After Lunar New Year, highland farmers back to normal life. They start harvest black pepper in their farms. Hence, the peak season of black pepper in Vietnam used to be at the end of Feb/ early March every year. At that time, the price of this spice should be the cheapest in a year. There are 2 exceptions when prices were coming down after peak seaon of black pepper. Those were 2016 and 2017 when the production were over supplied.
(Black Pepper Whole ASTA 5MM Bold ETO Sterilized)
The total exporting quantity of Vietnamese black pepper was more than 288,000 tons in 2020. It was increased 5% in compared with 2019 crop. However, there were almost 30,000 tons imported from Brazil, Indonesia then re-exported. Thus, the pepper crop 2020 was reduced in quantity. It was proved the analysis issued by IPC that indicated 2020 crop of Vietnam reduced production 15-20%.
What is happening in 2021 when king spice’s price keeps moving up every day in peak season March?
Back to December 2020, some experts visited pepper plantations in Dalak, Dongnai, Binhphuoc, Baria Vungtau. They analysised, calculated the production of and reported that 30-40% production reduced in the main plants!
After 3 years growing black pepper without margin and with losing money, farmers are being tired. Many farmers remove pepper tree and grow avocado, durian. Thus, cultivated areas were narrowed. Pepper market adjusts according to supply and demand. The prices of black pepper increase when supply reduce.
(Black Pepper 500gl FAQ)
For past 3 decades, the circle of black pepper price is 10 years. It goes up for 6-7 years and goes down for 3-4 years. And price of black pepper hit its bottom level since March 2020. At that time, price was $1500 per ton for raw black pepper. After that, price started moving up and up. It seems the new circle was started since middle of 2020. It was the same as 2010. Prices of black pepper were increasing year by year until 2016.
(Black Pepper Ground mesh 28 ETO sterilized)
The international demands for black pepper keeps moving up around 2% every year. The world needs about 600,000 tons of this spice. And Vietnamese black pepper takes almost 50% market share. However, the price of Vietnamese pepper is cheaper than other original such as: Indian, Malaysian pepper. For past years, the farmers use Chemical to kill insects, fungus on pepper trees. As result, the pepper corn has pesticide residual over limited range. Some shipments of Vietnamese black pepper were rejected by EU customs due to high pesticides.
Thus, in the long run, the pepper manufacturer/ factory should cooperate with farmers to train them for organic cultivation. And they need to assure buying organic pepper production in one year as Fair Trade program.
(White Pepper Ground mesh 60 ETO sterilized)
Finally, there is still lot of pepper in Vietnam. And it is being quoted the cheapest prices in March. Thus, if we are importers/distributors/suppliers of black pepper, wer could consider to buy 60-70% of yearly needs in March 2021.