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January 24, 2008

VIETNAM/TRADE
Vietnam tops list of world pepper exporters

Vietnam will keep its top spot as the greatest pepper exporter in the world, according to Do Ha Nam, chairman of the Vietnam Pepper Association.

The country is expected to export 90,000 - 100,000 tonnes of pepper this year, an increase of 10 per cent over last year. The figure was based on the associations surveys in pepper planting zones. Production was estimated to double last years output in provinces such as Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong.

The export price was expected to either remain the same or to increase over last year but the concrete price has not been forecast. The group was worried over stockpiling that took place last year which led to a lack of supply for domestic export and production enterprises.

"We don’t dare to forecast the pepper export concrete price this year as the farmers stored the pepper to elevate the price, causing problems for domestic producers," said Nam.

Vietnam's pepper export should be favourable this year with surging global market demands, caused by a decrease in pepper planting in other countries. At present, pepper prices are high in the world market with India's pepper offered at US$3,900-US$3,950 per tonne; Vietnam's at US$3,320-US$3,500 per tonne and Brazil's at US$3,300 per tonne.

He emphasised that to develop the pepper sector, its necessary for Vietnam to maintain pepper planting of around 50,000ha, invest in the sector to increase output and quality and guarantee product safety levels.

Last year, the country earned nearly US$300 million in pepper export profits, the highest in the last decade and up 29 per cent over the previous year. Vietnam has more than 100 pepper export and production enterprises, including four foreign-invested enterprises. Vietnam's pepper output accounts for almost half of the world pepper market.


Courtesy VNA

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