Sri Lankan cloves to be dearer on shortfall

Dec 31, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lankan cloves growers are seen benefiting from an expected rise in prices owing to a shortfall in production in the island and elsewhere and rising demand, trade officials said. Cloves production in India, the main buyer of the Sri Lankan spice, is also down and unable to meet the required demand.

This is expected to keep Indian demand buoyant, said Sarada De Silva, immediate past chairman of the Spice Council, which groups all spice growers, traders and exporters.

“Indian prices are gradually moving up. India is one of the larger importers of our cloves.”

Cloves production in India continues to remain far below the requirement, making India a net importer of the commodity, media reports said.

The total demand in India is estimated at 8,000 – 10,000 tonnes but production there is estimated to be only between 1,000 and 2,000 tonnes while stocks are limited.

Cloves are grown in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and parts of Karnataka.

Total Indian imports of cloves during April – October 2007 stood at 3,610 tonnes as against 2,881 tonnes in the same period the year before.

De Silva said Sri Lanka’s cloves production too had been affected by