May 31, 2018 / 17:23

Agricultural sector rakes in nearly $16 billion from exports

The total export value of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in the first five months of this year rose by 9.9 percent year-on-year to reach US$15.6 billion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

During the period, the export turnover of key agricultural products was estimated at $8.25 billion, up 9.6 percent from the same time last year, while seafood products made up $3.12 billion to the total export turnover, up 9.7 percent, and forestry products contributed $3.4 billion, up 8.7 percent. 
Vietnam’s seafood exports earned $3.12 billion in five months of this year
Vietnam’s seafood exports earned $3.12 billion in five months of this year
The Vietnam Administration of Forestry said that China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States were the four largest importers of Vietnamese wood and wood-based products. The export value of forestry products accounted for nearly 22 percent of the total export value. 
In May alone, the country raked in $347 million from shipping abroad some 452,000 tons of rice, bringing the total value and volume of rice export in the January-May period to $1.45 billion and 2.66 million tons, up 40 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively. 
Average rice price in the period experienced an increase of 12.9 percent to $503 per ton. China remains the largest buyer of Vietnamese rice, holding 33.5 percent of the market share. 
Vietnam also enjoyed robust shipments of cashew. In the five month period, it sold 139,000 tons of cashew abroad and earned $1.37 billion, rising 19 percent in volume and nearly 23 percent in value as compared to the same time last year. 
Some 1.3 million tons of cassava and cassava products were sold in foreign countries at a price of $460 million, falling 25.6 percent in volume and soaring 7.3 percent in value. 
Meanwhile, coffee export increased 16 percent to 820,000 tons but dropped 0.8 percent in value to $1.6 billion. Rubber export also fell 12 percent in value to $620 million although the exported amount was estimated at 424,000 tons, or 16 percent higher than the same time last year. 
The export turnover of pepper experienced a plunge of 37.6 percent.  A total 108,000 tons were shipped abroad at a value of $377 million. 
The ministry also said that the country spent $12.29 billion importing agro-forestry-fishery products during January-May, a year-on-year increase of 10.6 percent.
This year, MARD has targeted a GDP growth and export turnover of 3.05 percent and $40.5 billion. 
To achieve the targets, Deputy Minister Tuan said that the fishery industry must strengthen public relations activities as well as boost inspection and control to avoid illegal fishing. The ministry expects the European Commission (EC) to withdraw its warning label regarding illegal, unregulated and undeclared (IUU) fishing in Vietnamese seafood exported to the European Union (EU).
Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, director of the Department of Science, Technology and External Cooperation under the General Department of Fisheries, said that the State has acted drastically to eliminate IUU within fishing activities. Efforts included reviewing current regulations and developing more regulations relating while popularizing urgent solutions to prevent IUU fishing among fishermen.
In addition, Vietnam will cooperate with coastal countries and island nations to prevent IUU fishing and implement dialogue with the EU, as well as providing progress updates to show that Vietnam has been working to improve responsibility in fisheries management, she said.
Meanwhile, to promote stabilization and sustainable development in the husbandry industry, the MARD has proposed relevant state offices to cooperate with and support enterprises in the development of chain producing animal products for exports, including solutions on developing systems of slaughtering, processing and distribution of animal products. 
Last year, Vietnam's exports of agricultural, forestry, and fishery products posted spectacular performance with $36 billion.