Cambodia exported a total of 14,561.62 tonnes of peppercorn in the first half of this year, ballooning 398.67 per cent year-on-year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries reported.

The peppercorn – both geographical indication- (GI) branded Kampot pepper and non-GI cultivars – was shipped to 16 destinations, with Vietnam absorbing the lion’s share at 14,292.49 tonnes, followed far behind by Germany at 160.57 tonnes.

Other notable buyers were India (42 tonnes), France (19.1 tonnes), Taiwan (15 tonnes), Belgium (10.63 tonnes), Poland (7.9 tonnes), the Czech Republic (6.10 tonnes), Japan (2.58 tonnes), the US (1.75 tonnes), South Korea (1.55 tonnes), Sweden (1.29 tonnes), the UK (1.24 tonnes), Canada (0.52 tonnes), Switzerland (0.48 tonnes) and Russia (0.13 tonnes).

Cambodia Pepper and Spice Federation (CPSF) president Mak Ny told The Post on

July 8 that peppercorn demand and prices would start to pick up as yields fall in Vietnam, a leading regional producer and exporter.

“Vietnam will order some from Cambodia to replenish its stockpiles, so pepper prices will improve from this year onwards,” he said, voicing hope that this would inspire disheartened farmers to return to their fields with renewed determination.

Even so, non-GI has logged a remarkable price recovery, to 14,000 riel ($3.50) per kg from 10,000 last year, according to Ny.

“Members of the federation continue to order from farmers as planned, but they are hampered by domestic and international shipping rates, especially ocean freight, which has now tripled,” he said.

The prices of GI Kampot pepper have remained unchanged for over five years – $15 per kg for black pepper, $25 per kg for red pepper and $28 per kg for white pepper, according to Kampot Pepper Promotion Association (KPPA) president Nguon Lay.

In 2020, 70 tonnes of GI Kampot peppercorns were purchased by exports to ship to more than 50 countries, mostly in Europe, he said.

Cambodia exported 4,454,505.33 tonnes of agricultural products in the first half of this year, surging by 84.64 per cent year-on-year, according to Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon on June 30.

This was 2,041,982.72 tonnes more than the 2,412,522.61 tonnes recorded in January-June 2020, the minister pointed out via Facebook.

Shipped out to 62 countries and territories, the goods were worth more than $2.571 billion, based on exporters’ invoices, he said.

The Kingdom’s main agricultural exports were classified as milled rice, cassava, mangoes, fresh bananas, peppercorn, cashew nuts, corn, soybeans, mung beans, palm oil, tobacco, chilli and assorted vegetables.