As the Guatemalan crop floods the Gulf region at reduced rates, Indian cardamom is losing its flavour on the export market. This has made it easier for GCC nations to purchase more Guatemalan cardamom, which is now going for $5–12 a kg compared to $10–18 in India, depending on the grades.
M. Dhanavandhan, a cardamom exporter in Bodinayakkanur, claimed that demand and prices for Indian cardamom were favourable up until August. However, thanks in large part to favourable deliveries from Guatemala at lower rates, the spice suddenly faced muted demand. Before, there were a number of problems for Indian exporters related to the lack of available containers and an increase in maritime freight.
All of these concerns have since been resolved, but Guatemalan produce’s increased arrivals pose a threat. The threat has been downplayed by official authorities, who claim that Indian cardamom always sells for more money on the foreign market. Exports reached a record 10,572 tonnes in 2021–22 at an estimated value of 1,375 crores, up from 6,486 tonnes in 2020–21.
As prices moved lower and remained in the range of $9,25,950 per kg in the auctions, trade anticipation for a Diwali sales bonanza appeared to be waning. The market trend is speculative, according to auctioneer PC Punnoose, CEO of CPMC Ltd. The price rise can only be anticipated when carryover supplies in consuming centres are sold off during the Diwali festival.