Kochi, March 28
Exports of pepper, both whole and ground, to Japan declined in 2005, despite an increase in that country's imports of the commodity.
Shipments of whole pepper, which stood at 608 tonnes in 2003 and 666 tonnes the following year dropped to 416 tonnes in 2005. Similarly, exports of ground pepper dropped to 22 tonnes from 45 tonnes and 47 tonnes in 2002 and 2003 respectively. In 2004, it was 14 tonnes, according to International Pepper Community (IPC) sources.
Total imports of pepper into Japan in 2005 stood at 8,993 tonnes, comprising 7,193 tonnes of whole pepper and 1,298 tonnes of ground pepper. This is 846 tonnes or 10.39 per cent higher than the 8,147 tonnes imported during 2004.
Total imports of whole pepper increased from 6,652 tonnes in 2004 to 7,193 tonnes in 2005, an increase of 541 tonnes. Malaysia, Indonesia and India accounted for the bulk imports into Japan, supplying around 99 per cent or 7,096 tonnes of whole pepper.
In 2005, Japan imported 1,800 tonnes of ground pepper, of which 1,298 tonnes were in bulk and 503 tonnes in retail packs. Imports of ground pepper to Japan increased by 305 tonnes compared to total imports in 2004 at 1,495 tonnes. Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia were the major suppliers of ground pepper to Japan in 2005.