Demand for Thoothukudi salt had not picked up despite production coming to a halt in November. However, salt producers were happy as price went up to some extent, G. Gragadurai, president, Thoothukudi Small Scale Salt Manufacturers Association, said here on Tuesday.
Salt price went up to Rs. 800 a tonne from Rs. 500 two months ago, A. R. A. S. Dhanabalan, secretary, said. Some months ago, the price stood at Rs. 350 a tonne. Despite good stock in salt panes now, movement was not showing an upward trend.
In 2002, when the ‘zonal scheme’ was in force, Thoothukudi enjoyed monopoly in salt supply to Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar. The market suffered a huge blow after two years, said manufacturers.
Thoothukudi is yet to get good rainfall in the monsoon season. It could get rain in January. If it rained in January, new crop season would begin by March and it would push up the salt price, Mr. Dhanabalan said
Since a considerable amount of Thoothukudi salt was marketed in Andhra Pradesh, its price increased, M.S.P. Thenraj, president, Thoothukudi Salt Traders’ Association, said. As production in Cuddalore and Vedaranyam came down following a good rainfall, Thoothukudi salt gained advantage in Andhra Pradesh.
S. Petchimuthu, a salt producer, said though there was rainfall in December, there was no chance of further rise in price. Any increase in price would attract movement of salt from Gujarat and producers could hardly succeed in a challenging market, he said.