Pepper exports fetched 328 million USD in the first 11 months of the year, an increase of 11.5 percent over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Export volume increased by an even more substantial 52 percent during the period to 128,000 tonnes.

Both figures easily surpassed targets set earlier for the year of at least 100 million USD in export value and 100,000 tonnes in volume. These targets were now seen as highly conservative, as they were set during the worst days of the global economic downturn in late 2008.

Last month alone, the nation’s pepper exports totalled 10,000 tonnes, worth 32 million USD.

Pepper prices were also on the rise, noted Nguyen Viet Chien, director of the Statistics and Information Technology Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Vietnam ’s pepper output this year will reach an estimated 130,000 tonnes, 5 percent greater than last year’s total. Global pepper production will reach only 310,600 tonnes, 8,000 tonnes less than in 2008, according to the International Pepper Commission, which attributed the decline to bad weather and disease.

Vietnam ’s leading export markets include the US , Germany , the Netherland, Egypt , India , and Russia . In the first 10 months of this year, the US imported 12,600 tonnes of pepper from Vietnam , worth 36.32 million USD, while Germany imported 12,080 tonnes, worth 33 million USD./.