Tightening of checks on pesticide residue by Saudi Arabia has hit Indian small cardamom exports, which in turn has pushed down the spice’s price in the local market.
The average cardamom price that was hovering in the Rs 900-1,000 per kg range has slid to Rs 800, even as arrivals remained steady.
Saudi Arabia accounts for 90 per cent of cardamom shipments from India.
“This decision to tighten monitoring of the shipments happened in the middle of April. As a result the exports have slowed down,” trade sources said.
Pesticide residue check is not mandatory to get the Spices Board’s certificate that accompanies shipments. Though pesticides are used in cardamom plantations, exporters were not worried about the residue earlier as Saudi Arabia did not insist on strict checks. It is learnt that the country has raised the inspection standard on all the food items.