Global food costs up 8% December through March

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Source: Reuters New York

Global food prices are rising again, pushed higher by costlier oil, strong demand from Asia and bad weather in parts of Europe, South America and the United States, the World Bank said on Wed nesday. The latest World Bank food price index showed the cost of food rose eight per cent between December and March. In the previous four months, prices had declined. Even after the latest rise, food prices remain 1 percent below a year ago and 6 percent below the February 2011 historical peak, the World Bank said..

International Spice Commodities Update – Peppercorn

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Vietnam, the largest producer and exporter of pepper, shipped almost five times more pepper than India during the recently-concluded financial year.

Vietnam’s exports during January-March (Q4) were equivalent to the total exports by India in the complete financial year, the latest data of the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) show, putting India at the second spot in the export table. Vietnam exported 121,935 tonnes in FY12, while the Indian exports were only 25,500 tonnes. India’s export earnings were Rs 845 crore ($164 million, €125 million, £103 million), while those of Vietnam was more than Rs 2,500 crore ($486 million, €370 million, £305 million), according to the provisional estimates of the pepper trading community.

Do Ha Nam, chairman of the Vietnam Pepper Association, said the country accounted for 60 per cent of the total pepper exports in the world market. This was result of the domestic pepper industry’s sustainable development process and increased focus on quality, he said.

In Q4 of the last financial year, Vietnam exported 31,063 tonnes, with an export earning of  Rs 1,091 crore ($212 million, €161 million, £133 million). Over the same period in 2011, exports rose 23.6 per cent (equivalent to 5,935 tonnes) and turnover increased 71.8 per cent.

The major markets of Vietnam are the US, Holland, Spain, Germany, Singapore, West Asia and India. During January-March, exports to the US and Germany recorded a negative growth, with US imports at 837 tonnes and Germany’s at 310 tonnes.

Meanwhile, exports to most of the West Asian countries increased with a total of 2,063 tonnes, Spain imported 1,628 tonnes, followed by Singapore (1,172 tonnes), India (1,070 tonnes) and Holland (696 tonnes).