Pepper buyers resistant to lower prices from Vietnam

Pepper harvesting is under way in Vietnam and new material from initial harvesting has already been reaching the market, the International Pepper Community (IPC) noted in its latest Weekly Prices Bulletin.

However, the IPC finds that trading is still not brisk as overseas buyers are expecting to get more competitive prices. The Vietnam Pepper Association has forecast that output this year will be better than predicted earlier and the country is expected to take advantage of this by lowering its pepper prices to boost its global sales.

The IPC report observed that the local price of Vietnamese black pepper decreased almost daily during the week. “When compared to last week, the average price decreased significantly by around 8%. In the US market a decreasing trend is also witnessed during the week under review,” it added.

Material from India’s new pepper crop has also already been in the market but this has had no significant effect on prices in India or the other countries, according to the IPC.

“Supported by huge internal demand, pepper market in India remained steady. In Lampung and Sarawak pepper prices were reported stable and a marginal increase was recorded for white pepper in Bangka and black pepper in Sri Lanka,” it explained.

The report also observed that Malaysia pepper exports in 2015 totalled 13,910 tonnes, consisting of 12,724 tonnes of whole pepper and 1,187 tonnes of ground pepper.

The export volume was down from the targeted figure of 14,500 tonnes, but 2% up from the 2014 total of 13,638 tonnes. The latter comprised 12,374 tonnes of whole pepper and 1,264 tonnes of ground pepper, the IPC noted.

In terms of value, export earnings of Malaysian pepper increased by 6% in 2015 to USD132 million from USD125 mln in 2014, the IPC said.

Japan remained the most important market absorbing 24% of pepper exported by Malaysia. China, Taiwan and Vietnam also imported significant amounts of Malaysian pepper.

Full year figures for 2015 from GTIS and the Department of Statistics Malaysia are not yet available, but the statistics for January-November from these combined two sources indicate that the IPC must be on the right track with its figures.

The GTIS data shows that Malaysia had shipped 12,998 tonnes of pepper to global destinations in the first 11 months of last year, which was 1.3% up from the same period in 2014. This generated a value of USD122.36 mln, which was 5.3% up from earlier.

Japan was indeed the top market over the 2015 period at 2,979 tonnes followed by Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam and China.

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