Viet Nam shipped 15,000 tonnes of pepper abroad in August, earning a turnover of US$91 million and boosting the total volume of exports to 98,000 tonnes in the first eight months of the year, announced the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The first eight months of exports marked a modest increase of 6.5 per cent in volume but a significant growth of 78.7 per cent in value, reaching $545 million, due to surging prices in the world market. Pepper export prices rose by 71 per cent year-on-year during that time, hitting an average of $5,599 per tonne.
Unprocessed Chu Se, one of the country’s most famous brands of pepper, currently sold for VND140 million ($6,698) per tonne, a VND20 million ($957) increase over just one week ago and far exceeding the price at the beginning of this year, said vice chairman of the Chu Se Pepper Association Hoang Phuoc Binh.
Binh attributed the good results to significant efforts by farmers in the Central Highland province of Gia Lai, home to Chu Se pepper, to improve the quality of pepper in order to earn higher export turnover.
Pepper prices in other production areas such as Xuan Loc District in southern Dong Nai Province, Dak Song District in the central highland province of Dak Nong and Chau Duc District in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province also increased, ranging from VND130-135 million ($6,220-6,459) per tonne.
Despite skyrocketing export prices, most farmers did not have sufficient remaining supply because they chose to sell their inventory to traders when the price reached VND100 million ($4,784), said head of the Viet Nam Pepper Association Tran Duc Tung.
With sufficient financial and market analysis capacity, large enterprises now hold the major quantity of pepper, he said.
The global demand for pepper has increased year-by-year as the supply has slumped significantly in some major pepper producing countries due to the influence of climate change, according to experts.
Viet Nam, the world’s leading pepper exporter, is forecast to export an additional 20,000 tonnes of pepper by year’s end, which will fall short of world market demands.
“Thus, there will likely be a surprise in the pepper prices during the remaining months of the year,” Tung predicts. — VNS