The Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) has forecast that the country’s production of the spice in 2014 will hit up to 125,000 tonnes, just equal to last year’s figure.

The association specified that the southern province of Dong Nai will see a 20 percent rise to 2,500 tonnes, while Ba Ria-Vung Tau will enjoy a 30 percent increase to 3,500 tonnes.

Contrastingly, Binh Phuoc southern province will see its pepper yield drop by 20 percent to 5,000 tonnes and the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai is predicted to face a 30 percent plunge to only 8,000 tonnes.

So far, the pepper hub of Binh Phuoc has finished harvesting in three quarters of its total pepper area, while Central Highlands localities have harvested one third.

VPA also reported that pepper prices have remained stable, with no remarkable difference compared to the same period last year.

At the same time, the association warned of a sharp drop in pepper production in the next several years when a large area of pepper trees become old and stunted.-VNA