The Sizzling Cumin Market: China’s Stock Squeeze A Spice Surge and China's Cumin Conundrum

Mintec Global
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In a twist that has set the spice trade abuzz, the cumin market is experiencing a sizzling surge, primarily attributed to a sudden shortage of cumin stock in China. According to the sources, there are reports that China’s cumin prices have skyrocketed from $5500-$5600 per ton to $7200 per ton due to the unexpected depletion of their cumin reserves and a surge in local demand.

Initial expectations of a 40,000-45,000 ton cumin crop in China for the year were shattered as they managed to harvest only 30,000-35,000 tons, with 15,000 tons exported and 8,000 tons reserved for cumin seeds. This scarcity has left China with limited stock, leading to a price convergence with Indian cumin, currently quoted at $7500-$7600 per ton in the international market. Anticipating a surge in demand, experts predict that China will turn to India for cumin imports within the next two to a half months, with November-December earmarked as a likely purchasing period. Historically, China has acquired cumin in substantial quantities, often acquiring 400-500 containers at once.

While cumin demand remains consistent in Bangladesh, China’s presence in Middle Eastern markets has subdued demand for Indian cumin. Despite the remarkable price hike, there’s little sign of a market recession. Farmers have depleted mainly their cumin stocks, and traders have capitalized on the price surge by booking profits. Due to China’s dwindling stock, the global cumin market hinges on India as the primary source. With the looming new cumin season, experts anticipate an uptick in exports, projecting 50,000-70,000 tons to be exported before the season starts. Additionally, the demand for Ramadan 2024 will further bolster cumin prices.

Intriguingly, despite the cumin market’s spicy surge, there’s no hint of its sizzle fading anytime soon. With ample time left in the current stock extraction period, the cumin industry keeps traders and enthusiasts on their toes.


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