HCM CITY (VNS)— The Year of the Snake has apparently provided a propitious beginning for the nation's agricultural sector with new export orders for key products like coffee, cashew, and pepper at good prices.
Do Ha Nam, chairman of the Viet Nam Pepper Association said the world economy is showing signs of recovery. He said this could be seen in the increased prices of domestic as well as foreign agricultural products.
For instance, pepper, which has just entered the start of season in the country has higher prices than the same period last year, reaching VND122,000-123,000 (US$5.86-5.91) per kilo.
A big advantage for Viet Nam's pepper industry in the period immediately following the Lunar New Year is that foreign producers such as Brazil, Indonesia and Sri Lanka are facing a scarcity of the spice, while a new business has just started in Viet Nam. It is likely, therefore, that international customers would increasingly seek supplies from Viet Nam.
Nguyen Duc Thanh, Chairman of the Viet Nam Cashew Association, said that shortly after Tet, members have signed orders to ship nearly 300 cashew containers, double the volume of the same period last year.
Thanh also noted that the price of cashew kernel has tended to increase slightly over the fourth quarter of last year. Since the beginning of this month, transactions in the EU, North American and Australian markets have increased in volume and price.
Cashew kernel stockpiles in exporting countries have been decreasing, so prices would continue to improve in the coming months at the above markets, especially when traditional festivals in these countries are about to begin.
Similarly, Nguyen Nam Hai, general director of Vinacafe said many of the coffee group's affiliates had signed more orders than usual early in the New Lunar Year.
He said there was some good news for Viet Nam's coffee industry. Currently, the total stockpile in coffee exporting countries in the world had decreased by 17.1 per cent compared to last season.
According to the International
Coffee Organisation, Robusta coffee production has fallen sharply in the 2012-2013 crop because of inclement weather. So, after the Lunar New Year, farmers are thinking of stocking their coffee to sell later in the year at better prices.
These factors could see Viet Nam's Robusta coffee prices rise further.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, export turnover of argo-forestry and fisheries in January reached $2.17 billion, an impressive increase of 39.7 per cent over the same period last year. — VNS