The global pepper demand seems to have been lifted by the start of the Indonesian harvest.
However, traders pointed out that the pepper production reports from that country are conflicting with a section of international buyers’ estimate of the volume being at 50,000 tonnes — Indonesian exporters put the figure to below 20,000 tonnes. Despite the fact that the headquarters of the International Pepper Community is in Jakarta, receiving actual information on production, exports and domestic consumption is proving to be difficult.
After Indonesia, traders said that Brazil is next in line to start harvest; the production of light pepper berries has already begun. That said, international buyers feel that pepper prices are likely to be stable in the coming months as the Indian harvest will come next, followed by Vietnam.
According to Kishor Shamji of Kishor Spices, pepper consumption in India as well as in other countries is on the rise because of lower prices. The overall industrial demand in India is moving up since the country needs a minimum of 5,000 tonnes of pepper in a month for domestic use. Globally, the US, China and India are the top three pepper consumers.
Meanwhile, the Kochi market price on Tuesday was up by ₹1 per kg at ₹319 on an offtake of 25 tonnes. The rising demand from end-users has activated processors to cover farm-grade pepper along with imported stuff from Sri Lanka, said Shamji.
He pointed out that the takeovers of Indian spice manufacturing companies by international players is likely to benefit the consumer demand for ready-to-eat food as well as ready-to-use spice packs from the traditional way of trading.
The processing community could also derive benefits out of this through timely raw material supply to meet the production requirements of these companies.
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