Traders in limbo as large cardamom prices plungeFollowing a sharp fall in the price of large cardamom this year, traders are likely to have their profits cut. Large cardamom traders were said to have made good money for the past three years due to a consistent rise in price.
Following a sharp fall in the price of large cardamom this year, traders are likely to have their profits cut. Large cardamom traders were said to have made good money for the past three years due to a consistent rise in price.
Nirmal Bhattarai, central president of Cardamom Traders’ Association, said that prices came down to Rs80,000 per mun (40kg) against the Rs97,000 last year. Prices opened at Rs 91,000 per mun in September, when large cardamom is harvested. Even though prices had shot up by Rs 6,000 per mun following the harvest, prices have now suddenly dropped.
With this, traders have stocked their cardamom purchased as they are not ready to sell the product at prices lower than what they paid for to farmers. However, the piling bank interest on their loans and the condition of the stored cardamom are giving traders a difficult time. “The weight of large cardamom has come down 5kg per mun due to the drying of the product,” said trader Dinesh Adhikari. According to him, traders were facing bankruptcy due to reduced prices, weight losses, increased bank interest and warehouse rent.
Delhi-based traders, who used to purchase large cardamom from Nepali traders, informed the Nepali supplier that the demand for large cardamom remained low this year from the Gulf countries as stocks of last year were yet to be offloaded. Purchasers from Gulf countries have not inquired about the need for new shipments to Delhi-based traders. Cardamom produced in Nepal reach New Delhi through Siliguri and Jogbani in India. The large cardamom is sold even in Pakistan from New Delhi, and then also exported to Gulf countries.
As Nepali traders do not have access to Gulf country-based purchasers, they sell them to Indian traders who then deliver the large cardamom to the Gulf. Most of the Nepali traders sell the large cardamom to bordering Indian towns after purchasing them from farmers.
There is hardly any market for large cardamom, mostly used for making spices, in Nepal.
“So prices are largely determined by demands from abroad,” said Khadka Moktan, president of Cardamom Trader Association, Taplejung.