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Surplus chilli held at borders

Update: May, 11/2015 - 08:57
Thousands of tonnes of chilli have been left sitting on trailers at the border gate with China in the northern province of Lang Son over the past week. — Photo tienphong

HA NOI (VNS) — Thousands of tonnes of chilli have been left sitting on trailers at the border gate with China in the northern province of Lang Son over the past week.

Nguyen Thanh Dung, a lorry driver, said that his lorry had been held at the Coc Nam Border Gate in Van Lang District for six days, damaging the 100 tonnes of chilli he had been hired to transport.

Dung added that some months ago, Chinese traders were buying chilli for VND52,000 (US$2.4) per kilogramme, so enterprises in the central provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Thanh Hoa had transported their chilli to the Lang Son Province to make the most of the competitive price.

Given the surplus of chilli , Chinese traders dropped their prices to VND25,000 ($1.1) per kilogramme.

A chilli dealer in Lang Son Province, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he had agreed a deal for more than 160 tonnes of chilli at the right price, but in the last week, Chinese traders said his goods were of inferior quality.

He was forced to drop his price to $1.1 per kilogramme, and suffered a loss of VND2 billion ($95,200).

Ha Thi Khuyen, a chilli grower from Xuan Mai Commune, Van Quan District in Lang Son Province, said that her family planted nearly 4ha of top quality chilli, but she couldn't find a buyer for her goods and was forced to destroy the crop before switching to maize instead.

Vi Van Tuan, chairman of the Xuan Mai Commune People's Committee, told Tien phong (Vanguard) newspaper that at the end of last year, the commune set up a project to plant chilli for export with participation of 12 households.

Local residents took out loans from banks to invest in the project.

The Phu Lam Joint Stock Company signed a contract with the commune to buy the products for VND5,000 ($0.23) per kilogramme, but reneged on the deal, said Tuan.

Director of the company Ma Thi Xim said that the commune had signed a contract to farm 5ha of chilli, but in fact it only cultivated a few hundred square metres. The resulting crop was not large enough to sell to Chinese traders, so the company refused to buy it. — VNS

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