Vietnam earned $123 million from pepper exports in the first nine months of this year, according to the country's trade ministry.
The figures show year-on-year increases of 41.5 per cent and 46.8 per cent in term of value and volume, respectively.
In September alone, the country exported 7,000 tonnes of pepper for $10 million USD, resulting in a total nine-month export figure of some 91,000 tonnes.
However, the price of Viet Nam's pepper began dropping in August before reaching its current price of $1,125 per tonne on the world market, a decrease of between $100 to $200.
On the domestic market, prices have also decreased, dropping from VND16,000-18,000 to VND14,000-16,000 per kg.
According to Do Ha Nam, acting chairman of the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA), prices have dropped because some major pepper exporting countries are selling at low prices.
The country's trade ministry says that the decrease is partly due to the beginning of the pepper harvest. The government insists however that the country's pepper export value has been stable thanks to the high proportion of quality pepper.
indeed, high quality pepper now accounts for 35 per cent of the country's total pepper exports.
Local experts have warned that Vietnam's pepper industry is facing many challenges resulting from the fact that world's total pepper supply is rising to 250,000-300,000 tons per year, much higher than the import demand of no more than 200,000 tons per year.
The growth rate for world pepper production jumped by 10 percent in the past five years as compared to the growth rate of demand, which rose only 2 percent, according to statistics released by the International Pepper Committee.
Vietnam's pepper export industry has been increasing year on year. In 2002, Vietnam exported 71,000 tons of pepper in the first 10 months of this year, which was again higher than the exports of the previous year.
Vietnam now exports pepper to 70 countries around the world, mainly Singapore, Russia, the United States, Germany and India.
Pepper exports of Vietnam, which ranks the second after India in pepper production, amounted to one-third of the world's total pepper exports, making the country the largest exporter of black pepper.