Pepper is hot

Exports expected to reach US$1.6 billion

10:09 | 03/03/2017 Trade

(VEN) - According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, pepper exports are expected to yield US$1.6 billion in 2017, 13 percent higher than in 2016. Although pepper production in a number of localities decreased in January due to pests and drought, it remains a major export in 2017.

Cleaner production has become a sustainable solution to improve export pepper quality

In 2016, Vietnam exported 177,000 tonnes worth US$1.42 billion, up 34.3 percent in volume and 12.9 percent in value over 2015. Pepper exports to Pakistan soared 3.14 fold, while those to the Philippines tripled, those to the US grew 31.3 percent, those to Egypt increased 23.2 percent, those to Spain were up 14 percent and those to India increased 12 percent.

Vietnam exported 8,000 tonnes of pepper worth US$56 million in January 2017, down 18 percent in volume and 37 percent in value compared to the same time last year. However, Vietnam has been ranked first in terms of pepper quality so exports in 2017 are expected to recover and reach a higher growth than in 2016.

According to the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA), despite some local decline due to pests and drought, the country’s total is expected to increase at least 15 percent. A VPA survey indicates that the country’s pepper cultivation area in 2016 was 15-20 percent greater than in 2015.

From 2010-2012, pepper cultivation areas kept expanding as prices rose. About 10-20 percent of pepper trees grown in this period are expected to be harvested in two to four months with a high average yield of five tonnes per hectare. However, in Bu Dop District (Binh Phuoc Province), Dak R’lap (Dak Nong Province), Cu Kuin and Ea H’leo districts (Dak Lak Province) and Dak Doa and Chu Puh districts (Gia Lai Province), the yield of more than 10 year-old pepper gardens, which are ready for early harvest, will decline some 30 percent compared to the 2015-2016 crop.

Particularly, in long-standing pepper growing districts including Chu Se and Chu Puh in Gia Lai and Ea Ktur and Cu Kuin in Dak Lak, pepper yield has dropped 60-70 percent, with some gardens yielding almost no fruit due to drought in early 2016.

Duy Minh