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Exports struggle to pick up price of pepper

Update: September, 18/2012 - 10:42
A pepper farmer sifts through his crop. Profits have been slipping through the fingers of many farmers, as weak export prices push many pepper producers close to the brink. — VNA/VNS Photo Sy Huynh
HA NOI  (VNS)—The export price for Vietnamese pepper fell by 13.8 per cent in August to US$6,500 per tonne against July, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Nguyen Viet Chien, director of the ministry's Information and Statistics Centre, said the reduction in the export pepper price was due to high supply in the world market and low demand for pepper in Europe and Western Asia.

The export price of Vietnamese pepper was expected to continue reducing until the end of this year, Chien said.

Until this year end, the local pepper exporters would have pepper exports under signed export contracts and continue to wait for an increase in the export pepper price, he said.

The fall in price pushed the export value of pepper in August down by 12 per cent against July to $57 million, while the export volume of pepper in August surged lightly by 0.82 per cent month-on-month to 7,000 tonnes, he said.

However, the average export price of Vietnamese pepper in the first eight months saw a year-on-year increase of 25.3 per cent to $6,855 per tonne.

The nation gained a year-on-year increase of 3.7 per cent in total export value of pepper in the first eight months to $581 million but had a year-on-year decrease of 16.7 per cent in export volume to 83,000 tonnes of pepper.

In case world prices fall, farmers could have the choice of keeping their harvested pepper in stock to wait for prices to rise again, said the Viet Nam Pepper Association (VPA).

As a result of this, the VPA has warned pepper enterprises that they need to act with caution when deciding on purchase prices or signing any import and export contracts to avoid risks.

Viet Nam this year can earn up to $780 million from its pepper exports if the price of pepper remains at a high of more than $7,000 per tonne, said the association.

The total pepper export volume would reach between 110,000 and 115,000 tonnes.

Today, Viet Nam continues to be one of the world's leading pepper exporters, accounting for 40 - 50 per cent of the global volume. — VNS

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