Pepper growers sell stocks to settle gold loans

A section of pepper growers is seen liquidating their stocks to ensure cash flow following the PSU banks’ directive to settle gold loans.

According to Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices, the banks are forcing farmers who have obtained gold loans at a concessional interest rate of 4 percent to settle their arrears. Previously, the closing date for these loans was in March, which was later extended to April 30 and then to May 31 as a result of the Covid-19 situation. Farmers are now awaiting the outcome of the meeting between the Minister of Finance and the leaders of the nationalized banks for a favorable decision, he said.

Meanwhile, the pepper market in Kochi continues to hold steady in recent days at 310 yen for the unscrambled, as buyers are reluctant to buy at higher rates, while sellers are unwilling to liquidate at a discount. . Monday’s levy was 15 tonnes and a full lockdown in Kerala was imposed on Sunday’s hit pepper arrivals. Those who managed to load the stock on Monday morning could bring the merchandise to the terminal market, Shamji said.

Demand from manufacturers of powders and spice blends continues. Major manufacturers who are in the red zones are awaiting the outcome of the meeting between the prime minister and chief state ministers, Shamji said.

Demand from Bihar and Jharkhand continues, which is mainly met by Karnataka pepper. However, the movement of farmers to cash in the produce will be a major point in deciding how prices stay in the coming weeks as well as the demand from major players in the industry, he added.

Alice P. Darby