20 August 1997
Pepper prices soar
INTERNATIONAL black pepper prices have risen to about $5,800/t (£3,627/t), compared with about $2,000 at the beginning of the year, as a result of a worldwide pepper shortage.
White pepper has climbed from about $3,000/t a year ago to $7,000.
Some dealers suggest the deficit might be as high as 20,000t. However any shortfall is likely to be compensated by a drawing-down of stocks. Pepper can be stored in warehouses for several years without significant deterioration.
Part of the reason for the price hike is Indias relatively poor harvest
earlier this year. There was a similar situation in 1987-1988.