Burning heat wave conditions in many North Indian consuming markets has taken a charge on pepper demand with its prices remaining steady for the past 23 weeks with marginal changes. Prices of clean varieties are now ruling at ₹515-520 per kg, while that of distorted varieties at ₹535-540.
Traders pointed out that the demand was slow in the upcountry consuming markets as buyers proposed to stay at indoors during most of the days to get themselves protected from the heat wave. This has also affected industrial demand pushing masala producers to reduce their pepper supplement.
However, traders are expecting a upturn in demand with the starting of summer rains. Further, the beginning of wedding season after Akshaya Tritiya is also expected to recover up demand, they said.
Because of the low demand, farmers are opposed to release their available stock. However, the stock position with the farmers in Karnataka and Kerala is also limited due to the unsettled climatic conditions in these regions. They expect a smaller crop this year, said, Kishore Shamji, a pepper trader in Kochi.
Stating reports, Shamji cited the increased availability of imported pepper in many North Indian markets under misdeclaration as scraps. Even there are reports on the availability of Brazilian pepper in Delhi markets at ₹510, he added.