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Spices (peppers): overview of world markets


  • Harvest in Vietnam started this month, with an expected crop of 218KMT. Selling by speculators in order to liquidate old stock caused additional downward price pressure during the start of January.
  • Brazilian crop in Espírito Santo is being harvested, while the harvest in Para is finished. Buying interest from Latin America is absorbing most of the supply. Brazil is expected to see strongest growth this year compared to other origins, with a 17 KMT increase versus last year, to c. 82KMT.
  • As India is also expecting a record crop of 92KMT, global stocks will likely continue to increase.



  • Vietnam exported 222KMT of pepper in 2017 (up 24% yoy).
  • Brazil exported 62KMT during 2017 (up 92% yoy), with exports into North America and Europe increasing 63% and 53% resp.
  • Vietnam’s crop is expected to be 218KMT (+4%) this season, as younger vines compensate for yield loss in older vines.
  • As India is expected to have a record crop of 92KMT this year, and initial berry setting in Lampung also looks promising, we expect a record crop of 575KMT this season.
  • Following the above, global stocks can be expected to increase both in producing countries as in consuming countries, as we continue to be in a period of excess production.



− Vietnam entered its harvest, which will pick up after lunar New Year. This, together with selling pressure from the liquidation of old stock will push prices down. Hence, Vietnam will likely replaceBrazil as cheapest origin soon.

 − The government of India has issued a Minimum Import Price of INR 500/kg, which makes exporting into India more difficult, essentially increasing availability elsewhere further. The decision encourages speculators / farmers to hold back pepper, which may support prices in short term, however in the midterm we expect the bumper crop to trigger selling pressure.

− With already significant stock levels in origin, the record arrivals expected in Vietnam, India and Brazil over the next 3 months will put further pressure on prices, which already dropped by up to 60% over the last 24 months.


Table 1. Pepper: price level for popular categories by producer countries

Type Origin Quality US$/MT Change (%)
Black Pepper Vietnam FAQ 550gl 3200 (12.3%)
Black Pepper Brazil FAQ 550gl 3075 (10.9%)
Black Pepper India FAQ 550gl 6635 (5.9%)
Black Pepper Indonesia (Lampung) FAQ 550gl 3920 (2.5%)
White Pepper China FAQ 6500 (9.7%)
White Pepper Indonesia (Muntok) FAQ 5170 (11.2%)
White Pepper Vietnam DW 4800 (9.4%)

1) FOB prices. Change shown versus last month.

2) Next three months includes production and consumption, it excludes imports/exports