Agricultural trade surplus nearly doubles in Q1 on strong rises of coffee, rice

Việt Nam’s agricultural, forestry and fishery sector runs a trade surplus nearly doubling the figure of the same period last year, on robust export of major products such as coffee, rice and fruits.

The latest updates of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that the agricultural, forestry and fishery export totalled $13.53 billion, an increase of 21.8 per cent over the same period last year, while import reached $10.18 billion, meaning a surplus of $3.36 billion, an increase of 96.5 per cent.

Four major export products with export value of more than $1 billion included wood with a turnover of $2.32 billion, up 26.8 per cent; fruits and vegetables $1.23 billion, up 25.8 per cent; rice $1.37 billion, up 40 per cent; and coffee $1.9 billion, up 54.2 per cent.

Average export prices of major agricultural products see strong increases in the first quarter such as rice up by 5 per cent to $661 per tonne, coffee up 6.8 per cent to $2,373 per tonne, rubber by 5.1 per cent to $1,462 per tonne and pepper up 35.6 per cent to $4.153 per tonne.

Still, some products see drops in export prices such as cashew down 8.6 per cent to $5,329 per tonne, tea down 2.2 per cent to $1,616 per tonne and fertiliser down $9.1 per cent to $412 per tonne.

China is the largest export market of Việt Nam, accounting for 20.2 per cent of the country’s export value and sees an increase of 18.3 per cent, followed by the US with a share of 19.9 per cent and an increase of 28.3 per cent, and Japan with a share of 7 per cent and an increase of 4.6 per cent.

Impressive increases

Coffee is the product with the strongest growth in the first quarter of this year.

Coffee export reached 799,000 tonnes worth $1.9 billion in the first quarter, rising by 44.45 per cent in volume and 54.2 per cent in value over the same period last year, setting a new record for three-month coffee export value.

Việt Nam has increased exports of Robusta and Arabica, while reducing Excelsa.

Vietnamese coffee is exported to a number of markets including Italy, Spain, Russia, Indonesia, Belgium, China and the Philippines.

Coffee is the second largest agricultural export product, just coming after wood products, in the first quarter of this year, according to the ministry, which expects coffee export will hit a new record of $5-5.5 billion for the full year.

Rice export is also impressive.

With an export volume of $2.07 million tonnes and value of $1.37 billion, up 12 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, Việt Nam continues to be one of the three biggest rice exporters in the world, accounting for 15 per cent of the global rice export, besides India and Thailand.

The global rice market has been significantly impacted by the ban on export by some countries, Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and dropping output due to unfavourable weather conditions.

The ministry pointed out that India’s ban on rice export coupled with increasing demand from China and Indonesia are creating opportunities for Việt Nam’s rice.

The Philippines is the largest rice export market of Việt Nam, accounting for 85 per cent of the country’s total rice export, followed by Indonesia.

Fruit and vegetable export soared by 25.8 per cent to $1.23 billion in the first quarter.

The agriculture ministry forecast a new record for fruit and vegetables export this year, at $6-6.5 billion.

China is a huge market for Việt Nam’s agricultural products.

Four products are going to be exported officially to China, including medicinal herbs, coconuts, frozen fruits and watermelons.

The ministry said that huge opportunities remain for Việt Nam to promote export of agricultural products, which now accounts for just 2-3 per cent of the global export value.

Viet Nam News