Farm produce exports surge strongly on good prices
By Ngoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Multiple farm products like seafood, pepper, cashew and vegetables recorded a strong rise in export revenues this year thanks to good prices, industry sources said.
Dang Hoang Giang, general secretary of Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), said the export volume of cashew was 150,000 tons in 2011, a drop of 40,000 tons compared to last year but bringing in an additional US$150 million for the industry, or US$1.3 billion in total.
Meanwhile, General Secretary Tran Thi Thuy Hoa of Vietnam Rubber Association (VRA) estimated the total export turnover of rubber would reach US$3.2 billion, or twice as much as last year and exceeding the industry’s target by US$700 million.
Hoa attributed this growth to the higher prices at US$3,900 per ton on average, compared to last year at some US$3,300 a ton.
As for pepper, this year continued the high price level from 2010. Vietnam Pepper Association informed the country exported some 120,000 tons of pepper this year, worth US$720 million, recording a rise of 8% in volume and a hefty growth of 86% in value.
Seafood export, which generates the major source of foreign currency to the country, would likely fetch US$6 billion by the year’s end, or a surge of US$500 million over the initial plan, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). As of the end of November, the total export turnover of seafood has reached US$5.6 billion, said Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP.
Meanwhile, some 1.1 million tons of coffee has been exported in 2011, equal in volume to last year but surging 56% in value to US$2.6 billion, said the Vietnam Association of Coffee and Cacao (Vicofa).
As for rice, Vietnam Food Association (VFA) expected the export rice amount would be seven million tons this year, worth US$3.7 billion, increasing by US$800 million against last year. This staple crop, however, has seen staggering growth in volume as well.
According to Huynh Quang Dau, vice chairman of Vietnam Fruit Association (Vinafruit), the export fruit and vegetables would earn US$600 million in turnover, while the year’s target was US$470 million.
In 2011, Vietnam received many export orders from the European Union and Japan, said Vinafruit. However, the transport fees to these markets are much more higher than those from the neighboring countries of Thailand and China, reducing the competitiveness of local products.
Nevertheless, Vinafruit set a goal to achieve the annual export turnover of over US$1 billion in the coming years.