|Workers process fruit and vegetables for export at the GVG Frozen Food Processing Co in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam earned over US$10.7 billion from agro-forestry and fishery exports in the first five months of this year, down 4.6 per cent compared with the same period last year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has reported.
The decrease was due to difficulties in both markets and prices, which affected major agricultural and fishery products, according to MARD.
Meanwhile, the country's agricultural import turnover rose 4.9 per cent against last year, pulling the trade surplus of the industry down to $3.7 billion.
In the Jan-May period, the country shipped abroad 2.86 million tonnes of rice, bringing home $1.26 billion, representing decreases of 3 per cent in volume and 8 per cent in value year-on-year.
China remains Viet Nam's largest rice customer, consuming 38.7 per cent of Viet Nam's total export, followed by Malaysia 6.1 per cent, Singapore 5.6 per cent, Hong Kong 4.2 per cent and Indonesia 4.1 per cent.
Coffee businesses delivered 697,000 tonnes to foreign importers, down over 23 per cent year-on-year, for an earning of $1.49 billion, a drop of nearly 22 per cent. Germany and the US were the two biggest markets, making up 13.5 per cent and 11.8 per cent, respectively, of Viet Nam's total export value.
Tea export also saw a 5.6 per cent decrease in volume, with 48,000 tonnes shipped abroad, but enjoyed a 1.3 per cent rise in value to $73 million thanks to higher price.
Among agricultural products, cashew and pepper recorded the most impressive growth in both volume and value.
Viet Nam exported a total of 85,000 tonnes of cashew nuts for $535 million, up 9.7 per cent in volume and 0.8 per cent in value. The US, China and the Netherlands were key markets of Vietnamese cashew.
The five-month pepper export volume rose 13.9 per cent to 68,000 tonnes, earning $446 million, up 9.6 per cent.
At the same time, the country earned $2 billion from exporting wood and wooden products, a surge of 10.4 per cent. Except for Germany, rises were seen in other major markets such as the US, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
In the contrary, seafood export saw a 5.6 per cent decrease in the first five months of 2013, with $2.2 billion. The US, Japan and the Republic of Korea, which are Viet Nam's leading seafood consumers, saw a considerable decline in their imports, with a corresponding year-on-year decreases of 1.1 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 20.2 per cent.
In face of the situation, MARD has directed businesses to further improve their product quality, while expanding to new markets to further step up exports of key agro-forestry and fishery products. — VNS