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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   29 October 2013  

Pepper industry aims high with $1 billion annual export target

The pepper industry is hoping to attain an annual export value of US$1 billion within the next few years, buoyed by increasing global demand for the staple.

Based on market forecasts, the Viet Nam Pepper Association (VPA) expects pepper exports to reach 130,000 tonnes this year with a market value of $850 million, an increase of $55 million over last year's figures and $157 million more than 2011.

VPA chairman Do Ha Nam said pepper prices had continued to go up in recent years, encouraging farmers to expand their pepper growing to regions without arable conditions, including the northern and southern areas in Lam Dong Province.

Statistics from the association showed that Viet Nam cultivates around 2,000 additional hectares of new pepper plantations each year. The area was expected to reach 60,000ha next year while Government figures place predict around 50,000ha by 2020.

It is said the average price of black pepper last month reached $6,471 per tonne, representing an $81 increase in comparison with last year and $834 per tonne higher than 2011.

He said Viet Nam had not wanted to sell black pepper however conceded the price of the ingredient last week climbed to $6,650 per tonne.

Viet Nam has been the world's largest pepper producer, thus allowing farmers and exporters to be active in controlling selling quantity. This has helped pepper prices fluctuate around VND110,000-130,000 per kilo for the past three years.

Vietnamese pepper is exported to more than 80 countries and territories, with the EU, Asia and the US being the largest importers.

Pepper is grown primarily in the provinces of Binh Phuoc, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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