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Agro-forestry, Fishery Exports on Decline

Sustainability Economics +3 more

VIET NAM - Agro-forestry and fishery exports decreased slightly to US$8 billion in the first four months of this year when compared to last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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In April alone, export turnover had reached $2.1 billion, the ministry said. Director of the ministry's Statistics and Information Centre, Nguyen Viet Chien, said the slight decline was a result of the economic slowdown, especially in the European Union, a major trading partner for Vietnamese companies, reports VietNamNewsAgency.

During the first four months of the year export revenue for agricultural products was at $4.6 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 6.6 per cent. Meanwhile, fisheries have brought the country $1.9 billion in revenue, up by 16.4 per cent, and forestry products have earned $1.5 billion, up by 23.8 per cent in comparison with the same period last year.

Viet Nam exported about two million tonnes of rice in the first four months, worth $989 million.

Indonesia, China and Malaysia remain as Viet Nam's largest rice buyers, with rice exports to China and Malaysia seeing strong increases in volumes. Other markets seeing promising growth for Vietnamese exports are Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The country also exported 258,000 tonnes of rubber, with revenue of $754 million. The figure also represents a 30.4 per cent rise in volume and a 12.9 per cent fall in value.

Mr Chien said that as China was the biggest importer of Vietnamese rubber, when the country stopped buying rubber earlier this year, rubber prices dropped sharply.

During the first four months, the average price was about $3,000 per tonne, down by 33.4 per cent over the same period last year.

However, Mr Chien said rubber imports would pick up again as demand on the world market was forecast to rise in the coming time.

Coffee shares saw the same situation with export volumes declining by 5.6 per cent to 660,000 tonnes. Value was also down by 6.5 per cent to $1.4 billion.

"The eurozone crisis has strongly affected Vietnamese coffee exports so that the price will continue to fall in the coming time," Mr Chien predicted.

To boost agro-forestry and aquaculture products, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development urged the companies to widen their business promotion programmes in order to find new markets.

Also, the ministry will focus on developing three key products including aquaculture, livestock breeding and forestry. Accordingly, the ministry will find out and develop high-value tree plantations.

Furthermore, to help domestic companies, the State Bank of Viet Nam has encouraged the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to increase access to loans for the industry.