The Mintec price of Indian cumin fell by 2% during the week of 2nd March, after previously soaring by 15% in the four-week period to 23rd February, peaking at INR 18,900/100kg in India’s Unjha market, as speculation over lower 2022 output intensified. Prior to the latest price movement, the market had sustained an upward trend since mid-October 2021, rising by INR 5,900 (+45%).
Prices have been supported by speculation of lower production in 2022, following a decline in planted area coupled with erratic weather conditions. Farmers in Gujarat and Rajasthan, India’s key cumin growing states, planted less cumin last year in favour of better performing cash crops such as oilseeds and other spices, due to subdued cumin prices at the time of sowing.
Indian-based company Agriwatch projects the 2022 Indian cumin output to reach approximately 316,281 tonnes, compared with 391,801 tonnes in 2021, a decrease of almost 20% year-on-year (y-o-y). Additionally, ending stocks are set to decline, by 51% y-o-y to 62,000 tonnes compared with 126,000 tonnes in the previous campaign.
Some traders in India have noted subdued demand for the spice amid the soaring prices. Buyers are expected to become more active once the new season crop arrivals accelerate and prices descent to more reasonable levels.