Global pepper production during 2015 is likely to be higher by 38,000 tonne from the current year’s estimate of 3,36,200 tonne, according to reports of the 42nd annual meet of the International Pepper Community in Vietnam.
The meeting collates figures provided by member nations to arrive at production, consumption, and export figures for pepper.
IPC member countries are estimated to produce around 3,44,500 tonne , which is higher than last year’s estimate of 2,88,700 tonne.
The most interesting fact is that Indian pepper production is expected to almost double to 70,000 tonne from the 2014 production estimate of 37,000 tonne.
India is likely to import 13,000 tonne of pepper in 2015, consume 48,000 tonne and export nearly 26,000 tonne. The country is also estimated to carry forward nearly 18,000 tonne into 2016. The carry forward from the current year is estimated at 9,083 tonne.
It still remains the largest consumer of pepper from producing countries.
Bumper production in Karnataka is expected to boost production, sources said. Area under pepper farming in Kerala has declined drastically in the last few years due to lesser viability relative to other cash crops like rubber.
A study by Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre of Kerala Agricultural University earlier reported that area under pepper farming has come down by 24% in nine years, while production has declined by almost half in the same period due to declining productivity and increasing cost of production. Pepper in Karnataka has grown mainly in irrigated coffee plantations and is seen to be less monsoon sensitive.
Vietnam, the largest producer, is projected to have production of 1,20,000 tonne for the new crop, which is lower by 5,000 tonne from the current year’s estimate of 1,25,000 tonne.
The country is expected to export 1,35,000 tonne and import 20,000 tonne in 2015.
Production in Indonesia is projected to increase to 70,000 tonne from around 52,000 tonne in 2014. It is expected to export 50,000 tonne in the coming year. Malaysian production is projected around 22,500 tonne, marginally ahead from 20,500 tonne of 2014. Non-IPC countries are projected to contribute 30,000 tonne of pepper in the coming year.