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Pepper exports to China increased by 15 times
While the volume of pepper exported to a number of major consuming markets decreased sharply in the first four months of this year due to the impact of inflation and economic recession, the sales volume to China increased by 15 times.
The volume of pepper exported to China in the first four months of 2023 has far exceeded last year's figure. In the first four months of the year, Vietnam's pepper exports to China increased sharply while other main markets declined.
Data from the Vietnam Pepper and Spices Association (VPSA) shows that China has surpassed the US to become the largest pepper export market of Vietnam in the first four months of this year with a volume of 35,914 tons, an increase of more than 15 times (1,430%) over the same period and far exceeding the 20,498 tons that Vietnam exported to this market in the whole of last year.
In terms of proportion, China accounts for 35% of Vietnam's total pepper export volume compared to a modest 3% in the four months of 2022.
In April alone, Vietnam's pepper exports to China reached 9,995 tons, a decrease of 36.4% compared to the record 15,710 tons in March but an increase of 48 times (4,682%) compared to April 2022.
After nearly 3 years of lockdowns for COVID-19 control, China has accelerated Vietnam's pepper imports since the beginning of this year after the country lifted strict disease control measures and reopened the economy. In addition, the decline in pepper prices during the fourth quarter of last year, which lasted until the beginning of this year, was also one of the factors that pushed the Chinese market to boost purchases.
Meanwhile, the volume of pepper exported to some other large consuming markets decreased sharply in the first four months of this year.
The recovery of pepper exports to China is considered a relief, offsetting the decline in exports to other markets. Accumulated over the first four months of the year, pepper exports still achieved a growth of 32% over the same period last year, reaching 24,929 tons.
China's continued large purchases have pushed up pepper prices even though demand in other major markets such as the US and Europe remains weak. In addition, pepper growers, after selling a part to cover costs, have kept waiting for higher prices.
Accordingly, the domestic price of black pepper has increased sharply since the beginning of the year. Especially at the end of April, pepper prices had an "acceleration" after moving sideways in March.
As of May 22, pepper prices in the Central Highlands provinces ranged from VND 74,000 to 75,000/kg, an increase of 13-14% (VND 8,500-9,500/kg) compared to the end of the first quarter and an increase of 25% (VND 15,000/kg) compared to the beginning of this year.
The average export price of pepper to the market also increased by 50% in the first four months of the year, reaching about USD 2,414/ton.
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