The exports of pepper during January-August 2016 period through Kochi port stood at 8,631 tonnes showing a drop of 46.61% as compared to 16,167 tonnes in the same period in 2015, according to data compiled by the Cochin Chamber. The total export at the national level is expected to have touched around 9,500 tonnes.
This drop in exports can be attributed to sharp fall in pepper production in 2015-16 at 48,500 tonnes against the domestic demand of 50,000 tonnes which in turn could have triggered the rise in prices. The part of the domestic demand is met by duty - imports from Sri Lanka under a free trade agreement.
According to Spices Board, exports of pepper during April-June 2016 fell to 4,300 tonnes valued at Rs 268.30 crore from 10,350 tonnes valued at Rs 612.15 crore in the corresponding period in 2015, registering a decline of 58% in volume and 56% in value. The unit value increased to Rs 623.95 a kg from Rs 591.45 last year and this phenomenon has affected the exports.