Thursday, July 18, 2013
The recent depreciation of the rupee has hit the dry fruit trade. Last month, the prices of cashew kernels and almonds jumped 11 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively, in major wholesale markets.
At 7,00,000 tonnes a year, India imports about half its raw cashew nut requirement; for almonds, it relies entirely on imports of 70,000 tonnes a year. While cashew nut is sold in the domestic market, as well as exported, almonds are sold in local markets alone. The wholesale prices of these two varieties of nuts have increased in major wholesale markets across Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh and Mangalore.
"The impact of the rupee depreciation on cashew nut is neutral when it is further exported. Only when it is sold in the domestic market would there be an impact. India exports an average 7,500 tonnes of cashew kernels a month. The prices of raw cashew nuts have declined to $800 a tonne from $1,100 a tonne, providing some relief to importers," said G Giridhar Prabhu, a Mangalore-based exporter and former vice-chairman, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India.
The price of cashew kernels in Mangalore has increased to Rs 529 a kg (ex-factory) from Rs 476 a kg about a month ago. The price of the Mangalore export quality specialty (W320 grade) rose 8.3 per cent to Rs 458 a kg from Rs 423 a kg.
In the wholesale markets of Chandigarh and Delhi, almond prices have risen 17 per cent to Rs 550 a kg, against Rs 470 a kg a month ago; in Mumbai, prices rose to Rs 590 a kg from Rs 505 a kg. However, in the retail market, almonds are sold at Rs 650-800 a kg, while cashew kernels are sold at Rs 750-800 a kg.
"The rupee depreciation has had an impact on almond prices. In addition, production has declined in the US, following a drought in California, a major producer of almonds. As a result, supply has fallen drastically," said Rahul Kamath, partner, Bola Surendra Kamath & Sons, and a Mangalore-based trader of dry fruits. He added in wholesale markets in India, almond prices were likely to stand at Rs 600 a kg by Diwali.
"With the festival season round the corner and the beginning of the month of Ramzan, prices of dry fruits are set to increase further in retail markets. Once the retailers and super bazaars exhaust old stocks, the new prices would kick in," Prabhu said.
In the past month, prices of pistachio rose 15-20 per cent. Currently, these are sold at Rs 1,000-1,250 a kg, depending on quality. Anjir (figs) prices stand at Rs 350-550 a kg in retail markets.
HIGH & DRY
|Prices of raw cashew nuts have declined to $800 a tonne from $1,100 a tonne
|In wholesale markets of Chandigarh & Delhi, almond prices have risen 17% to Rs 550 a kg
|In Mumbai markets, almond prices have risen to Rs 590 a kg from Rs 505 a kg
|In wholesale markets, almond prices are likely to stand at Rs 600 a kg by Diwali