Cambodian pepper prices expected to rise next year

The price of Cambodia’s pepper is expected to increase to 20,000 riel ($5) per kilogram next year, thanks to the recovery of global economies.

The price of non-geographical indicator (GI) pepper was down to below $2.5 per kg in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit countries to close down the economy-related sector, said Mak Ny, president of the Cambodian Pepper and Spices Federation (CPSF).

“The reasons for the increase in the price of pepper exported to international markets in upcoming years is because some farmers gave up growing pepper during the period, and used low volumes of pepper in stock for export. So, demand for pepper made it difficult for traders to procure pepper to supply export markets,” he said.

For 2022, the price will be better than 2021 due to the pepper yield data being similar to 2021, but an increase in consumption as countries around the world reopen and boost consumption increase, he said.

According to the Cambodian Pepper and Spices Federation, pepper exported to international markets in 2019 priced averagely at 6,000 Riel ($1.5) to 9,000 riels ($2.25) per kilogram, and in 2020 the price increased to 12,000 riels ($3) per kilogram.

In 2021, the price of pepper is between 12,000 Riel ($3) and 17,000 riels ($4.25), and it is expected that in 2022, the price of pepper will increase to 20,000 riels ($5) per kilogram.

Each year, Cambodia exports about 20,000 tons of pepper to foreign markets, of which 70 to 80 percent is exported to Vietnam..

In addition, Cambodia exports pepper to the European market, most of which is GI-pepper produced originally in Kampot province.

Nguon Lay, president of the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association said that the association has sought to export GI pepper to China.

“The price of Kampot pepper is stable, secured by the GI status in markets, which is different from the non-GI pepper where the price always changes,” Lay said.

“We are pushing and seeking partnerships with exporters to push the commodity to China, a big market,” he said.

Ny echoed the sentiment.

“The Cambodian Pepper and Spices Federation hopes that pepper exports from Cambodia will expand to other markets to avoid relying solely on the Vietnamese market for export and currently, we have received orders from the Middle East and North African countries. This is good news for us,” Ny said.

GI-black pepper is priced at $1,500 per ton, while red and white pepper is priced at $2,500 and $2,800 respectively.