General Characterstics

Cardamom is the 'Queen of Spices' as it is one of the most exotic and highly prized spices. Cardamom plants normally start bearing two years after planting. There are three distinctive types of cardamom grown in India viz., Malabar, Mysore and Ceylon type. The two major commercial varieties of small cardamom in the world are the Malabar and the Guatemalan. Indian cardamom is slightly smaller, but more aromatic.


Global Demand-Supply Scenario

  • Guatemala, India, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea are the major cardamom growing countries.
  • World production of cardamom is estimated at 30000 -35000 MT.
  • Guatemala produces nearly two-third of the total global cardamom production. Its production has increased significantly from 13500 MT in 2002 to 23000 MT in 2004.
  • Consumption scenario-


% Consumption of World

West Asia




Other EU Countries








  • Saudi Arabia is single largest importer of cardamom, distantly followed by Kuwait.


Indian Scenario

  • Production has decreased marginally from 11920 MT in 2002-03 to 11415 MT in 2004-05
  • Kerala (70%), Karnataka (20%) and Tamil Nadu (10%) are the cardamom growing states in India.
  • About 90% of the produce is consumed within the nation.
  • India roughly exports 5% - 8% of its total production. Saudi Arabia accounts for 42% and Japan 39% of India's exports (2004-05).
  • Export of value-added product from cardamom like cardamom oil and cardamom oleoresins are increasing to Germany, Netherlands and UK.


Major Indian Markets

Cardamom is sold at auction centres. Important markets for cardamom in the country are Vandanmendu, Bodinayakanur, Kumily, Thekkady, Kumbum and Pattiveeran Patti in Kerala.


Factors Influencing Cardamom Markets

  • Fresh cardamom is green and has a characteristic aroma. Freshness, colour, aroma and size are the major factors that influence cardamom prices, in addition to the current supply-demand scenario.
  • Cardamom is usually stored in cooler areas to preserve its inherent properties.
  • Indian cardamom specially Alleppey Green is a premium grade against all other international grades. However, the production and export from Guatemala has profound influence on Indian cardamom prices.
  • Weather and annual production of a year.
  • Production in other countries particularly Guatemala.
  • Year ending stocks and stocks-to-consumption ratio.
  • Time of arrival of new crop in the market.