Vietnam brought in revenues of US$950 million from pepper exports from January to November this year, taking the number-one spot among the world’s pepper exporting countries, according to statistics from the International Trade Centre (ITC) released at a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.
According to the ITC, pepper export revenues worldwide totaled over $2.1 billion during the first 11 months of this year, of which Vietnam accounted for 44.2 percent.
The seminar, held to promote the export of Vietnamese pepper and other spices under the European Union–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), was hosted by the Vietnam Pepper Association.
From January to November, Vietnam shipped more than 212,000 metric tons of pepper to other countries, including over 183,000 metric tons of black pepper and nearly 28,000 metric tons of white pepper.
Despite the relative success of Vietnam’s pepper exporters compared to their global competitors, the total volume of the country’s pepper exports fell 14.9 percent, or over 37,000 metric tons, compared to the same period last year.
Still, the country’s pepper export revenue rose 3.9 percent, or $34 million, year on year.
|Employees work at a spice company in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thao Thuong / Tuoi Tre|
Pepper is considered a staple in many European cuisines, with Europe importing more than 90 percent of the world’s whole black peppercorns and 10 percent of the world’s ground pepper.
Europe and the U.S. are the largest importers of black pepper in the world. Combined, they account for one-third of the world’s pepper imports.
According to the Vietnam Pepper Association, only four Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam, have inked free trade agreements with the European Union.
Therefore, Vietnam has a distinct advantage over its pepper-producing competitors, such as Indonesia, India, and Malaysia.
Since EVFTA took effect, Vietnam’s ground pepper, chili, vanilla, close, and other spice exports to the European Union have been entitled to a zero-tax rate in this market.
“Enterprises should improve their capacity and change their operations in order to meet importing markets’ requirements on technique, quality of products, and human resources so that they overcome obstacles and ship pepper to large markets,” said Hoang Thi Lien, chairwoman of the Vietnam Pepper Association.
Vietnam expects to export 220,000 metric tons of pepper this year, allowing it to rake in an estimated $962 million and accounting for 55 percent of the world’s pepper output.
Last year, the country sold nearly 263,692 metric tons of pepper worth $948.7 million to other countries, news site VnEconomy reported.
In Vietnam, the area of pepper farms plunged to 130,000 hectares in 2022 from 152,000 hectares in 2017 due to the price drops and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
The country’s total pepper output reached 175,000 metric tons this year, down 10 percent over last year, according to the Vietnam Pepper Association.