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Jeera Loses Flavor as Covid-19 Second Wave Hits its Price

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Dried jeera seeds

Jeera (cumin) was enjoying a high price earlier this month, but with the second Covid-19 wave hitting India, the price of this spice is spiralling down. This is due to a glut of jeera in the market and relatively lower demand, which has happened because of Covid-19 anxiety and possible lockdown concerns.  

Last week, futures prices were Rs. 14,175 per quintal. They went down by 4% in the last three sessions.  

According to a trader, jeera crop has been good this season and the arrivals are higher than last year. There is good overseas demand too, but the second Coronavirus wave has brought in much uncertainty regarding demand.  

According to reports, Unjha market witnessed the arrival of 42,663,70 tonnes from March 1 and April 10. This is around 32% higher than 32,145 tonnes reported in the same period last year. Prices of jeera were rising last month, hence, arrivals increased too. But now, things seem bleak. 

Gujarat and Rajasthan are key producers of jeera. The Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders (FISS) had estimated a crop size of 4.79 lakh tonnes for 2020-21. This is around 10.6% lower than 5.35 lakh tonnes last year.  

Exporter sources have informed that India exported around 2.3 lakh tonnes jeera in April-December 2020. This is about 36% higher than 1.69 lakh tonnes in the same period previous year.  

As per industry estimates and based on the export inquiries, around 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of export consignments happened in March alone. Exports of jeera are already more than last year's 2.14 lakh tonnes.  

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