19 January 1999
Vietnam hopes for pepper boost

BLACK pepper producers in Vietnam hope to revive their fortunes this year.

Exports fell last year to about 14,000 tonnes from 23,000 tonnes in 1997, a fall which helped push up world prices.

Rotterdam-based commodity traders Man-Producten last month predicted that this years Vietnamese crop will be higher than 1997.

But it forecasts production will only hit 20,000 tonnes of which 19,000 tonnes will go for export.

India is expected to harvest a record 75,000 to 85,000 tonnes of black pepper in the 1998-99 season (November to October).

Indian trade officials say there be a jump in the countrys exports – up to 45,000 tonnes from about 35,000 tonnes.

The International Pepper Community estimates 1999 world pepper production at around 200,000 tonnes, up 5.8% from 189,000 tonnes last year.

  • Financial Times 19/01/99 page 36