Drop in pepper production likely
India’s pepper output is projected to see a sharp fall of 30% due to erratic climatic conditions in the growing regions in south India. The surplus rainfall in August and September damaged the crop heavily. The Spices Board estimates that Indian pepper production is likely to end with 48,000 tonnes this year (2019-20) compared with 494,200 tonne of world production. In 2018-19, India harvested 64,000 tonne of pepper. Despite the slim output, United Planters Association of Southern India (Upasi) pointed out that the prices of pepper have crashed to the range of INR 319 per kg compared to around INR 700 per kg four years ago. This has been due to the immense imports of the commodity from Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
Sri Lanka has allegedly been dumping its produce in India by using the Indo-Sri Lanka free trade agreement, under which it can export up to 2,500 tonne duty-free.