Pepper has high export potential with export turnover target of 1 billion USD this year. However, a long-term strategy to enhance the value added to this commodity is needed, the Vietnam Economic News reported.

In the first seven months of the year, pepper maintained steady growth in terms of quantity and price with exports reaching 119,000 tonnes, up by 29 percent compared to the same period last year, export value reaching 862 million USD up by 46.1 percent, and export prices up by 10.6 percent.

Vietnam’s largest pepper import markets are US, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and India, consuming about 46 percent of Vietnam’s pepper exports.

According to the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA), by the end of 2014, Vietnam’s pepper exports will exceed the target of 1 billion USD with exports hitting about 125,000-130,000 tonnes. Average pepper price in the Central Highlands and the South East were up to 188,000 VND per kg in July, higher from 42,000- 55,000 VND per kg compared with the beginning months of the year due to increased global pepper prices.

According to the Vietnam Pepper Association, pepper production under GAP standards is an urgent requirement for domestic pepper producers to ensure sustainable pepper export growth in the future.

Currently, Vietnam’s pepper has been sold to more than 90 countries and territories and has consolidated its foothold in the world pepper market. According to the International Pepper Community (IPC), that the total pepper supply in 2014 plus inventory is relatively small due to 15-20 percent decrease in pepper yield seen in some large pepper exporters such as India and Indonesia.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, pepper is placed in the commodity group with high export potential. However, the local pepper processing technology should be renovated in order to improve the value added to pepper exports.

Under a newly appoved plan to 2020 with a vision toward 2030, Vietnam’s pepper plantation area will be maintained at 50,000 hectares with an output of 140,000 tonnes in total.

According to the plan, high-quality pepper products will reach 90 percent. For product structure, black pepper will make up 70 percent while the rest will go for white pepper.

The plan aims to earn 1.2-1.3 billion USD from pepper exports by 2020.-VNA