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Black pepper prices hit 12-year low as Southeast Asian output grows

Farmers who switched to spice in 2014 now stung by supply glut

Slumping black pepper prices may eventually spill over to retail markets.

TOKYO -- Prices of black pepper have fallen to their lowest level in about 12 years due to increased production in Southeast Asia.

When pepper prices rose between 2014 and 2016, many regional growers of natural rubber and cassava -- such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia -- switched their crops to the spice. Harvests of pepper planted at that time began around 2017, causing supply to outpace demand.

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