Top pepper producer Vietnam seen boosting 2016 exports by 13%

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An employee holds up a sample of black pepper that has gone through a machine that tumbles and rounds out the seeds, at the Pacific Basin Partnership Inc. processing plant in Hanoi. Photo: Bloomberg/Chip Chipman An employee holds up a sample of black pepper that has gone through a machine that tumbles and rounds out the seeds, at the Pacific Basin Partnership Inc. processing plant in Hanoi. Photo: Bloomberg/Chip Chipman

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Pepper shipments from Vietnam, the world’s biggest producer, will likely rise 13 percent this year, pushing down export prices, according to the chairman of the nation’s industry group.
Exports will climb to 150,000 metric tons from about 133,000 tons in 2015, Do Ha Nam, the chairman of the Vietnam Pepper Association, said in an interview. While production will also rise - by 10 percent to about 140,000 tons - he said output from the likes of India, Indonesia and Malaysia will probably decline because of the impact of El Nino, limiting the effect on global supply.
The average export price of Vietnamese pepper will drop from last year, while remaining higher than 2014, Nam said. The rate was about $9,500 a ton in 2015 and $7,750 the year before, customs data show.
“Vietnamese farmers still have relatively strong capability of controlling prices so prices may not fall much,” Nam said February 26 in a phone interview from Ho Chi Minh City. “Growers are still making huge profits so they aren’t holding back sales.”
The area of pepper plantings will rise to 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) this year, from 80,000 to 85,000 hectares last year, he said. The new vines will take three years to come into production, eventually dragging on prices, he said.

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