Kozhikode: Pepper from Vietnam through free trade channels of Sri Lanka and under the guise of import to Nepal, resulted in the recent crash of pepper prices in local markets, believe market players.
The price of pepper which was Rs 610-620 per kilogram in February, before the harvest in South India, has nosedived to Rs 500 in May.
A noted trader in Wayanad, Anil Kottaram told this newspaper that the import of Vietnam pepper through free trade channels will be cost only around Rs 350 to Rs 400 per kg as the price is lower than Indian pepper. The trader can sell it for Rs 500 in the Delhi market whereas the price of pepper in domestic market itself is around Rs 500.
“As we have a trade agreement with Sri Lanka for import of up to 2,500 tons per year , pepper from Vietnam also makes way to India through Sri Lanka,” he pointed out.
Spice trading community is also afraid of the pepper import lobby in Nepal who import pepper referring the destination as Nepal, but sell out the freight in North Indian markets. Imported at Kolkata port, the freight will not reach Nepal, only the bill would go, they pointed out.
As per the production forecast of International Pepper Community, this year’s pepper production is 55,500 tonnes against 48,500 tonnes in 2016. The domestic consumption of pepper is around 51,500 tonnes....