Vietnam\'s pepper exports in the first seven months of this year rose both in volume and value, but the country\'s pepper output this year will likely decline, according to the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) on Friday. About 94,000 tons of pepper was exported during the period, earning 618 million U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 22.8 percent in volume and 17.7 percent in value. Pepper is one of few farming products to see a surge in export value during the past months, thanks to increasing pepper prices reaching 6,400 U.S. dollars per ton, about 850-950 U.S. dollars higher than the prices earlier this year. Meanwhile, the country\'s pepper output is forecast to reach only 95,000 tons this year, about 15 percent lower than in 2012, despite total areas under pepper cultivation expanding to 60,000 ha from 57,000 ha in 2012. Insiders attributed the decrease to long rains which made pepper trees less flowering. Vietnam\'s average annual pepper output is 100,000 tons, accounting for a half of the amount traded in the global market. The country harvested 125,000 tons in 2011 and 115,000 tons in 2012. Export prices are about 8,800 U.S. dollars per ton for white pepper, and 6,090 dollars per ton for black pepper. Global pepper prices are forecast to increase this year due to the falling supply from Vietnam, India, Malaysia and Indonesia.