MUMBAI, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Indian turmeric futures hit a fresh contract high on Monday, tracking firm cues from the spot market where demand was good from north Indian buyers.
* At 0955 GMT, the April turmeric contract on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) was up 3.32 percent at 6,154 rupees per 100 kg after hitting a contract high of 6,190 rupees earlier.
* “Local demand is picking up from north Indian buyers but unlikely to sustain at higher prices because stocks are high and new supply season is also approaching,” said Suresh Chowdhary, a trader from Nizamabad, a key market in Andhra Pradesh.
* Spot turmeric rose 107 rupees to 5,154.5 rupees at Nizamabad.
* The area under turmeric cultivation is lower this year due to scant rainfall during the planting season and the shift of acreage to other crops, but higher carry-forward stocks are expected to keep supplies firm.
Indian pepper futures rose due to depleting stocks and thin domestic supplies though estimates of higher output and weak overseas demand limited the upside.
* The most-active February pepper contract on the NCDEX rose 0.40 percent to 34,200 rupees per 100 kg.
* Pepper production is expected to rise in the states of Karnataka and Kerala, the top two producers.
* “Local demand is supportive but exports are still negligible because of higher prices. Domestic buying picks up at lower prices,” said Manikant Khona, a trader from Kochi, a key market in Kerala.
* Spot pepper rose 81 rupees to 38,619 rupees per 100 kg in Kochi, a key market in Kerala.
Indian jeera futures edged down due to sluggish overseas sales and weak local demand though a slow pace of sowing in parts of Gujarat, the top producer, restricted the downside.
* Jeera is a winter crop for which sowing in Gujarat will continue through December.
* The March jeera contract on the NCDEX was down 0.23 percent at 15,142.5 rupees per 100 kg.
* “Sowing is lagging behind in some areas because of the delayed start but still there is time and weather is also conducive which could help sowing activities,” said Jay Kumar Jain, a trader from Unjha, a key spot market in Gujarat.
* Spot jeera edged down 15 rupees to 14,902 rupees per 100 kg at Unjha.
* India is the world’s top producer of jeera, or cumin seed, followed by Syria and Turkey. (Reporting by Meenakshi Sharma; Editing by Anand Basu)