Crop situation in Lampung
Lampung black pepper shipped from Lampung port is sourced from Lampung province and neighboring provinces such as Bengkulu and South Sumatera. Lampung itself contributes more than 60% of Indonesian black pepper. The estimated production of pepper in North Lampung this year will be lower by 30-40% compared to last year production. In some pepper gardens, the crop loss this year may be over 50%. However in the East Lampung the production loss will be around 20%. Overall the production loss in Lampung will be about 30%, which means in quantity terms the production for 2013 crop will be loss by about 15,000 mt from last year crop of around 40,000 mt. Total production of black pepper in 2012 was around 55,000 mt.
Indication of low crop this year is also reflected by the monthly export performance during the first six months of the year. Total export of pepper from Lampung during January - June 2013 was only 5,800 mt as against 8,400 mt in the same period last year. No catch crop is also reported this year.
During the field visit in Lampung we have observed that the pepper plant is not healthy and needs nutrients for better yielding during the next crop. The harvesting in entire Lampung is in upswing and the peak harvest is expected to be over by middle of August. Since the production loss is reported in this season, farmers are expecting the overall realization same as the last year with current year-s lower yield. Hence, they expect and pray for price increase to compensate their total loss in earning this year.
Due to weather condition prevailed this year, the berry settings are not uniform and in each spike only about 50-60% berries are seen. In view of this as well as harvesting all spikes at one time, the light berries availability will be more during this year compared to the last year.
Through telephone conversation and SMS questionnaire to the farmers on the crop situation for the current year also, similar situation as indicated above were reported.
During the field visit, we have also observed the plant condition in one of the farmer-s group, who was supported by quality planting material through the IPC model nursery scheme. The plants developed through this nursery, is growing better and healthier compared to other plants being supplied locally.
During discussion with traders, collection agents and leading exporters including AELI, the crop loss estimated is confirmed and all of them are expecting an increase in the farm-gate price from the current level of IDR 55,000 per kg black pepper (USD 5.50)
Though in North Lampung new / re-plantation is not noticed, in East Lampung the pepper farmers are taking special interest and in the next couple of years overall pepper production in Lampung will be higher by 20% from the current level of production.
Production development in Bangka
Based on the reports and information received from trade source in Bangka, production of pepper in 2012 was only 6,000 mt and it is expected to increase to 7,000 mt during 2013. Export from Bangka in 2012 was reported 7,290 mt as against 6,735 mt in 2011. The increase in the volume of export in 2012 was possible due to the carry over stock. During the higher prices prevailed in 2012; farmers took the good opportunity to release their old stock along with the crop from the year 2012.
It is estimated that export in 2013 will not be much different from 2012, as indicated by the export performance achieved during the first six months. During January - June 2013 export of pepper from Bangka was around 3,000 mt, which is more or less at the level of quantity exported in the same period last year. Exports for the second half of the year are only expected to be sourced from current year crop.
Due to the good prices prevailed during the last two years; farmers are taking special efforts in maintaining and replanting their gardens. Better harvest at around of 8-9,000 mt is expected to be achieved this year. Pepper area expansion is widely noticed in all districts in Bangka and most of the new plants are expected to yield by 2015
Pepper prices prevailed during 2012 was relatively stable at the level of around IDR 75,000 - 80,000 per kg locally. The price received by farmers during harvesting season in 2012 was around IDR 80,000. Current price prevailed during July 2013 in Bangka is around IDR 83,000 per kg, which is considered to be good price and is expected to continue till the end of the year.
Findings of Field visit in East Kalimantan
East Kalimantan is the importance source of pepper in Kalimantan. According to data/information received from Estate Crop Service, area under pepper cultivation in East Kalimantan is continuously decreasing from year to year, mainly due to conversion of some pepper gardens to coal mining and palm oil. In 2009 the area under pepper cultivation was reported at 14,900 ht and decline to 10,300 ht in 2012. In 2013, acreage is estimated to further decline to around 10,000 ht.
Major portion of pepper from East Kalimantan are white pepper; while production of black pepper is very negligible. Most of the white pepper produced was shipped to Surabaya and Jakarta for domestic consumption and a small volume is also exported. The farm gate price prevailed during July was about IDR 75,000 per kg. However some of the farmers are selling their produce at IDR100,000 per kg on credit terms (payment after 4-5 months)
Existing pepper gardens are healthy and good numbers of spikes were seen in this area. Rejuvenation of pepper garden was also seen. Harvesting season in East Kalimantan is normally in September/October and catch crop is in February. This year however, due to climate changes, and raining almost every day, in most of the areas two to three stages of fruit settings are seen, which will produce more light berries this year. First harvest has started in July and the second harvest will be in September/October.
Based on the observation and discussion with farmers, traders and agricultural officers, total out-put of this year harvest is estimated to be slightly lower. Official production reported for 2012 production of pepper from this province was 9,000 mt. This year the production estimate will be around 7-8,000. Beside reduction in the area, disease infestation of phytophthora foot root are the major problems affecting productivity.
Beside Lampung, Bangka and Kalimantan, pepper also grows in West Kalimantan, Sulawesi and other provinces in relatively small quantity of about 4-5000 mt, which is mostly used for domestic consumption.
During 2012, total production of pepper in Indonesia was around 75,000 mt comprising of 55,000 of black and 20,000 mt of white pepper. Along with the carry over stock from previous year a volume of 62,500 was exported in 2012. In 2013 production of black pepper is estimated to be significantly lower by around 25-30%, particularly in Lampung. In Bangka production of white pepper will be slightly better, but in Kalimantan a marginal decrease is anticipated during this year. In the absence of catch crop during the current year, the limited carry over stock from 2012 crop has fully utilized for export during the first six month of the current year, around 35,000 mt of pepper may be available for export during the second half of the year from the new crop 2013.
Observing the above and due to short supply situation from Lampung and farmers are wanting to have same realization for their lower yield this year compared to last year and some of the traders are offering over 30% higher price on credit terms, the price reduction during the harvesting moths is not going to happen. We have already noticed slight increase in the farm gate price during this week beginning from 29th July. In view of the current situation and reported facts & figures, it is advisable to procure the required material without waiting for price reduction, which is unlikely during the current year.