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Market Aanlysis on Black Pepper Exports
Vietnam Despite unparalleled global business disruptions triggered by COVID-19, closing third quarter of 2020, Vietnam managed to export roughly 223,082 tons of Pepper with an estimate 5% drop from last year same period. As of FH Q4- 2020 third week October, they have managed to export approximate 15,405 tons with a summed-up total of approx. 240,000 tons for the first 10-month period this year. We have seen as both importers and exporters ride out the market fluctuations from Q1-2020, slowly recovered by Q2 and then managed to stay sharply firm at Q3. Local market price was able to stay at an average 50k dong/kg to a whooping 55k dong/kg FH of Q4. Although trading activities have shown dullness for almost four (4) consecutive months (Jul-Oct), sellers remain unaffected and fixed with firm offers mainly because of the continuous local coverings, FDI attractions and regain of China demands.
Furthermore, it was quite clear that the exports percentage drop was predominantly influenced by the heavily reduced inputs of Chinese importers during the peak of COVID-19 outbreak. This low trend is about to change as China begins to dominate the market this Q4 to cover their needs. Another major stir at Q3 was the peak season surge in freight carrier (GRI), pushing Asia to US bound to rose almost a 100% from the usual. This could be attributed to the after months of cancelled and blank sailings to a sudden momentum gain of required bookings from shippers. By beginning of fourth quarter period, month of October, the focal attention shifted to the current La Nina episode. Vietnam have started to experience the first wave of the abnormal weather pattern, mostly in Middle and Central Highlands of which three (3) pepper growing provinces such as Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Gia Lai are situated. Earlier it was initially reported that next year crop will be lesser due to some pepper farmers forsaking their pepper plants. This could worsen with the current situation. If persists, an estimate of 5-7%+ damage due to La Niña is expected. In general, pepper planted area is reduced. Several pepper containers which were blocked for clearance by Nepal government due sudden import ban have finally reached back to Vietnam Port after a period of seven (7) months being held at Kolkata and Nepal dry port. As per news, Nepal government may lift ban on imports of pepper and other commodities in the month of November 2020. Indonesia— a hype in demand for Indonesia Black Pepper was seen due to low offers during harvest period as compared to other competitors. However, beginning Q4 market price slowly became firmer due to the strength of Indonesia Rupiah currency and possibly thinning stocks.
Brazil Sundried Pepper, which is produced mainly in North of Brazil (Para) has been heavily bought by major European Industries and Traders. This region has produced less in 2019 and likely to finish their crop by End of Nov/Dec. Thus, almost all suppliers nowadays are withdrawing as farmers are beginning to build up their safe stock position. Espiritu Santo, South of Brazil is experiencing a dry weather which may lower the output of their crop in January 2021. Both origins shippers complain of low-density issues and several shipments have been delayed due to unavailability of high-density material.
Vietnam mid third quarter, the issue in EU compliance MRL in Chlorate/Perchlorate was the talk of the town. The issue soon faded down late September when VN suppliers immediately adapted with the EU’s fastidious market requirement. The fast recovery a month after China demands for White levitated by SH October contributing to the firmness of VN origins and seller’s lack of selling pressure for other importing countries.
Indonesia Muntok level of demands boosted due to two factors: 1) few expected stock due to damaged crop, 2) the issue of VN origin in EU. Price soon stabilized but still considerably at a high range if compared to last year period level of pricing. Fourth quarter, suppliers are holding their offers for the time being, not keen in taking bids.
2018-2020 Vietnam Pepper % Change Overview Per kg Raw Price Month-wise comparison in Dong Currency
Month 2018 2019 2020
Jan 65.07 48.73 39.85
Feb 65.96 45.18 37.02
Mar 55.47 45.84 37.71
Apr 59.87 44.45 38.06
May 59.90 44.55 45.15
Jun 56.68 46.38 51.19
Jul 53.85 39.90 48.85
Aug 50.43 44.24 48.84
Sept 51.53 41.67 49.54
Oct 57.45 41.14 55.00
Nov 58.73 40.98
Dec 53.89 53.53
Annual Ave 57.40 44.72 44.92
Ocean Freight Update
Asia – North America (Transpacific Eastbound)
GRI October 15: waived
GRI November: Likely implemented
Carrier equipment shortages and capacity constraints are at all- time difficult levels. Vessels from all major carriers and POLs are booked out at 100%+ capacity and are delaying releasing of SO. Sources said capacity constraints will continue through the rest of Q4.
Asia – Europe (Far East Westbound)
GRI October: Partially implemented/ some extensions by carriers.
Fast recovery post Golden Week. Market expected to be very strong in Oct/Nov. There is still severe equipment shortage, and it is necessary to be flexible on equipment substitution where possible (40’ST and 40’NOR instead of 40’HC).
2019-2020 Brazil Pepper % Change Overview Per kg Raw Price Month-wise comparison in BRL Currency
ANALYSIS / OBSERVATIONS:
- Aggressive and discounted shippers’ of 2020 season are now extremely cautious, and their levels are now in par with other shippers. Vietnam sellers are in comfortable position and not keen to offer any discounted prices due to limited inventories from current crop and expected lower productions in 2021.
- Multinational based in Vietnam had to rely more on Vietnam pepper in 2021 as alternative origin prices are at par with Vietnam prices. Their active participation is certain during harvest period.
- Thin coverage for Q4 and 2021 crop may bring fresh demand during Nov 2020 -Jan 2021, which may hike pepper prices further from current levels.
- Carry-over stocks are expected to be low. Thus, we may notice a higher opening prices during harvest period. Raw prices are expected to be 55-60k dong/kg during harvest period 2021 and post-harvest may rise sharply.
- By FH of 2021, significantly quantities will be out of Vietnam and volatility in prices are expected during 2nd half of 2021. Extended coverage is recommended during harvest period.
- Inventory levels at destinations are dwindling, as a result, prices slowing moving up. VII. If price remains firm, speculators and Chinese presence will be noticed throughout the year.
Foreign Exchange Currency (USD)
Currency Q1 Q2 Q3
Vietnamese Dong 23,218.85 23,379.01 23,182.60
Brazilian Real 4.45 5.37 5.38
Indonesia Rupiah 14,251.74 14,952.66 14,716.38