Jeera rallies 14% as China starts buying again

KOCHI: Jeera prices have rallied 14 per cent after hitting rock bottom in March, thanks to rising demand from China. June contract for delivery at NCDEX rose to Rs 163.90 per kg on Monday, from Rs 161.05 last Friday. The futures had touched a low of Rs 143 in March with China going slow on purchases from India as fresh arrivals from harvest hit the market.

“Now there are good enquiries from China. They are buying whatever quantity is coming to the market. Prices may rise further,’’ said jeera exporter Nimesh Vohra.

The current prices are around 10 per cent lower than a year before. “That is because the output has been better this year,’’ Vohra said. Record prices last year triggered an increase in jeera sowing in the top producing states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, leading to a bumper crop of around 6 lakh tonne, against a normal 4-5 lakh tonne. Earlier, the traders had expected jeera prices to stabilise between Rs 150 and Rs 160 per kg. But the uptick in export demand is expected to take prices further up.

“Jeera prices may trade higher in the long term despite good production and higher stock available in India amid robust export demand from the country,’’ said Ritesh Kumar Sahu, fundamental analyst at Angel Commodities Broking.

India’s chief competitors — Syria and Turkey — will enter the market in June.