China's chilli pepper demand rising

China's chilli pepper demand rising

Jun 20, 2019

Naypyitaw (Myanmar) June 20: Myanmar's chilli pepper exports have sharply risen over the past two years as a result of high demand from China, said Department of Consumer Affairs' deputy director general U Aung Maun on Monday.
"We've expect the chilli export volume to be 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes by September 30, the end of the financial year. We have already earned US$21 million from more than 23,000 tonnes exported in the current fiscal year, while only a few tonnes were exported in previous years," he said.
Currently, local dried chilli powder makers are having trouble finding raw ingredients as the bulk of the crop is being exported to China. Chilli farmers are also rushing to find seedlings, pushing prices up.
"There is a surplus of more than 50,000 tonnes of chilli, and half of this is being exported to China. Among Myanmar's 57 kinds of export crops, chilli peppers are in 18th place. In tropical regions, it takes only one month for chilli to mature. There are farmers who can attain yields of between 12,800 kilograms and 16,000kg per acre, so they have a chance to enjoy healthy profits if they can ensure good quality," he said.
According to the department's statistics, 1348 tonnes of fresh chili pepper and 6300 tonnes of dried chili pepper were exported to China in the 2016-17 fiscal year. The figures for the 2017-18 fiscal year were 5479 tonnes of fresh chili pepper and over 3000 tonnes of dried chili.
So far this fiscal year, 14,934 tonnes of fresh chili and 23,400 tonnes of dried chili peppers have been exported to China.
"It's important to sustain the exports of this particular crop. We need to have the plans for it. What's happening in the country is that people just want to sell rice when its price is high, and switch to other crops when prices fluctuate. It would be wiser to do things more sustainably," U Aung Maun said.
"The chili pepper price is unprecedentedly high now. I'm worried that it might lead to instability in the market," said a 70-year-old chili pepper business owner.
Source: Myanmar Times