Pepper growers stop selling on price fall Ngoc Hung HCMC – Pepper prices have plunged to around VND100,000 a kilo in recent days, leading farmers to stop selling to wait for better days. Hoang Phuoc Binh, deputy head of the Chu Se Pepper Association in Gia Lai Province, said the current pepper price is much lower than expected, so pepper growers are retaining their stocks in anticipation of a price rebound. The pepper growing area has been expanded over the years, leading to an oversupply on the market. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country in the January-February period this year shipped 16,000 tons of pepper worth US$112 million to foreign markets, down nearly 20% in volume and 36% in value against the same period last year. The average pepper export price in January stood at US$7,492 per ton, falling 20% year-on-year. In addition, the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) has forecast 2017 would be a difficult year for the country’s pepper sector due to price volatility and pepper output in 2016-2017 will amount to 180,000 tons.