Farm exports plunge, domestic sales stuck

VietNamNet Bridge - The export turnover of Vietnam’s key export items unexpectedly fell sharply in the first two months of the year. 


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In the domestic market, prices are declining and big losses for farmers are anticipated.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), export turnover of farm, seafood and forestry produce was $1.93 billion in February and reached $5.5 billion in the first two months of the year, a decrease of 1.6 percent compared with the same period last year.

There was a sharp fall of export value of competitive products. Only seafood maintained the growth rate with $1.11 billion worth of export turnover, up by 4.4 percent.

Vietnam takes pride as one of the biggest rice exporters in the world. But it saw a decline in rice exports in the last two months. Rice exports brought $364 million in January-February, a 10.4 percent decrease in value compared with the same period last year, though the export volume increased by 1.1 percent.

Vietnam takes pride as one of the biggest rice exporters in the world. But it saw a decline in rice exports in the last two months. Rice exports brought $364 million in January-February, a 10.4 percent decrease in value compared with the same period last year, though the export volume increased by 1.1 percent.

This was attributed to an export price decline, with the average price level at $446 per ton, down by 8.2 percent.

Fruit, described as ‘new star’ as it can bring revenue even higher than rice, also had an unsatisfactory export turnover in the first two months, $584 million, a decrease of 9.9 percent.

As for coffee, only 326,000 tons were exported in the first two months of the year. The 7.5 percent decrease in export volume led to a 10.8 percent decrease in value.

Cashew exports also decreased by 20.4 percent compared with the same period last year.

Rice farmers in Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s biggest rice granary, are facing unsold rice as the price has decreased day by day. China and the Philippines, Vietnam’s biggest rice export markets, still have not begun their purchases.

Because of oversupply and big losses for farmers, rescue campaigns have been launched, once again. The government has instructed to collect 300,000 tons of rice from farmers. 

Meanwhile, MARD has organized a large-scale conference in Mekong Delta to find an outlet for rice.

In Gia Lai province, 14,000 tons of sweet potatoes, grown on 700 hectares, remain unsold.

Meanwhile, in Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, peppers are ripe and red, but farmers are not harvesting because the price has dropped sharply.

Earlier this year, experts warned about big difficulties for agriculture in 2019. Le Van Banh from the Mekong Delta Rice Institute said 2019 would be a tough year for rice farmers and exporters.


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Thanh Lich

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