Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Oct 05, 2004
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Spices & Condiments
Global pepper production pruned to below 3 lakh tonnes
Kochi , Oct. 4
WORLD pepper production will touch 2,93,000 tonnes this year. This is 33,500 tonnes less than the projected 3,26,500 tonnes for 2004, against the production of 3,35,160 tonnes in 2003.
Mr S. Kannan, Director (Marketing), Spices Board, who has just returned from the International Pepper Community (IPC) meeting in Indonesia on September 27, told Business Line that pepper production in all IPC member countries - India, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka - had declined.
Indonesian black pepper production in 2004 will be 30,500 tonnes against 65,000 tonnes in 2003. However, production in the non-IPC countries showed an increase, although marginal. Projections for 2005 have put production at 2,98,000 tonnes, with an exportable surplus of 2,64,196 tonnes compared to 2,85,896 tonnes in 2004.
Domestic consumption in the producing countries also show a marginal upward trend. Total domestic consumption in 2005 is estimated at 1,19,200 tonnes against 1,15,600 tonnes in 2004. It was 1,14,650 tonnes in 2003.
Internal consumption in the country has increased steadily from 58,000 tonnes in 2003 to 59,000 tonnes this year. It is estimated to touch 61,000 tonne in 2005.
The steady growth in domestic consumption had kept internal prices above the international price, said Mr Kannan.
Average domestic price during January-August this year was Rs 73.46 a kg against Rs 76.36 the whole of last year, he said. The monthly average export price (f.o.b) during January-August stood at Rs 80.77 a kg, while it was Rs 83.85 in 2003.
The country's production has been dwindling between 60,000 tonnes and 70,000 tonnes from a total area of 2,23,060 hectare. "The main constraint affecting production is low productivity caused by continued cultivating of poor yielding vines, existence of senile and unproductive vines, losses due to pest and disease attack and drought, non-adoption of appropriate agronomic practices and unsteady market with price fluctuations," Mr Kannan said.
Vietnam has overtaken India in production and continues to top global production with 85,000 tonnes in 2003 and 2004. It is expected to maintain this in 2005 also, said Mr Kannan.
He said a Vietnam Government official had assured the IPC that "his Government is now preparing the formalities to join the IPC as a full member. The Government will be submitting the application to join the IPC in the last quarter of 2004," he said.
Cambodia also agreed in principle to become a member of the IPC soon.
Mr Kanann said the IPC meeting reiterated the need for increasing domestic consumption in all producing countries besides identifying and promoting new products and processes and promoting pepper in the new and emerging markets.
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