Cardamom growers across the country are fetching between Nu 800 and Nu 900 this year for a kg. Yesterday, the price was Nu 800.
Most exporters attribute the decline in price to increase in cardamom production this year.
A senior official with the RSA private limited in Puentsholing, Tika Sharma, said the market is not elastic and it has remained the same. “Supply determines the price.”
Around this time last year, farmers fetched between Nu 1,200 and Nu 1,500 a kg. This year, the highest price farmers fetched was Nu 930. Cardamom prices also have seen similar drop in price in places like Samtse and Dagana this year.
A cardamom exporter in Phuentsholing, Yeshey Wangchuk of Bhutan Exports Business Line (BEBL), said the current price for small sized cardamom is Nu 850 per kg. “We sell with a profit of Nu 50 to our buyers but it depends on the market,” he said.
He said buyers in Silliguri are demanding less this year compared to last year. He exported about 20,000kg last year.
Another exporter in Phuentsholing, Tandin Dorji, said cardamom prices kept fluctuating these days. “We cannot predict what the price would be tomorrow,” he said.
Silliguri in India and Bangladesh are the main markets for Bhutanese exporters.
Exporters say farmers have to bring their produce for sale slowly. “When all farmers bring their cardamom at one time, the price falls,” an exporter said.
However, people say hoarding cardamom is also not advisable, as production might increase next year given that cardamom farming has picked up across the country. People in the east have also ventured into this business with some already harvesting this year.
However, cardamom growers do not accept that price fell because of increase in production.
A cardamom grower from Chongaykha in Phuentsholing, Dhan Bahadur Chhetri, said he is not sure why the price fell this year. “It is difficult to understand,” he said. “But it is definitely not because of more production.”
Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing