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NEWS UPDATES 28 August 2010

Vietnamese agricultural exports climb 20 percent

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Agricultural exports totalled US$12.2 billion in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 20 percent compared to the same period a year ago, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced.

Exports totalled $1.75 billion in August alone, the ministry said.

The growth was attributed to a surge of 16.6 percent in farm products, which totalled US$6.5 billion during the period; 13 percent in seafood products, which earned US$2.95 billion; and a whopping 40 percent in forestry products, which raked in $2.28 billion.

Higher export prices drove up totals across the board, with some key products seeing a reduction in export volume but an increase in export value, said the director of the ministry's Statistics and Informatics Centre, Nguyen Viet Chien.

Coffee exports, for instance, fell 3.1 percent in volume but saw a year-on-year increase of 4.7 per cent in value, totalling $1.2 billion. Pepper also declined 2.9 per cent in export volume to just 94,000 tonnes but surged 35 per cent in value to $312 million.

Meanwhile, rice exports rose 8.2 percent in the first eight months of the year to 5 million tonnes, earning $2.4 billion,

and increase of 12.8 per cent in value, as natural disasters and the loss of crops in China and African countries gave an opportunity to Vietnamese rice exporters, Chien said.

Cashew prices also spiked during the period, rising 18.7 per cent to $5,392 per tonne, and lifting export value by 25 per cent to $656 million, Chien said. Export volume of cashews also rose by 5.3 per cent to 120,000 tonnes, he said.

Tea was another success story, with exports increasing 2.5 per cent in volume to a total of 85,000 tonnes,

and 15 per cent in value to $124 million, as the quality of Vietnamese tea improved to reach international standards, said Viet Nam Tea Association chairman Doan Anh Tuan, who noted that tea prices have risen 12 per cent since a year ago to $1,430 per tonne.

Leading export markets for Vietnamese tea included Pakistan, Russia and Taiwan, he added.

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