Viet Nam enjoys strong growth in agricultural trade surplus

Monday, Mar 07, 2022 08:20

Aquatic exports saw a significant surge of 47.2 per cent to $1.5 billion in the first two months of this year. —Photo

Viet Nam has enjoyed a trade surplus of US$1.8 billion from agriculture, forestries and fisheries during the first two months of the year, 86.7 per cent higher last year's figure, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Foreign trade of agricultural, forestry and aquatic products reached $14.2 billion in the first two months of 2022, a year-on-year increase of 15.8 per cent. The revenue of these exports was estimated at $8 billion, up 20.9 per cent year-on-year, while imports exceeded $6.2 billion, up 10 per cent.

From January-February, shipments of key agricultural products totalled over $3.2 billion, up 10.2 per cent. Aquatic exports saw a significant surge of 47.2 per cent to $1.5 billion. Forestry exports also increased 17 per cent to nearly $2.9 billion during the period. Animal products, meanwhile, slid 3.5 per cent to just $54.1 million.

Commodities posting high export growth included coffee (36 per cent), rice (22 per cent), pepper (44 per cent), tra fish (83 per cent), shrimp (34 per cent), and wood and timber products (15.5 per cent).

The US remained Viet Nam's biggest buyer, purchasing over $2.3 billion worth of the products, or 28.2 per cent of the total. Some 70 per cent of exports to the US where wood and timber products.

China followed in second place and Japan in third. China imported nearly $1.3 billion (16.2 per cent) from Viet Nam, some 33.3 per cent of which was rubber.

Shipments to Japan stood at $586 million (7.3 per cent), 44.8 per cent of which was wood and timber products.

In recent years, difficulties in exporting to China at border gates have led to a change in the structure of Viet Namese agricultural products exported to China.

For many years, vegetables and fruits have always been the most significant exports from Viet Nam to China, according to the MARD.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade's Import and Export Department said that the pandemic is expected not to affect the global processed fruit and vegetable production industry.

The supply of processed fruits and vegetables has increased as exports of fresh or frozen products have decreased.

In 2022, with the increasing demand for processed fruits and vegetables on the world market due to COVID-19, Viet Nam's fruit and vegetable industry would continue to promote processing and reduce exports of fresh products.

Businesses need to invest in technology for the post-harvest stage and logistics for transporting fruits and vegetables. The promotion of investment in the processing stage will help the local fruit and vegetable industry increase export value.

Along with promoting investment in processing, Viet Nam needs to take opportunities from new-generation free trade agreements such as EVFTA and CPTTP to boost exportation of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits, the department said.

China is still a potential market for Viet Nam's fruit and vegetable products due to large demand, although China's fruit and vegetable imports from Viet Nam have decreased.

Vietnamese enterprises should strictly comply with China's import regulations to avoid interruption of export activities.

Official export contracts to China are doing well because official exports have more compulsory conditions for both sellers and buyers. This is encouraged among local businesses and traders when exporting vegetables and fruits to China.

Nguyen Lam Vien, general director of Vinamit Company, said that his company had maintained exports of agricultural produce to China due to planting areas, preliminary processing areas, and packaging meeting market requirements.

However, according to Vien, the organic food consumption in Europe and the US is forecast to increase by 30 per cent. This would be an opportunity for local enterprises to enhance exports of organic products to these markets.

Viet Nam's fruit and vegetable exports in 2021 increased by 8.6 per cent compared to 2020 due to diversifying export markets and the quality of Viet Nam's fruit and vegetable products.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade forecasts that Viet Nam's fruit and vegetable exports in 2022 will increase by about 10-15 per cent on-year to $3.9-4.1 billion.

Meanwhile, MARD is focusing on expanding market share for Vietnamese agro, forestry and seafood exports at some major markets, such as Peru, Australia, Brazil and the US.

It has coordinated with other ministries and sectors to organise Viet Nam Agricultural Products Week at EXPO 2022 Dubai and has worked with several partners in India, Argentina and the UAE.

The ministry will continue to guide local businesses in implementing new regulations of China for exporting goods. So far, the General Administration of Customs of China has granted codes for 1,763 Vietnamese products.

The ministry will also update notices on the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS regulations) of the World Trade Organisation member countries that could affect Viet Nam's agricultural exports. — VNS

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