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Two-month peppercorn export drops in volume, rises in value

Wednesday, 06/03/2024 | 10:00:00 [GMT +7] A  A

Vietnam exported 35,000 tonnes of peppercorn worth 143 million USD in the first two months of 2024, down 12.3% in volume but up 12.9% in value, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Two-month peppercorn export drops in volume, rises in value hinh anh 1
Farmers harvest peppercorn in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai in 2023. (Photo: VNA)

The US was the biggest importer of Vietnamese peppercorn, accounting for 29% of the total shipments. It was followed by India 8% and Germany 6%.

Export prices averaged 4,041 USD per tonne during January - February, rising 28.7% from the same period last year. As a result, domestic prices have also increased continuously, especially after the Lunar New Year festival, the MARD noted.

Peppercorn prices on March 5 rose 500 VND per kg from the previous day to 93,000 - 96,000 VND (3.76 - 3.89 USD) per kg according to localities, statistics show.

Explaining the sharp increase, Hoang Phuoc Binh, Standing Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Peppercorn Association of Chu Se district (Gia Lai province), said the production is not high because the harvest season has just started. Meanwhile, domestic speculators are racing to buy in bulk as they forecast peppercorn will soon enter the price hiking cycle that usually lasts for 10 years.

Growers are also no longer under a big selling pressure since most of them also cultivate other crops like durian and coffee or have other sources of income, he went on.

Binh added that rising demand for the orders delivered right in the first quarter in foreign markets such as the US, the EU, Asia, and Africa has also fuelled peppercorn prices.

The Vietnam Pepper and Spice Association (VPSA) predicted that the country’s peppercorn output this year will drop by 10 - 15% to 160,000 - 170,000 tonnes.

Among large producers, the harvest season already passed in Brazil and has just started in Vietnam while the main harvest season of Indonesia and Malaysia falls in July. The supply from Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, and Cambodia is unable to make up for the decline in Vietnam’s export volume, thus boosting prices since the beginning of the season, according to the VPSA.

Echoing the view, the Foreign Trade Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade held that global prices will keep going up in the first quarter due to the output decrease in the main producing countries, noting that adverse weather conditions due to El Nino are affecting peppercorn production.