Jaggery traders in Andhra Pradesh's Anakapalli market ended 2003 on an unexpectedly high note. After mid-December, prices shot up Rs 95-Rs 110 per 10 kg of jaggery, fuelled by a shortfall of stocks and huge demand from Orissa. Traders in the market were actually expecting prices to fall to Rs 65-Rs 75 for the same amount.
Winter is usually a time of glut for this market, but this year it was different. Explains K Buchi Raju, converner, Anakapalli Jaggery Traders Association: "In Uttar Pradesh, a major jaggery-producing state, production has drastically fallen during the last two months in the wake of rains and severe cold conditions. So now Orissa traders are totally depending on Anakapalli jaggery to meet the local demand, and are offering good price too. Currently 70 per cent of the jaggery procured in Anakapalli is being transported to the Orissa markets." In Orissa, farmers in Guntur district use black jaggery as a pesticide for cotton and chilli crops. This has contributed to the rise in jaggery consumption there.
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