Pepper imports from Vietnam double in Jan-April this year

During 2013 total import from Vietnam was 5,200 tonnes, this year 4,500 tonnes were already brought in just four months

Pepper import from Vietnam doubled during January–April, according to estimates by the ministry of agriculture and rural development of Vietnam.

India has imported roughly 4,500 tonnes, mainly for producing value-added items such as oil and oleoresin. India’s total export during the period was 4,620 tonnes. India’s total import (from all origins) is likely to cross 20,000 tonnes this year, which will be the highest.

India imported 15,600 tonnes of pepper in 2012-13 and 17,800 tonnes in 2013-14, as per the estimates of export traders in Kochi. In the previous financial year, the total import from Vietnam was 5,200 tonnes.

Growers told Business Standard that imported black pepper was being traded in major north Indian cities at a price lower by Rs 200 a kg than that of the local variety. This is a threat to the local growers, as the price dropped to Rs 690 a kg from Rs 735 a kg two weeks ago.

According to leading traders, the price advantage tempt manufacturers to import pepper. The local prices of pepper were higher by $3,000 per tonne. Currently, India offers ASTA grade pepper at $12,000 a tonne, while the price of Vietnam pepper is $8,200 a tonne. In the local market, the price had more than doubled in 12 months.

Towards the end of May, the price had increased to Rs 718 a kg as against Rs 350 a kg in May 2013. During this season, Vietnam is reported to have a production of around 150,000 tonnes, while India’s production confine to less than 35,000 tonnes, although the Spices Board projects 45,000 tonnes. The leverage of large scale production and productivity help Vietnam growers to offer much lower price tags than India and thus the country became the nerve center of world pepper trade.

According to the ministry, pepper export volume of Vietnam by the end of first four months of this year increased to 92,000 tonnes with a value of $ 645 million — an increase of 33.6 per cent in volume and 42.3 per cent in value. Exports to the US, Singapore and India surged heavily during the period and shipment to these countries accounted for 40.6 per cent of the total exports.

In particular, export to the US market increased 34.49 per cent in volume and 39.12 per cent in value. Shipment to Singapore increased 2.8 times in volume and 3.4 times in value and to India it rose more than two times in both volume and value. Notably, Pakistan’s market witnessed the strongest growth, nearly four times during the first four  months of 2014.

It is expected that in 2014, Vietnam pepper export will cross $1 billion mark  and  the yearly export will reach  a record high in the history of planting  pepper in Vietnam according  to the estimates of the  Ministry.

September 2019

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