Pepper prices - A desperate new sea route to India
Pepper purchased in Calicut port for 4 ducats (gold coins -15th century) was sold in Portugal for 80 ducats. The prices were five times higher in Alexandria (Egypt) which was then the hub of global spice trade. The price in Venice was more than double the price in Egypt. By the time, black pepper reached Portugal, it was exorbitantly priced at twenty times the initial price in India. Massive profits were made by each intermediary.
Now one can imagine why the Portuguese were so desperate to find a direct sea route to India bypassing all the middlemen. The landing of Vasco Da Gama and his fleet in Calicut in 1498, and their attempt to establish direct trade links kick started a chain of events which led to massive atrocities and battles never heard off in those times.
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