Pepper market shows mixed pricing response

The global pepper market showed mixed pricing in the week to February 19, the International Pepper Community (IPC) said in its latest Weekly Prices Bulletin.

IPC observed that black pepper prices in India and Sri Lanka increased, while in Sarawak (Malaysia) and Lampung (Indonesia) they decreased marginally. The local price of white pepper in Bangka increased, while in Sarawak it decreased.

“It is understood the increase of Malabar black in Kochi was due to significant fall of output from this year’s harvest,” the organisation stated.

The IPC noted that initial harvesting has started in Vietnam and output is expected to be better this year.

Meanwhile, buyers have returned to their offices from holiday and have started doing business. IPC finds that the market was more active over the last week. Under this situation, the local price of Vietnamese pepper in Ho Chi Minh city decreased slightly, the report explained.

The IPC suggested that the market situation in Vietnam, the largest global supplier, is likely to have influenced the slight downturn in prices in Lampung and Sarawak.

The report also observed that US pepper imports increased by 17% in 2015 to 80,360 tonnes.

The IPC finds that US imports of black pepper rose 10% to 53,290 tonnes while those of white were up 3% to 5,480 tonnes.

A significant increase of 45% was recorded for ground pepper to 21,590 tonnes in 2015.

The IPC explained that the increase in imports was in line with the rise in output, much of this upturn coming from Indonesia and India.

Although Vietnamese pepper production decreased in 2015, Vietnam still maintained its position as the largest supplier (41%) of whole pepper for the US, followed by Indonesia (25%) and Brazil (22%). Import of ground pepper was mainly from India and Vietnam. These two countries supplied 76% of ground pepper to the US. India accounted for 45 % and Vietnam 31%.

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