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    Exporting Cardamom to the European Union


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2001

    The European Union (EU) imports some 1,200 tonnes of cardamom annually for a total value of about US$ 6 million. Guatemalan exporters provide about 80% of EU requirements. Other suppliers include India and Papua New Guinea. The leading markets in the EU are Sweden, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom.

    Demand is not high, and easily oversupplied

    EU demand for cardamom is stable but supplies are heavily dependent on conditions in Guatemala. Alternative suppliers have minor significance in the market. New supplies from other regions would help to stabilize the availability of cardamom in the EU market. However, as the demand in Europe is not growing, new suppliers must compete directly with established Guatemalan exporters in quality, price and service.

    Cardamom traded in a relatively narrow price range during the mid-1990s until poor crops towards the end of the decade pushed the market to historically high levels: prices reached US$ 15,500 per tonne by early 2001. Production is expected to recover during 2001 and 2002, and a structural surplus may emerge as new plantings come into bearing, which should cause prices to return to more usual levels of below US$ 5,000 per tonne.

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