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Agri exports in freefall

Released at: 10:05, 20/10/2015

Agri exports in freefall

All major exports post worrisome declines in first nine months of the year.

by Hung Nguyen

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development (MARD) has announced that export turnover in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in September reached some $2.1 billion, bringing the nine-month total $21.65 billion, a decline of 5 per cent against the same period of 2014.

Nine-month exports of main products have been estimated at $10.29 billion, a 7.2 per cent decrease year-on-year, with coffee falling 32.2 per cent, rubber 13.7 per cent, rice 15.7 per cent, and fishery 17.8 per cent.

The Viet Food Association (VFA) said that, as at October 8, Vietnam had exported 4.39 million tons of rice worth $1.82 billion this year; almost 400,000 tons less than in the same period of last year. VFA Chairman Huynh The Nang put this down to an absence of high-value contracts.

Some markets have imported significantly less quantities of Vietnamese rice, such as the Philippines, at 40 per cent, Singapore 37.24 per cent, and Hong Kong 29.37 per cent.

Competitive pressure has also seen Vietnamese rice sell for lower prices than exports from elsewhere in Asia since the beginning of this year. According to VFA, however, Vietnamese rice will rebound as export contracts of 1.5 million tons to Indonesia and Philippines have been signed at a time of year when exports generally decline. Markets should therefore be secure for rice from the winter-spring crop.

Prices of other exports, such as rubber, tea, coffee, and fishery products, are expected to remain low price for the remainder of the year. According to MARD, coffee exports in the first nine months stood at 961,000 tons worth $1.96 billion, or 31.2 per cent and 32.2 per cent lower, respectively, against the same period of last year.

Tea exports, meanwhile, were 88,000 tons worth $151 million in the first nine months, a decline of 8.8 per cent and 8.1 per cent, respectively, year-on-year. Even though prices have increased slightly since last year, hygiene issues in major markets have affected Vietnam’s exports.

Total rubber exports for this year are estimated at 1.1 million tons, an increase of 3.2 per cent, worth $1.6 billion, a fall of 10 per cent against 2014; the highest decline since 2011.

In the first nine months rubber exports reached 740,000 tons with a value of $1.06 billion. Despite quantities rising 6.6 per cent, the value fell 13.7 per cent year-on-year.

According to Mr. Vo Hoang An, Secretary of the Vietnam Rubber Association (VRA), the global economic outlook still presents problems, especially in tire producing countries such as China and Japan, where rubber demand is lower.

Land for rubber plantations has also increased significantly in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, pushing up volumes and worsening the oversupply.

Fisheries also recorded fewer exports in the first nine months, falling 17.8 per cent in value against 2014, to $4.69 billion, after losing significant shares in major markets such as the US, Japan, the EU, and South Korea.

Source: tuoi tre

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