Agro-forestry-aquatic product exports slump in four months

Saturday, May 06, 2023 07:54

Rice being packed at a factory in An Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

Viet Nam earned US$15.66 billion from agro-forestry-aquatic product exports in the first four months of 2023, down 13.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The decrease in agro-forestry-aquatic product export revenue was attributable to impacts of the global economy which is forecast to slow down this year, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and inflation surges in some countries, MARD said.

Moreover, many countries have stepped up exports, while imported inventory remains high in major markets like the US and the EU, making many domestic enterprises unable to earn new orders, the ministry said.

It added that the sector posted a trade surplus of $2.51 billion in the reviewed period, a yearly decrease of 37.7 per cent.

Apart from Asia with a 2.7 per cent rise to $7.58 billion, Viet Nam’s agro-forestry-aquatic product exports to America, Europe, Africa, and Oceania contracted 39.6 per cent, 13 per cent, 21.2 per cent and 31 per cent to $3.28 billion, $1.93 billion, $223 million and $216 million, respectively.

However, China, the US, and Japan remained the biggest importers of these products from Viet Nam during the reviewed period, accounting for 20.9 per cent, 18.9 per cent, and 8.1 per cent of the country's total export turnover respectively.

Among items that saw higher export values including coffee with $1.7 billion, up 2.5 per cent; rice ($1.56 billion, up 55 per cent); fruits and vegetables ($1.39 billion, up 19.4 per cent); cashew nuts ($942 million, up 3.4 per cent) and meat and by-products ($45 million, up 64 per cent).

On the contrary, the exports of rubber, tea, pepper, cassava, and cassava products, wood and wooden products, rattan, bamboo and sedge mats, tra fish (pangasius), and shrimp experienced decreases between 6 per cent and 40 per cent.

According to MARD, the export value of wood and wooden goods decreased 25 per cent year-on-year to an estimated $4 billion due to the high price of input fuel and global energy prices, which has impacted the production costs of wood enterprises.

Besides, customers in some key markets like the US and EU had a tendency to tighten spending on non-essential products. That has caused a sharp drop in import demand.

With the current growth rate, MARD forecasts that the export turnover of wood and wood products in the first half of 2023 would decrease between 28 per cent and 32 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The ministry said it would continue promoting market development and removing obstacles to domestic consumption and export in the time ahead.

It would utilise free trade agreements (FTAs), especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to promote the consumption of agro-forestry and fisheries goods.

Also, it would send two delegations to Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi to promote the trade of agricultural products while organising a forum to facilitate the consumption of spices in the EU market.

A series of events to better advertise Viet Nam's major agricultural products in the United Kingdom on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Viet Nam-UK relations would be also organised, the ministry said.

As the world situation remained complicated, MARD suggested that businesses should actively seek to expand markets and improve competitiveness with a focus on ensuring product prices and quality, a good after-sales policy, and products that can meet the tastes of customers.

The firms should also restructure and reorganise production with top priority given to technological innovation, perfecting the production management system, and improving the efficiency and quality of human resources.

Stepping up the production of products that use domestic raw materials to reduce costs and sharpening the competitiveness of products would be also included. — VNS

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