Cardamom producing countries

Published: January 24, 2022

Cardamom, the queen of spices is produced for ages and has been referred to as Ela in Sanskrit and the health benefits are recognized early due to its unique taste, aroma, and coolness as mint. This spice is one of the most expensive by weight. Cardamom was introduced in the year 1914 to the people of Guatemala by Oscar Majus Kloeffer, a German coffee planter.

The global market of cardamom is very huge and is projected to register 5.7% of CAGR during 2020 – 2025. Guatemala is one of the leading producers accounting for more than 55% of the global production in 2019 and Asian countries such as India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are the other major producers. With the rise of the 21st century, Guatemala became the largest producer of cardamom having an average yield of 25,000 to 29,000 tons.

The cardamom price is quite unstable due to its irregular demand and importers such as Saudi Arabia and UAE during the pandemic, Covid-19, and decrease in global supply due to poor weather conditions in cardamom producing countries such as Guatemala, India, and Indonesia.

Scope of Cardamom growth in Guatemala

The global market of cardamom is analyzed by the production, consumption, imports, exports, and price trends. Guatemala accounted for 34.9% in 2018 followed by India with 15.4% and Indonesia with 33.2% which had gradually declined; hence a three-year initiative was started in March 2020 by mercy crops in partnership with Twining to increase the production.

This initiative helped to boost the production of cardamom and the exports for cardamom in 2019 increased to 80.6% in the global market. 70% of the cardamom comes from Alta Verapaz in Guatemala from 3,00,000 farmers residing there.

Cardamom is recognized as the green gold of Guatemala as it is the largest exporter and producer of cardamom in the world. Cardamom of Guatemala is largely traded in Asia, Africa, Europe, and American countries.

Types and dishes of Cardamom in Guatemala

Green cardamom, black cardamom, and Madagascar cardamom are grown hereof in which green is maximum. The flavor and the fragrance of this spice are used in the array of sweets in Guatemala such as Sugar cookies sandwiches with cardamom milk and ganache, Rose cake donuts, cardamom rice pudding, Swedish style cardamom buns, and many more.

Grades of cardamom in Guatemala

  • Jumbo Green – extra-large green pods
  • Imperial – large green pods
  • Fancy – extra green pods
  • Imperial mixed – large but pale green pods
  • Mix green – pods of assorted colors
  • Mix green split – medium size open pods
  • Yellow mix – medium or large closed yellow pods
  • MYQ – mixed yellow green cardamom for grinding
  • Seeds – husks removed cardamom.

Trade of cardamom

Cardamom has been an important spice commodity in national as well as international markets due to its usage in sweets as well as savory.  Guatemala was ranked 1st in 2020 with the total share of exports for cardamom being 77.03%. The trade patterns for cardamom depend on price movements, nationally and internationally, and the demand and supply in the market.