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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 29 September 2015  

VN agricultural exports fall

HA NOI (VNS) — Export revenues of agricultural, forest and aquatic products totalled US$21.7 billion during the first nine months of this year, down five per cent over the same period last year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has reported that the value of major farm produce exports reached $10.29 billion, declining 7.2 per cent year-on-year.

Further, rice exports reached some 4.47 million tonnes in quantity, down 10 per cent, and $1.92 billion in turnover, a decline of 15.7 per cent.

The ministry said rice markets had slowed during the last nine months, both at home and abroad, with export prices averaging $431 per tonne, five per cent lower than the level recorded during the same period of 2014.

Further, the volume of coffee exports reached 961,000 tonnes at the end of the third quarter, a slump of 31 per cent, with revenues of $1.96 billion, having fallen 32 per cent.

The average coffee export price was $2,054 per tonne, sliding by 0.23 per cent. While global coffee inventories had been high, as a new domestic harvest crop is expected.

Meanwhile, rubber exports saw a 6.6 per cent rise in quantity, at 740,000 tonnes, though the value of this export declined 13.7 per cent due to falling rubber prices throughout the world.

Also, the ministry said sufficient demand and proper prices stimulated the exports of pepper and cashew nuts. Pepper exports reached 110,000 tonnes with a value of $1.04 billion, while cashew nut exports reached 245,000 tonnes with a turnover of $1.78 billion.

Additionally, over nine months in 2015 the exports of major aquatic products, such as tra fish and shrimp, fell by 17.8 per cent year-on-year at $4.69 billion due to disadvantaged prices.

There was good news though, as forest products reported $5.03 billion in export revenues, up 6.6 per cent year-on-year.

Coffee quality

Viet Nam should attach special importance on improving the quality of coffee products over the next five years, said MARD official Vo Thanh Do.

Do said that technology and innovation in equipment for improved labour productivity will be part of this direction, with a plan continuing until 2030.

The country needs to not build more coffee production facilities, yet it should accelerate investments to change the structure of goods, enhance their added values, and expand markets, he noted.

According to the Central Highlands Steering Committee, Viet Nam has mainly exported raw coffee materials, which bring about low added values in the international markets.

The country currently has nearly 642,000 hectare (ha) of coffee plantations, which produce some 1.4 million tonnes of raw coffee beans per year. It exports 90 per cent of this yield, though a high ratio is defective and cheaper than similar materials harvested in other countries.

Last year alone, the country exported some 1.3 million tonnes of raw coffee beans, gaining roughly $3.55 billion in revenues.

Viet Nam Coffee–Cocoa Association Chairman Luong Van Tu said a farming household or an enterprise earns nearly $2 when it sells one kilogramme of coffee at the current costs, and this value is equivalent to the average price of a cup of coffee sold in import countries.

Meanwhile, a kilogramme of coffee can make up to 50 cups of coffee.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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