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 19 Apr 2009

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Weak demand hits Vietnamese agriculture sector

Hurt by the global financial crisis, Vietnam's agricultural sector is faced with difficulties of insufficient demand from the global market, reported Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

The country has been pulling all-out efforts to tap new markets while maintaining traditional ones.

According to Vietnam's Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, the country's agricultural sector saw export turnover to $3.36 billion in the first quarter this year.

Although the figure presents the equivalent value to the same period last year, export turnover of the majority of key agricultural items, except rice, experienced a sharp fall compared to the same period last year, said the ministry.

The export value of seafood declined by ten percent year-on-year to $714 million in the first quarter and that of forest products fell 22 percent to $572 million due to shrinking demand from traditional markets.

The country's rice export, however, reached over 1.7 million tons in the first three months this year, worth $785 million, showing 71 percent year-on-year increase in volume and 76percent that in value, said the ministry.

Even though the country has still enjoyed positive figure of rice export so far this year, the ministry considered this year as a tough year for the country's farm product export, not excluding rice, due to shrinking demand from foreign markets and fiercer international competition.

Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development forecasted that the country's exports turnover of agro-forestry-fishery products will decrease by $4.5 billion to $12.5 billion this year due to sharp fall in demand from foreign importers.




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