Nov.17

What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the Indian Spice Market?

impact of COVID-19 on the Indian Spice Market

The spice market in India, especially the Wholesale spice market and the packaged spice industry, has witnessed significant changes since the world went into the covid phase. 

The world experienced the first wave of the unforgiving coronavirus in 2020. And, Indeed it turned out to be a bad year for major businesses. According to the data, prices of the top four exchanged-traded spices, namely coriander (dhania), turmeric, cumin seed and cardamom, witnessed a sharp fall to as high as 56% from 8%. Altogether, it resulted in the worst agri-commodity performance segment in an entire decade.

According to data at precise, the loss suffered in cardamom exportation was 56%, coriander at 16%, cumin seeds at 15%, followed by turmeric at 8.5% during the year. 

The main reasons for such steep downfall of the market were due to:

Changing dynamics of the market

Investors and stockists kept their inventories low because of the uncertainty in the market caused by the pandemic.  

Let’s take a precise look at the four major spices and their dynamics during the pandemic:

Turmeric

On a measurable scale, India grows about 9.5 million bags of turmeric, where each bag weighs about 60 kgs. Out of this, 7 million bags are consumed domestically, and the rest of them are exported outside the country. The demand on a local and global basis significantly weakened during the year due to the spreading of infection. The pandemic brought a lot of optimism for the spice due to its anti-inflammatory properties and immunity-boosting strength. It did pave the way for better sales for a while, but that wasn’t long-lasting. 

Coriander

Coriander was kind of the saviour amongst all. According to the information mentioned above, coriander initially witnessed a steep downfall of 15%, but the degradation did not last for more than a month. And, soon after it saw a considerable spike initiated by higher yield in Gujarat, conveying a bumper crop in the upcoming season.

Cumin and Cardamom

For cumin seed sales, the business witnessed a downfall, initially due to lockdown. Most Indian spice wholesale prices faced a decline in the pandemic season due to demand destruction from the institutional buyers. Another inconvenience was because of cash payment that led to a shortage in oversized orders. That year, even on Diwali, there was a very thin sale. But gradually, the market is normalising.

For cardamom, the loss accounted for 56% of the total share. This was also because of the severe Kerala flood in 2019, and then the pandemic in 2020 worsened the condition. The future of cardamom is in the range of INR 1500/kg, which sounds like a return to the normal market. 

Overall, the market witnessed a downfall during the pandemic. Still, the bright side is that consumers became more aware of the benefits and the outcome in the forthcoming years seems favourable.

“In our ninety years of selling spices, we’ve seen a lot of different things, but the essence has always remained the same. Now, all we have to do is keep the restriction in place until the very end. Food has a consistent flavour regardless of how it is consumed. Over time, we’ve modified the product style and blend, but the excellent quality and flavours have only improved. We offer  wholesale organic spices with authentic taste and essences so that you get the everything in good quality”

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