After a period of sinking prices, pepper, called Vietnam’s "black gold", has increased in price by more than four times.
According to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Market Bulletin of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam's pepper export turnover in March 2021 is estimated at $86 million, with 30,000 tons, up 123.4% in volume and 120.9% in value compared to February 2021.
In the first quarter of 2021, pepper exports were estimated at 60,000 tons, worth $174 million, down 25% in volume and 1.4% in value year on year. The average export price of pepper was $2,879 per ton, an increase of 31.5% over the same period of 2020.
Statistics show that, in the first two months of 2021, exports of raw black and white pepper decreased compared to the same period of 2020. However, exports of ground black pepper and ground white pepper increased sharply. Thus, the structure of types of pepper for export has changed dramatically. Vietnamese traders reduced the export of raw pepper and increased the export of processed products.
As a result, the domestic raw material pepper price saw strong fluctuations in March. In the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau, pepper prices increased more than four times, from VND17,500 to VND73,000 per kilo.
Similarly, pepper prices in Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc also rocketed to VND70,000 to VND74,000 per kilo.
The increase, explained by the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was due to the decrease of supply while the demand rose.
In the first half of April, black pepper prices continued to remain stable at VND70,000-74,000 per kilo. Compared to the same period in 2020, the current black pepper price is two times higher (VND35,000-VND37,000 per kilo last April). Meanwhile, the price of white pepper is now VND108,000 per kilo, compared to VND57,000 per kilo in the same period last year.
Some pepper growers in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak said that although pepper prices are high, this year's crop output has decreased sharply, and ' in some places it has decreased by 30-40%.
Pepper growers are expecting that the price will exceed VND80,000 per kilo and possibly increase to VND100,000 per kilo by the end of this year as supplies are plummeting. Therefore, many people do not want to sell pepper right now but are waiting for higher prices.
However, Mr. Phan Minh Thong, Chairman of Phuc Sinh Joint Stock Company, a pepper trading firm, said that pepper harvest will end in late April. At that time, the pepper output will increase, plus with the amount of pepper from Cambodia, Indonesia and inventories, the pepper price may not be as high as at present.
In fact, the supply of this product is still abundant on the world market. Therefore, it is difficult for pepper price to rise to VND100,000 per kilo as some expected. Thong said that farmers should consider selling pepper at the right time to ensure profit.
Mr. Nguyen Nam Hai, President of the Vietnam Pepper Association (VFA), said that based on the current situation, pepper prices will not increase further, but will not fall as low as before. Vietnam is harvesting pepper, but the increase in pepper prices suggests that market demand is in place.
According to a survey of VFA, Vietnam's pepper output this year will decrease around 25% compared to the previous crop.
After a long period of sinking to the bottom and causing big losses for farmers, the price of pepper, often called "black gold", has skyrocketed.