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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   29 July 2013  

Poor global demand hits major export staples

The export turnover of agro-forestry and aquaculture products is expected to reach US$15.59 billion for the first seven months of this year, down 1.6 per cent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The decrease is largely attributed to the year-long downward trend in global demand and falling prices for farm produce exports, said Nguyen Viet Chien, director of MARD's Informatics and Statistics Centre.

Major agricultural exports during the period are estimated to earn $7.84 billion, down by 11.9 per cent year-on-year while aquaculture products brought home $3.41 billion (up 0.7 per cent). Earnings from forestry products topped $3 billion, registering a year-on-year rise of 12.2 per cent.

Major export staples such as rice, rubber, coffee and tea saw decreases in price. Rice suffered the lowest price reduction to $443 million per tonne, a 6.7 per cent year-on-year decrease.

During the first seven months of the year, the country exported 4.22 million tonnes of rice bringing home $1.88 billion in earnings, a fall of 11.3 per cent in volume and 13 per cent in value over last year.

China remained the country's largest rice importer with a total import volume of more than 1.29 million tonnes and a total value of $526.5 million, making up nearly 40 per cent of the country's total rice export turnover.

Rubber exports also saw a substantial decrease in export price, with prices falling by an average of $2,540 per tonne, or a year-on-year decline of 15.9 per cent.

China remained the biggest rubber importer. It was followed by Malaysia with a surge of 17 per cent in volume but down 7.5 per cent in value over the same time frame last year.

It is estimated that about 498,000 tonnes of rubber was exported during the first seven months, bringing a total export value of $1.21 billion.

Coffee and tea saw slight increases in export prices. However, export volume for coffee was estimated to have fallen to 890,000 tonnes, down by 23.7 per cent, and posting a total export turnover of $1.91 billion.

Germany and the US remained Viet Nam's two biggest importers. Export turnover of coffee to the two markets during the first seven months declined by 21.1 per cent and 28.6 per cent compared to the same period last year. Coffee export turnover to England and Russia also rose 17.6 per cent and 16.2 per cent respectively.

Tea exports were estimated to reach 77,000 tonnes with an export turnover of $120 million. Tea exports to Taiwan, the country's biggest tea importer, were up 7.2 per cent with turnover increasing by nearly 12 per cent.

Cashews and pepper registered a rise in volume. Cashew exporters earned $759 million from exporting 136,000 tonnes or a year-on-year increase of 5.9 per cent in value.

Pepper exports went up 22.8 per cent in volume to 94,000 tonnes while export value reached nearly $618 million with a year-on-year climb of 17.7 per cent. The US and Germany remained as the country's biggest pepper importers.

During the first seven months, exports of wood and wooden products topped $2.9 billion, or an increase of 12.3 per cent over the same period last year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has instructed agencies to continue raising the quality of export items and ensure requirements on food safety and hygiene are met.

Apart from traditional markets, exporters needed to enhance trade promotion and expand export markets while connecting with businesses and associations to propose policies to boost exports and tap potential markets during the remaining months of the year.

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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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