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Ground pepper exports to EU on the rise

G.K. Nair

Shipments of whole pepper decline on high prices

Kochi , June 16

Exports of ground pepper to the European Union are rising steadily, while shipments of whole pepper continue to show a sharp decline.

According to the International Pepper Community (IPC) sources, Indian shipments of ground pepper have increased from 904 tonnes in 2001 to 1,720 tonnes in 2005, while exports of whole pepper have slipped from 5,688 tonnes to 4,649 tonnes last year.

India's contribution to the EU, it said, was static at 11 per cent over the last four years, declining from 12 per cent in 2001.

High prices

The supply of whole pepper decreased but ground pepper supplies from India saw an increase.

Comparatively high prices in India have pushed down the shipments of whole pepper, while the thrust for value-added pepper has paved the way for the increase in its exports, industry sources here told Business Line.

Import of pepper into the 25 countries of the EU was static during 2001 - 2005 at around 59,000 tonnes annually. Imports of whole pepper showed a declining trend, while ground pepper imports increased from year to year.

During 2001, the total import of whole pepper into the EU was 54,616 tonnes, which jumped to 58,214 tonnes in 2002, then gradually decreased in the following years to 51,388 tonnes in 2005.

Vietnam top supplier

Imports of ground pepper increased from 2,076 tonnes during 2001 to 6,838 tonnes during 2005. The main supplier of pepper into the EU was Vietnam followed by Brazil, Indonesia, India and Malaysia. Import of pepper from Vietnam increased steadily, both for whole and ground pepper.

In 2001, Vietnam supplied 9,385 tonnes (9,260 tonnes of whole pepper and 125 tonnes of ground pepper) or 17 per cent of total pepper imports into the EU. During the following three years, the supply of pepper from Vietnam increased by almost three times, to 25,066 tonnes in 2004. In 2005, Vietnam supplied 25,841 tonnes (24,566 tonnes of whole pepper and 1,274 tonnes of ground pepper), amounting to 44 per cent of the EU's total imports of pepper.

Brazil, the second largest supplier to the EU countries, contributed around 19 per cent annually, with the exception of 2003, when it contributed 24 per cent. During the last three years, imports of whole pepper from Brazil decreased from 14,121 tonnes in 2003 to 8,897 tonnes in 2005. Import of ground pepper however, increased from 75 tonnes in 2003 to 2,351 tonnes in 2005.

Indonesia slips

In 2001, Indonesia was the main supplier of pepper into the EU, contributing 22,562 tonnes or 40 per cent, mostly white pepper. As the supply of white pepper from Indonesia decreased, the total imports of pepper from Indonesia also declined steadily, both for whole and ground pepper, to 6,721 tonnes in 2005, or only 12 per cent of the total imports.

Supply of pepper from Malaysia for both whole and ground pepper was also static, at around five per cent of the total imports annually.

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