Vietnam exports 85,000 tonnes of pepper

Hanoi, July 15 (IANS) Vietnam exported a staggering 85,000 tonnes of pepper, worth $554 million in the first six months of this year, making the country the world's top pepper exporter, according to Vietnam's General Statistics Office Monday.

The figures posted a year-on-year increase of 22.2 percent in volume and 17.3 percent in value, despite the average pepper export price falling over 4 percent to stand at $6,554 per tonne.

The US and Germany were the largest importers of Vietnamese pepper during the reviewed period, accounting for 33 percent of the country's total export value, reported Xinhua.

Demands from those two markets increased sharply, with their export growth reaching 93.5 percent and 20.4 percent respectively in volume, and 84.1 percent and 15.2 percent in value on a year-on-year basis.

The Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) predicted that this year the country would harvest about 90,000 - 95,000 tonnes, from 60,000 hectares of land under pepper cultivation.

VPA also reported that about 10,000-15,000 tonnes of pepper imported from other countries would be used for "re-export", bringing the total pepper amount eligible for export to 105,000 110,000 tonnes this year.

Last year, the country exported 119,000 tonnes of pepper, worth $808 million. Vietnamese pepper is now available in more than 80 countries and territories worldwide.