Exporters' outlook for 2016 remains mixed

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 08:18

Cashews are processed for export at Viet Ha Cashew Import-Export JSC. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Vietnamese export firms have mixed feelings, both happy and worried, about business prospects for this year.

The Hoang Son I Limited Company in the southern province of Binh Phuoc signed a cashew export contract until May this year, according to Ta Quang Huyen, director of the company.

"The world market is consuming Vietnamese cashews with export prices rising from US$3.25 per kilogramme to $3.50 per kilogramme," Huyen told the Phap Luat Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh (HCM City Law) newspaper.

The output of Vietnamese cashews has been getting better, even in choosy markets such as Japan and the US, the director added.

However, large export contracts also make enterprises worried.

"The company does not dare to sign contracts with large volume because we are worried that there will be not enough raw cashews to meet the signed orders," Huyen said.

Huyen said the domestic raw cashews could supply only 30 per cent of the demand for export processing.

Responding to this issue, Nguyen Duc Thanh, chairman of the Viet Nam Cashew Association (Vinacas), said Viet Nam could process about 1.3 million tonnes of cashews each year, however, the country could supply only 500,000 tonnes, with the rest imported from Africa and Cambodia.

Meanwhile, the export of dragon fruit in the beginning months of this year has also been smooth, according to Tran Ngoc Hiep, director of the Hoang Hau Dragon Fruit Farm Co, Ltd.

Besides the key market of China, the company expanded its exports to the US, Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Export prices to China are around $1 per kilogramme, said Hiep.

"However, the difficulty of the sector is the unhealthy competitiveness among traders, which leads exporters to not have stable goods to meet the orders of foreign partners," he added.

Huynh The Nang, Chairman of the Viet Nam Food Association (VFA), said that the rice sector was expecting to export 1.2 million tonnes of rice in the first quarter of this year, 300,000 tonnes higher than that of last year.

He said the two contracts signed with the Philippines and Indonesia helped free a large volume of rice inventory.

However, according to rice exporters, this year is forecast to be difficult due to fierce competition with Thailand and India.

In addition, the Chinese market is reducing imports from Viet Nam while increasing imports from Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand, a rice exporter told the newspaper.

Many textile businesses also signed export orders until the end of the first quarter.

However, representatives of many garment and textile businesses said firms need to actively connect with each other to form a close chain from raw material supply to finished products and exports, while shifting from an outsourcing country to a directly exporting one. — VNS

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