The export price of pepper has plummeted, revealed the HCMC Vegetable and Fruit Import-Export Co. It has fallen US$1,000 per ton since early January to just US$1,500 per ton, and traders are concerned that low domestic output will prevent prices recovering.

With low output, Vietnam is unlikely to make much of an impact on the international scene, but exports for this year are expected to reach 42,000 tons. Main market destinations are Singapore, the Netherlands, China and the Middle East.

On the domestic market, prices in the last month have slipped by VNÐ300 to VNÐ21,000/kg. This represents a drop of VNÐ35,000-40,000 since the same period in 2000.