The Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development (DFPPM), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has forecast that pepper prices will struggle to recover in July and the rest of the year.
Many pepper farmers have shifted to other crops due to the continuing decline in prices and outbreaks of diseases.
The DFPPM suggested helping farmers and producers to form cooperatives and associations to provide technical training and ensure consumption.
Planning was also needed to stop pepper farmers from growing huge crops as in previous years. In addition, localities need to promote and build brand names for each region to develop sustainably, the DFPPM said.
Drop in pepper prices
The Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced recent drops in pepper prices in June.
The price of black pepper on the domestic market decreased by between 4.4 per cent and 7 per cent compared to the previous month. The lowest price was VND53,000 (US$2.3) per kilo in Dong Nai Province, while the highest price VND55,000 per kilo in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province.
The price of white pepper stood at VND97,000 per kilo in June, stable compared to May, but lower than the VND117,000 per kilo in the same period last year.
Pepper prices have fallen due to abundant supplies. In the first six months of 2018, prices fell by VND16,000 to 17,000 per kilo compared with the end of 2017.
According to the latest research conducted by Viet Nam News, on July 10, pepper prices reached a low in Gia Lai of VND51,500 per kilo, but peaked in Ba Ria-Vung Tau at VND54,000 each kilo.
In recent years, the growth of pepper plantations has risen, reaching about 152,668ha and exceeding a plan for 2030 set by MARD by more than 300 per cent. According to the Viet Nam Pepper Association, oversupply and falling prices mean Viet Nam should reduce its black pepper plantations by 26.7 per cent.
Pepper exports down
In terms of exports, pepper in June totaled 23 thousand tonnes valued at $75 million, down 0.4 per cent in volume and down 0.2 per cent in value against May; and up 0.3 per cent in volume but down 30.7 per cent in value against the same period last year.
In the first half of 2018, pepper exports were estimated at 133 thousand tonnes, valued at $457 million, up 5.9 per cent in volume but down 35.7 per cent in value.
In June, the average export price of pepper was estimated at $3,261 per tonne, up 0.2 per cent compared to May 2018, but down 30.9 per cent from June 2017. In the first six months of 2018, the average export price of pepper was about $3,439 per tonne, an on-year decrease of 39.3 per cent.
The Import-Export Department forecasts pepper prices will continue to fall due to oversupply. According to the International Pepper Community, over the past five years, stockpiles have increased by about 20,000 tonnes a year. It is expected that in 2018, pepper inventory from the previous crop will reach about 104,000 tonnes. — VNS