Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – 2017 is forecast to be a difficult year for Vietnam’s pepper, which has seen falling prices since the end of 2016, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

MARD said the pepper price has decreased by 35,000 VND (1.6 USD) to 120,000 VND (5.4 USD) per kilogram in the provinces of Gia Lai, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Dak Lak and Dong Nai, major pepper producers.

Do Ha Nam, President of the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA), said pepper output has increased over the years and this has driven pepper prices down.

Vietnam is the world’s largest pepper exporter, accounting for 50 percent of the global pepper trade, meaning a change in Vietnam’s pepper output entail changes in prices.

According to the VPA, the demand for pepper will continue to increase in the world market and farmers should improve the quality of pepper.

In the first two months of this year, pepper exports reached 16,000 tonnes worth 112 million USD, down nearly 20 percent in quantity and 36 percent in value.

The United States, India, Germany and the United Kingdom are Vietnam’s largest pepper consumption markets, making up 41 percent of Vietnam’s total pepper export.-VNA