Black pepper is one of the most popular spices in the world, representing 34% of the total value of the spice trade in the world. Since the outbreak of COVID -19, the demand for black pepper has increased as it is linked with increasing immunity and several other health benefits. Currently, the global black pepper prices are fluctuating across the world. Furthermore, Vietnam, the second-largest exporter of black pepper, is currently witnessing volatile prices and increasing export volumes. Vietnamese spice is more popular in the United States (U.S) and countries across the European Union (EU) due to its mild flavor and taste.
As per the data reported by the Export-Import Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), the price of black pepper increased by 2-2.7% in mid-September compared to the prices recorded in August this year. The highest price was recorded in the Ba Ria - Vung Tau province, reaching USD 3.52 per kg followed by pepper price in Binh Phuoc USD 3.47 per kg and Dak Lak, Gia Lai, and Dak Nong where the prices ranged between USD 3.38 - USD 3.43 per kg. The increase in domestic prices was in line with the increasing trend of global pepper prices and export prices.
According to statistics from the General Department of Customs, Vietnam's pepper exports in August 2021 reached 17.63 thousand tons worth roughly USD 66.48 million. These exports were 33% less in volume and 30.1% less in value compared to the numbers recorded in July 2021. However, the exports were up 1.9% in volume and 53.5% in value compared to the same period last year. The export price in August 2021 has also shown a 4.4% increase as the recorded price reached USD 3,769 per ton. The average price recorded in the first 8 months of 2021 stood at USD 3,326 per ton, up by51.3% than in August 2020.
The prices for black pepper are also pushed further due to strict quarantine requirements of foreign partners and importers adding to the handling and logistic costs of pepper. As the COVID-19 infection level settles in Vietnam, the outlook for black pepper export prices is highly positive due to booming global demand for the immunity-boosting supply. Despite the price rise, Vietnamese farmers are being advised not to expand their black pepper crop to avoid the risk of oversupply. Increased black pepper production might create a glut in the market and result in crashing prices in the coming months.