Pepper prices in Cambodia have soared since 2018 due to rising demand from Vietnam, insiders have said.
Cambodia Pepper and Spice Federation president Mak Ny told The Post that increased demand from Vietnam led to a significant recovery in pepper prices at the beginning of this year’s harvest season.
The prices of pepper have increased from 9,000 riel to 11,000 riel ($2.19 to $2.67) per 550g compared to the same period last year, he said. The prices of Cambodian pepper has jumped since the beginning of last month after the Vietnamese pepper harvest ended in April, he said.
“I think, maybe Vietnam’s pepper harvest this year is low and they are worried about a shortage of pepper because Vietnam is a big market distributor, so it buys a lot of pepper from us to stock. That’s why our prices are rising so fast now.
“The recovery in pepper prices is a positive sign for Cambodian farmers to adopt improved technologies and strengthen their techniques and approach to the cultivation of their pepper,” said Ny.
The Cambodia Pepper and Spice Federation was jointly formed in November 2018 by the ministries of Commerce, and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries with the aim to enhance the market and solve challenges in the sector, as the cash crop is currently facing depressed prices.
Viet Nam News reported that pepper prices in the country have increased compared to last year due to growing demand from China.
Vietnam Pepper Association President Nguyen Nam Hai said farmers in the country’s central and southern plateau regions sell pepper for between 48,000 and 50,000 dong ($2.06-$2.15) per kg.
Ny said the prices of Cambodian pepper started to decline in 2018, as global pepper production exceeded 500,000 tonnes a year while global pepper demand was 450,000 tonnes.
He said Cambodia’s pepper now relies 80 per cent on the Vietnamese market and around 15 per cent on the Thai market.
He estimates that this year’s pepper harvest yield on the Kingdom total 7,400ha of pepper will decline to around 16,000 tonnes, from 21,000 tonnes last year.
“Our pepper yields have been lower than last year because some farmers had to pay workers a fee because prices were too cheap last year, and poor weather conditions resulted in the crop having a low yield.”
KCCV Plantation Co Ltd general manager Neth Angkea told The Post that domestic pepper prices have really hit a record in this year’s harvest season.
Currently, he said, the retail price of pepper on the local market is $1.80 per 100g and $8 per 500g.
A Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report last year said the Kingdom exported 3,693 tonnes, up 53.17 per cent from 2,411 tonnes in 2018.
The exports went to Japan, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the US, Switzerland, Vietnam, Russia, the UK and India.