Commodities

Pepper shipments down 47% in January-August

GK Nair Kochi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 14, 2016

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Pepper exports from the country during January-August 2016 have shown a sharp decline from that of the corresponding period last year, while imports have increased during this period, according to market sources.

According to statistics from the Cochin Chamber, total exports in January-August 2016 via Kochi port stood at 8,631 tonnes against 16,167 tonnes in the same period in 2015, recording a decrease of 46.61 per cent.

At the national level, total exports might have touched around 9,500 tonnes, they said.

Sharp fall in pepper production in 2015-16 at 48,500 tonnes against the domestic demand of 50,000 tonnes and a consequent rise in prices could be attributed to the drop in the exports, Kishor Shamji, an exporter, told BusinessLine.

In fact, he said, part of the domestic demand is met by duty — imports from Sri Lanka under a free trade agreement.

Parity of Malabar pepper remained much above other origins by around $2,000 a tonne during the period and, as a result, overseas buyers turned towards other origins, mainly Vietnam, he pointed out.

At present, the difference between Malabar and other origins i.e., Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil is hovering at around $3,000 a tonne, he said.

Vietnam was offering now Asta grade at $7,500 a tonne, while Indonesia was in the range of $7,500-7,800. Brazil was quoting $7,200.

At the same time, imports have showed an increase of around 16 per cent and stood at 12,081 tonnes against 10,418 tonnes during January-August 2015.

According to Spices Board sources, exports of pepper during April-June 2016 fell to 4,300 tonnes valued at ₹268.30 crore from 10,350 tonnes valued at ₹612.15 crore in the corresponding period in 2015, registering a decline of 58 per cent in volume and 56 per cent in value.

The unit value increased to ₹623.95 a kg from ₹591.45 last year and this phenomenon has affected the exports, they said.

Much of the exports are from the industry which imports pepper for value addition and re-export, they added.

Published on October 14, 2016
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