Indonesia, Vietnam to Shake Up Pepper Market

JAKARTA ~ Indonesia and Vietnam, two of the world’s top pepper producers, are to cooperate in the marketing of the black spice, an Indonesian industry executive said on Wednesday.

Producers in the two nations plan to establish a joint committee focusing on marketing, improving quality standards and compiling statistics, said Mustakim Wijaya, vice chairman of the Indonesian Pepper Exporters’ Association.

“The Vietnamese side wants the joint committee to be formed before the end of the year and we are working on this,” he said.

Together the two countries produce more than 45 percent of the world’s pepper supply.

Wijaya said the committee would meet annually to discuss the international market.

China and Brazil, two other major producers, have expressed interest in joining the committee and have sent observers to meetings between Indonesia and Vietnam, including a two-day meeting that wrapped up here on Tuesday.

Vietnam is the world’s top pepper exporter with a market share of about 33 percent, followed by Brazil with 15 percent and Indonesia with 13 percent.

Mustakim said that current world pepper supply remained well below demand, with a shortfall of about 47,500 tons estimated for 2007.

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