to be till December, once fresh stock from India hits the market by mid-December.

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