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China Increases Pepper Imports from Vietnamese Market, Surging Eightfold Compared to Last Year

China Emerges as the Largest Pepper Importer, Holding 32.9% Market Share with an Eightfold Increase in Volume.

According to VPA, by the end of June 2023, Vietnam exported a total of 152,986 tons of various pepper types, including 138,377 tons of black pepper and 14,609 tons of white pepper. The overall export revenue reached USD 485.9 million, with black pepper contributing USD 417.9 million and white pepper USD 68.0 million. Compared to the previous year, the export volume increased by 21.8%, but the export revenue decreased by 14.6%. This decline can be attributed to the reduction in export prices in the first six months of the year, averaging USD 3,484 per ton for black pepper, a decrease of USD 879 per ton, and USD 5,011 per ton for white pepper, a decrease of USD 1,070 per ton compared to the same period last year.

By the end of June, Vietnam had exported a total of 153,000 tons of various pepper types, generating a revenue of USD 486 million. Despite a 22% increase in export volume compared to the previous year, the export revenue declined by nearly 15%, equivalent to USD 82 million. This discrepancy is attributed to the challenging global economic conditions in the early months of the year, leading to unfavorable export prices. Specifically, the average export price of black pepper was USD 3,484 per ton, representing a significant decrease of USD 879 per ton, while white pepper was priced at USD 5,011 per ton, reflecting a reduction of USD 1,070 per ton compared to the same period last year.

China's pepper imports increased sharply, Vietnam reshaped global market dynamics.

After reopening, China significantly boosts pepper imports from Vietnam. Specifically, in the first six months of 2023, China imported 50,369 tons, marking a staggering 798% increase compared to the same period in 2022 (5,609 tons) and a 1.7-fold increase compared to the corresponding period in 2021 (29,063 tons). With this substantial growth, China now holds a 33% market share of Vietnam's pepper exports. China's intensified purchasing has led to a sharp increase in domestic pepper prices in Vietnam from March to May. In 2022, due to the impact of Zero Covid policies, Vietnam's black pepper exports to the Chinese market only reached 20,498 tons, a 46.4% decrease compared to 2021 and the lowest level in the past five years. However, with China reopening, pepper export activities from Vietnam to this market have regained momentum.

Most major export markets have recorded growth in the first two months of the year. Other markets also experienced increased imports, such as the UAE with 2,655 tons, a 40% increase, the Philippines with 1,129 tons, a 36% increase. Exports have also risen to Senegal, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Bangladesh...According to VPA, Brazil, one of the major pepper-exporting countries, is currently in the harvesting season, forecasting a decrease in production due to heavy rainfall. Similarly, in Indonesia, the harvesting season starts in July and extends to September, with production lower than in 2022. India concluded the harvesting season in April with a production decrease of approximately 9% compared to the previous year.

In contrast, Sri Lanka experienced a slight increase, and Malaysia expanded by 2% in area and estimated production, reaching 23,000 tons, a 5% increase compared to 2022. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, the estimated production is 190,000 tons, a 3.8% increase compared to 2022.

In the long term, due to limited global supply and increasing demand from markets such as the United States, European Union, and China, pepper prices are expected to continue on a positive trend. In Vietnam, the remaining production is not substantial and is projected to conclude by August this year

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