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Pepper exports to US decline

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Value addition gains

G. K. Nair

Kochi, March 2

While pepper exports to the US have decreased in recent years, shipments of value-added products such as crushed and ground pepper to theincreased.

The declining trend in exports of whole black pepper to the world's largest pepper market is due to the high domestic demand, consequent uncompetitive prices and stiff competition from other origins.

However, the country had been able to raise its shipments of value-added pepper products to the US.

The total pepper imports into the US during 2005 increased by 1.4 per cent to 66,895 tonnes, comprising 52,152 tonnes of whole black pepper, 7,248 tonnes of white pepper and 7,495 tonnes of ground pepper.

Largest supplier

Vietnam was the largest supplier to the US, supplying around 20,226 tonnes of pepper or 30 per cent of the total US imports in 2005, according to International Pepper Community (IPC) sources.

Indonesia was the second largest, exporting 18,221 tonnes or 27 per cent, followed by Brazil with 15,479 tonnes (23 per cent) and India with 7,115 tonnes (10.64 per cent).

Altogether, exports into the US from IPC countries, including Malaysia and Sri Lanka, which exported 338 tonnes and 270 tonnes, respectively, amounted to 61,650 tonnes or more than 92 per cent of the total imports into the US.

Other non-IPC countries contributed 7.8 per cent or 5,246 tonnes of pepper to the US.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 3, 2006)
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