The prevailing low prices of tamarind have left traders with a bitter taste in the mouth, dashing their hopes of earning a profit this year. Around 500 traders in Anantapur district who had stored their produce in cold storage facilities hoping that the prices would soar have ended up with losses, aggregating to at least Rs 50 crore.
The Hindupur tamarind has great demand in the country and abroad for its quality. About 10,000 truckloads of the produce are sold in the Hindupur market yard every year.
When prices dipped to an all-time low last year, traders stored their produce in eight cold storages facilities -- six in Hindpur, and one each in Madakasira and Parigi -- hoping to sell when the market recovers. But with the bearish trend continuing this year traders are having to sell their produce at last year’s price levels. According to market sources, traders have stocks of more than 2,000 truckloads on hand at present.
“We are incurring a loss of `2.75 lakh per truckload of first-grade tamarind. The total loss would be around `50 crore this year,” said Srinivasa Murthy and Guru Murthy, two traders at the Hindupur market yard. The increased cost of storage is also adding to their woes.
K Feroz, another trader, said he would make a loss of 25 percent on his investments given the poor market for tamarind. Alleging that owners of cold storage facilities are charging exorbitant amounts, tamarind traders have demand that the state government must set up warehouses at the Hindupur market yard.