Black pepper prices lowest in seven years

Black pepper, one of the main agricultural products in the Central Highlands with the total area of 55,000 hectares accounting for 56.7 percent of the country, has seen prices falling to the bottom level of seven years for the last couple of months.
Farmers harvest pepper in the Central Highlands (Photo: SGGP)
Farmers harvest pepper in the Central Highlands (Photo: SGGP)
Local farmers have not sold their peppercorn, waiting for better prices. The prices reduced to VND100,000-103,000 a kilogram in March and April and furthered drop to VND80,000 so far.
While farmers have been storing peppercorn, businesses do not have enough the commodity for trading. Only few farmers in financial difficulties have agreed to sell the product at low prices.
Kieu Suong Company said that they have bought 30 percent of orders, the remaining of 70 percent are still in farmers’ stocks.
Dr. Tran Hong, acting head of the Central Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Service Institute, said that in reality farmers can earn profit at prices about VND80,000 a kilogram.
Sharing the same view, Mr. Hoang Phuoc Binh, deputy chairman of Chu Se Pepper Association in Gia Lai province, said that are profitable prices but not as farmers’ expectation.
He advised farmers to stop broadening cultivation and focus on taking care of existing plants, intensify organic methods to ensure no chemical residue and pepper quality.
Meanwhile, deputy chairwoman of Vietnam Black Pepper Association Nguyen Mai Oanh said that pepper price drop was inevitable because farming areas and output have been expanding while the world’s demand has been at a certain level.
Ms. Oanh said that farmers should be cautious while investing in pepper plants because they depend much on natural conditions. Two large farming areas including the Central Highlands and the southeastern region have been affected by drought and heavy rain.
Experts also warned farmers against increasing farming areas especially in provinces with unfavorable weather for pepper plants to prevent diseases and pests from developing and affecting pepper quality.

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