As you pass through the Delhi Gate area of Ahmedabad and move towards airport, you cannot miss the aroma of spices from Madhupura markets – both the retail and the wholesale ones – separated by 2 kilometers.
Coriander, turmeric, cumin, pepper to cardamom – you get all the varieties here sourced from respective markets. Most spices tycoons started their business from this market and they continue to maintain a shop or office here. Four generations of business here, one of them remarked.
But overall, as in other places, the main spices market of Ahmedabad are bearing a deserted look these days. Commission agents did admit they are facing problems on account of demonetization but added they use banking channel more than the cash transactions. The impact, therefore, has got minimised.
“The week after the demonetization move was announced the trade went down to approximately 10% but as traders started understanding the situation the trade increased by around 50%-60%. Cash crunch did not affect the wholesale sector because they dealt more in big transactions which normally were cheques,” said Dinesh Patel, President of Nava Madhavpura market and Committee member of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
He added that spices arrival at the market place was around 5000 sacks on daily basis out of which approximately 4500 sacks were sold out. Though this has fallen because of the issues faced by retailers, normalcy, he believed, will return by the end of this month.
Prices of spices, according to Priyum Patel of Patel Purushottam & Company, had appreciated due to supply crunch which has now come back to normal.
“We don’t expect prices to spiral on account of demonetization. But if there is any production issues, it can fluctuate,” he added. Stocks, he said are arriving from all over the country but the flow has decreased because of the issues faced by truckers.