Kashmir walnut in great demand in Indian markets
Rates up by 30%
GK BUSINESS REPORTER
Srinagar, Oct 5: In what has warmed the cockles of the fruit growers and dealers, the Kashmir walnuts are fetching good prices in outside mandis.
According to reports the walnuts are selling at more than Rs 100 a kilogram and the kernels between Rs 250/ to Rs 275/ kilogram presently in outside mandis, which represents an almost 30 per cent rate increase over the past year.
According to the growers and exporters, the prices had shot up mainly for two reasons. “One, the walnut yield this year remained low in Kashmir because of general crop failure. So the supply in the Indian markets has dwindled, which has sent the prices up. Two, the demand has picked up ahead of the festival season,” the growers/exporters said.
Partner, Kashmir Kessar Mart, a Valley-based fruit processing company, Sameer Azad said the good prices would almost cover the losses of the growers that they suffered due to the crop failure.
He, however, said the prices in the international market wouldn’t be affected by the less production in Kashmir. “We are producing 40,000 metric ton of walnuts every year. But there are giants like China and California that produce about 5 lakh metric ton and 5.5 lakh metric ton of walnuts every year respectively. So our shortfall is not going to create any shortage of the walnut in the international market,” he said.
Azad said moreover the prices may come down following October 25. “Presently, there is a good demand for both the walnuts as well as the walnut kernels in India. That is mainly because of the festival season ahead. Once the festival approaches, the demand will come down and naturally the prices will also drop,” he said.
Experts said the huge price volatility in case of walnuts in Kashmir has added a lot of uncertainty to this sector. “Unlike in other countries where the prices at the most vary between 10- to 15-per cent, here the prices change between 30 to 40 per cent. This puts a lot of pressure on our growers as well as the dealer,” experts said.
Interestingly, the walnut traders/exporters had suffered huge losses in 2008 in the wake of economic blockade enforced by groups in Jammu in the backdrop of Amarnath land row in Kashmir.
“That time the walnut industry in Kashmir suffered losses worth crores of rupees as the fruit could not be exported. Besides, the rates had come down sharply in the international market because there was glut of fruit from countries like China,” said Ali Muhammad, a grower.
To mention, besides to Indian markets, most of the walnut in Kashmir is exported to European countries.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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