August 21, 2012 / 9:33 AM / in 5 years

Indian spices futures fall; jeera on improved rains

MUMBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Jeera, or cumin seed, futures fell on Tuesday as traders chose to sell due to improved rains in the top producing state of Gujarat and increased supplies in the domestic market.

* Spot supplies at the Unjha market rose to 6,000 bags of 60 kg each on Tuesday, as compared with 2,000-4,000 bags last week.

* At 0910 GMT, the September jeera contract on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) was down 1.47 percent at 15,972.5 rupees per 100 kg.

* Gujarat received good rains in the last few days and the trend is expected to continue over the next 3-4 days, according to the weather office.

* Jeera is a winter crop sown October onwards and farmers depend on rains to moisten the land for sowing.

* “Prices may fall further on rains. Export demand has slowed down but is expected to pick up again on dips,” said Shikha Mittal, analyst at Karvy Comtrade.

* At Unjha, jeera fell 66.5 rupees to 16,271 rupees per 100 kg.

PEPPER

Pepper futures dropped as traders fretted over sluggish exports and weak demand from north-Indian buyers in the domestic market.

* Indian-origin pepper is offered at a premium of around $1,500 per tonne in the global market compared with its competitors’ prices.

* The most-active September contract on the NCDEX fell 0.85 percent to 41,970 rupees per 100 kg.

* Overseas buyers have been placing orders with other pepper producing countries such as Indonesia and Brazil due to lower offers from them, traders said.

* “Overseas demand is expected to improve, if prices fall below $7,500 per tonne from the current levels of $7,800-$8,100,” said Mittal from Karvy Comtrade.

* In Kochi, a key market in Kerala, spot pepper fell 296 rupees to 41,532 rupees.

* In April, pepper exports fell 47 percent from a year earlier to 1,200 tonnes.

TURMERIC

Turmeric futures fell on profit-taking while weakness in other spices also weighed on sentiment.

* The September turmeric contract on the NCDEX was down 0.73 percent at 5,952 rupees per 100 kg.

* “Demand has slowed down because prices have risen a lot, but any sharp fall is not seen in the spot market because area under cultivation has reduced sharply this season,” said Suresh Chowdhary, a trader from Nizamabad, a key market in Andhra Pradesh.

* At Nizamabad, spot turmeric edged up 10 rupees to 5,457 rupees per 100 kg.

* Farmers slashed area under turmeric sowing this season after a sharp fall in prices since last year.

* India’s monsoon rains were slightly below average in the past week, but heavy downpours arrived in a parched western state, the weather office said on Aug. 16.

* Turmeric is planted between June and August and takes about nine months to harvest. (Reporting by Meenakshi Sharma; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)

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