Pepper Prices Cross .₹ 700 a kg in April
Kochi: Indian black pepper prices have increased more than 25% in the past year to .₹ 709 per kg, spurred by low output and high domestic demand.
Traders expect production of 40,000 tonnes, much less than 53,000 tonnes projected by International Pepper Community (IPC), an intergovernmental organisation of major pepper producing countries.
“There are hardly any arrivals. It looks like the output could be even lower than 40,000 tonnes. Even in Karnataka, the crop is not good,” said Kishor Shamji, an exporter.
Karnataka is the largest pepper producer in the country.
Usually, pepper prices tend to go up towards the end of the year as supply diminishes. In the current season, though, with the prices having already touched .₹ 700 in April, traders are not ruling out the possibility of further appreciation to .₹ 800 in the coming months. The previous peak price has been .₹ 765 per kg.
At present, exports are taking place on imported pepper. Indian pepper is currently the costliest in the global market, at $10,800 per tonne. At $8,300, Vietnam the largest pepper producer, offers the lowest rate.
Indian exporters have been importing pepper from Vietnam and Sri Lanka for exports, which have fallen with the jump in prices.
As reports of pesticide residue has turned the buyers from Europe to Brazil, Vietnam still has a huge stock with it which could be exported in the coming months.