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Cambodia’s Kampot Pepper Exports Reach 103 Tonnes in 2023

by Surya Narayan
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Cambodia, renowned for its world-class Kampot pepper, achieved export numbers of 103 tonnes in 2023, according to a recent report from the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association. Despite a slight decrease of 11 percent compared to the previous year, the association considered this volume acceptable, citing a dip in production as the primary reason for the decline.

Kampot pepper, a distinguished Geographical Indication (GI) product in the European Union since 2010, continues to captivate consumers with its delicate aroma and robust spicy flavor. It is particularly sought after in the European market, where it commands premium prices.

Of the 103 tonnes exported, approximately 85 percent found its way to European destinations, while the remaining 15 percent was distributed to various countries, including the United States, Canada, China, Japan, and South Korea. The appeal of Kampot pepper transcends borders and has garnered a loyal following around the world.

Kampot pepper is available in three distinct varieties, each offering its own unique flavor profile. Black Kampot pepper is priced at $15,000 per tonne, red at $25,000 per tonne, and white at $28,000 per tonne. These premium prices reflect the exceptional quality and reputation of this Cambodian culinary treasure.

In November of the previous year, Cambodia and China inked a memorandum of understanding regarding the phytosanitary requirements for pepper exports, opening up opportunities for direct shipments of Cambodian pepper to China. The Kampot Pepper Promotion Association harbors high hopes for the GI pepper’s entry into the Chinese market in the near future, paving the way for even greater international recognition.

The coastal province of Kampot, located in the southwestern region of Cambodia, boasts approximately 240 hectares of pepper farms. With each hectare yielding an average of 2.5 tonnes per annum, the annual harvest season spans from March to June. These farms are essential contributors to Cambodia’s pepper industry, supporting the country’s exports.

Despite the slight dip in Kampot pepper exports, Cambodia maintained its position as a significant pepper exporter in 2023. A report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries revealed that the country exported a total of 6,125 tonnes of pepper last year, marking a 26.7 percent year-on-year decrease. Pepper cultivation is spread across 6,935 hectares in Cambodia, illustrating the sector’s substantial presence in the nation’s agriculture industry.

While current market prices for pepper in Cambodia hover between $3,000 and $3,500 per tonne, farmers are hesitant to sell their stocks at these rates. Mak Ny, President of the Cambodia Pepper and Spices Federation, pointed out that many farmers are holding onto their inventory, anticipating higher market prices in the coming year. This strategic move suggests the potential for price increases, offering hope for a more lucrative future for Cambodian pepper producers.

Source: Khmer Times

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