Pepper remains key export item in 2017

Friday, 17 March 2017
The Ministry of Industry and Trade expected that pepper would remain a key export product for Vietnam this year, bringing home an export turnover of US$1.6 billion.
With an expected year-on-year export growth of 13%, pepper was hoped to be among the 13 commodities which would fetch an export value of more than US$1.5 billion in 2017, the ministry said.
Last year, Vietnam exported more than 179,000 tonnes of pepper for a turnover of US$1.44 billion, up 34.3% in volume and 12.9% in value year-on-year, according to the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA).
Among foreign markets posting the strongest surges in pepper imports from the country included Pakistan (up 314%), the Philippines (300%), the US (31.3%), Egypt (23.2%), Spain (14%), and India (12%).
In January 2017, Vietnamese pepper exports, however, experienced a yearly declines of 18% in volume and 37% in value to 8,000 tonnes and US$56 million, respectively.
Experts said they believed that as a leading exporter with some of the best pepper in the world, Vietnam would enjoy faster export growth in 2017.
Meanwhile, the VPA predicted the country’s pepper output would grow by at least 15% in the 2016-2017 crop although the yield in some localities could decline due to diseases and last year’s drought.
The output of the 2016-2017 crop would likely to increase 15-20% from the 2015-2016 crop, bringing this year’s pepper production to about 180,000 tonnes, the VPA noted.
Vietnam currently accounts for 32% of the world's total pepper output and holds more than 56% of world market share, according to the association.
Vietnamese pepper products are exported to 100 countries and territories, with Asia, Europe and the US being the biggest markets.
Do Ha Nam, the association's chairman, told Viet Nam News that new free trade agreements would open opportunities for the industry to boost exports but there are challenges, especially in ensuring quality, hygiene and food safety.
With import markets  such as the US and EU demanding higher food safety requirements, farmers, processors and distributors needed to focus more on safety and hygiene, he suggested.
Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s master zoning plan for the development of the pepper industry by 2020, the area under pepper cultivation would be 50,000 hectares, with average productivity of three tonnes per hectare and expected export revenue of US$1.2 billion to US$1.3 billion.
Binh Phuoc would have 10,000 hectares to become the country’s key pepper growing province, followed by Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and Dak Nong each with 7,000 hectares, Gia Lai with 5,500 hectares and Daklak with 5,000 hectares, according to the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA).
Other central provinces from Quang Binh to Ninh Thuan would also be allowed to grow pepper from hundreds to thousands of hectares only for each province./.

Nhật Phương (Nguồn