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Pepper imports from Sri Lanka stopped due to levy of import duty

Sri Lankan pepper exports to the Indian consumer market have come to a standstill due to Indian  government’s decision to impose a minimum import price of Rs. 500 per kilo on black pepper in contravention of the Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka, the Spices and Allied Products Producers’ and Traders Association (SAPPTA) of Sri Lanka said accortding to Sri Lankan Media reports

SAPPTA Acting Chairman GS Chatoor said: "India is Sri Lanka’s biggest export destination for pepper. Moreover India has delayed the clearing of a number of shipments from Sri Lanka. The  officials have not budged despite continuous appeals.

"Effective from December 2017, the Government of India has introduced a Minimum Import Price (MIP) for Pepper of Indian Rupees 500 per kilo which increases the price of Sri Lankan Pepper to USD 7,700 per metric tonne. Currently we export pepper at around USD 4,600. The increased price has made Sri Lankan pepper not viable for the Indian importers. They have stopped buying Sri Lankan pepper.

Chatoor said that it was the latest measure adopted by India to prevent pepper imports from Sri Lanka.

Only the light berry pepper which Indians use to extract oil is allowed in. India is the world leader in extracting oil from pepper. But pepper imports for consumer markets have stopped. The Indians have done the same with areca nuts." Indian media reported that the decision to impose a minimum import price on black pepper had helped improve local prices of the commodity.
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