After Sri Lanka, pepper importers eyeing Vietnam produce at MIP

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on June 19, 2020

Spot pepper prices continue to remain steady at ₹315/kg. File photo   -  THE HINDU

Taking cue from Sri Lankan pepper imports at MIP, importers are reportedly looking at bringing such shipments from Vietnam now.

Indications are that certain importers are trying Vietnam pepper at MIP with two tonnes as a test case after some parties had tried this method following the price drop below $2,000/tonne in 2017, said Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices.

Quoting January-May import figures, Shamji said the total imports were 8,205 tonnes in which EOUs imported 3,040 tonnes (37 per cent), while extractors shipped in 4,818 tonnes (59 per cent). Sri Lankan pepper for domestic use at MIP ₹500 was 345 tonnes.

Pepper farmers have requested the government and Spices Board to take steps to curb the entry of EOU-imported pepper into the domestic market. EOUs import pepper only for re-exports.

KK Vishwanath, Coordinator, Consortium of Black Pepper Growers Organisation, said EOUs are not supposed to sell imported pepper and what is happening here is some of them are offering the commodity in the domestic market. This is affecting the demand for locally-grown pepper and impacting the domestic growers hard.

Some of the EOUs are importing pepper through the loopholes in MIP norms and this needs to be carefully monitored by agencies such as DRI, Customs. “How can they sell the commodity at a reduced price of ₹300 in the domestic market after importing at an MIP of ₹500,” he said.

However, Emmanuel Nambusseril of Kochi-based Akay Natural Ingredients said that genuinely operating companies could not indulge in such illegal transactions because the government has banned the sale of black, white pepper and its products in the domestic market. This includes the sale of oleoresin also. “I think it is not correct to say that EOUs are doing such sales. May be some fake companies are doing it. But there should be some proof to this effect,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the Kochi terminal market, spot pepper prices continue to remain steady at ₹315/kg, witnessing a good demand from dealers and end-users. The primary market dealers as well as intermediaries have tried to market their produce, resulting in the sale of entire 24 tonnes offered. The increased demand for 520/500 G/L pepper resulted in good quantity business from Karnataka.

Published on June 19, 2020

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