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Pepper exports expected to remain high this year

Update: January, 29/2014 - 14:41
A farmer airs pepper in the Central Highlands. Pepper export values are expected to total $900 million this year. -- Photo giacaphe.com

HA NOI – The Viet Nam Pepper Association expects pepper exports to remain stable at high levels this year, amounting to 130,000 tonnes in volume and earning US$900 million.

According to the association, the demand in the world pepper market would be stable and the export prices of pepper would remain high this year.

The association has organised two teams to study the growth of pepper trees in two provinces of Dong Nai and Ba Ria - Vung Tau, the two largest pepper producers in Viet Nam, reports Thoi bao Kinh doanh (The Business Times) newspaper.

That research helps the association to forecast the output of pepper, its supply and demand and the export prices this year.

It estimates the pepper output in the two provinces to increase by an average 20 to 30 per cent, or by 6,000 tonnes over last year. The selling price of pepper in the two provinces after harvest would be between VND130,000 and 140,000 per kilogramme.

VPA chairman Do Ha Nam said after working with farmers and authorities in the two provinces, they understand that the farmers and authorities expect enterprises and traders to buy pepper directly from the farmers without any intermediaries.

Therefore, the association will update the market information, analysis and supply and demand forecast this year to give advice on pepper trading for farmers and enterprises in order to gain from efficient export activities, Nam said.

Additionally, the enterprises should boost trade promotion, market research and advertising activities for their pepper products in the domestic and foreign markets, he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will check the area under pepper cultivation nation-wide to have a plan for stable production regions.

The ministry would cooperate with the VPA in directing pepper processing factories to diversify their products, aiming at increasing the added value of products. This is because the pepper industry has exported mainly black pepper products at low prices, while the output of high-priced white pepper and ground pepper products is still low. The average export price is $6,471 per tonne for black pepper and $8,911 per tonne for white pepper.

The enterprises must promote quality control of inputs and raw materials of pepper, the processing process and preservation to improve product quality and ensure food hygiene and safety.

According to the ministry, last year there was a year-on-year increase of 14.1 per cent in the export volume of pepper that touched 133,000 tonnes, and of 13.6 per cent in the export value of the product that amounted to $901 million. Meanwhile, the export price of pepper last year was reduced by 1.63 per cent to end at $6,681 per tonne.

The US and Germany are the two largest export markets of Vietnamese pepper out of a total 80 export markets, and account for 30 per cent of the total exports.

Nguyen Trong Thua, director of the Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Products and Salt Production, said last year was a successful one for the local pepper industry with increases registered in both the volume and value of the product.

Viet Nam has 13 factories processing high-quality pepper products with a total capacity of 60,000 tonnes per year. – VNS

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