Agro, fish exports up 6 per cent

Friday, Dec 02, 2016 10:12

A processing line of pineapple for exports at the An Giang Fruit, Vegetables and Foodstuff Company in the southern province of An Giang. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Dat

The value of agro-forestry-fishery exports in November is estimated at US$2.69 billion, pushing the total value in the first 11 months of the year to $29.1 billion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

This figure marks an increase of 5.9 per cent over the same period last year, it reported.

The export of major agri-products like coffee, pepper, rubber and tea continued to grow. Coffee grew the most with export volume of 1.6 million tonnes worth $2.98 billion in the January-November period, an increase in volume and value of 36.1 per cent and 24.3 per cent, respectively against the same period last year.

The domestic pepper industry saw a year-on-year 11-month growth of 36.7 per cent in export volume to 170,000 tonnes, and a 15 per cent rise in value to $1.37 billion.

China continues to be the largest importer of Vietnamese rice at 36 per cent of rice exports. But about 4.54 million tonnes of rice worth $2 billion were shipped until November, a year-on-year drop of 25 per cent in volume and 20.3 per cent in value.

The ministry said the fall in rice exports was due to lower demand on the world market, and a domestic market over-supply.

In the wood and wood products market, Vietnamese businesses earned $6.2 billion from exports in the first 11 months of the year. The US, Japan and China remained the top three largest importers, accounting for 69 per cent of the sector’s total exports.

MARD statistics also show that seafood export value increased by 6.9 per cent to $6.4 billion in the January-November period. The US, Japan, China and South Korea were the four largest importers, accounting for 54.1 per cent of the total value.

Seafood exports to China, the Netherlands, the US and Thailand rose 47.7 per cent, 16.1 per cent, 13.1 per cent and 12.6 per cent, respectively.

Quality issues

The quality of products has been an impediment to export growth, officials say.

Speaking at a forum on food safety and hygiene held in Ha Noi last week, deputy head of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoIT)’s Trade Promotion Agency, Do Kim Lang, said the country was facing difficulties in exporting agro, forestry and seafood products, partly due to strict quality regulations in the importing markets.

Lang blamed this on the lack of close links between the production process and the market, and between businesses and farmers. He said this meant products were of uneven quality, with some containing antibiotic and chemical residues, not meeting food hygiene and safety standards.

“Many Vietnamese businesses have had to take back their export products; several importers have even visited Viet Nam to warn ministries and agencies that the country’s exports can come to a standstill until problems regarding antibiotic and high chemical residues are solved,” said Lang.

Le Thanh Hoa, deputy director of the Viet Nam Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority, said enterprises should inspect and supervise food safety in production chains, instead of the current practice of checking finished products. — VNS

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