Exports of most agricultural products down in first five months with rice in particular trouble.
Latest estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) put export turnover from agriculture down by more than 7 per cent in the first five months of the year compared to the same period last year. Rice, in particular, has fallen 14.6 per cent.
Rice exports for May are estimated at 541,000 tons worth $235 million, bringing the five-monthly total to 2.4 million tons and $1.05 billion, representing declines of 11.4 per cent and 14.6 per cent, respectively. Average rice prices are also down, by 4.27 per cent compared to the same period of 2014.
According to experts the difficulties facing rice exports stem from competition from other major exporters and low import demand among markets.
Coffee and seafood are not doing much better, with only pepper and cashew nuts growing.
The Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to coordinate with people’s committees in border provinces to review the situation at border crossings that permit cross-border rice exports.
To promote rice exports the PM also asked MoIT to work with the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) to identify the causes and the weaknesses and limitations to be overcome, then outline specific measures to take. “It’s also necessary to bolster trade promotion activities as a key task,” the PM said.