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Agro-forestry-fishery sector earns smaller trade surplus in Jan-Aug

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HCMC – Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery export revenue between January and August reached US$32.1 billion, up 21.6% year-on-year, while the import value of these products amounted to US$28.8 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$3.3 billion, down 48.2% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In August, the country exported US$3.4 billion worth of agro-forestry-fishery products, down 21.6% year-on-year and down 22% month-on-month. Only three groups of products, including cassava, milk and dairy products and cereals saw the export value increase over the July figures.

Woodwork, tra fish and shrimp and vegetables reported the strongest drop in exports, falling by over 50%, 30% and 26%, respectively, the local media reported.

The sharp fall in agro-forestry-fishery exports was attributed to the impact of the ongoing fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Several processing and export firms have operated at 30%-40% of capacity, while many others had to suspend their operations to prevent the spread of the disease.

Despite the gloomy export picture in August, the good performance of agro-forestry-fishery exports in previous months kept up the total export value during the eight-month period.

The export value of the main agricultural products amounted to over US$13.9 billion, up 13.6% year-on-year, while forestry and seafood exports earned some US$11.2 billion and over US$5.6 billion, up 42.7% and 7.1%, respectively.

Numerous products such as coffee, rubber, cassava, cashew nuts, pepper, vegetables, fruits, shrimp, tra fish and woodwork enjoyed high export values, with rubber exports rising by 23.3% in volume and 61.4% in value year-on-year.

The United States was Vietnam’s largest buyer of agro-forestry-fishery products during the eight-month period, with a value of over US$9.3 billion, followed by China with some US$6.1 billion.

The ministry will continue to boost agro-forestry-fishery exports to other markets, including Peru, Australia, Brazil, ASEAN and Russia, and create favorable conditions for local exporters to ship farm produce to the European Union, Britain and China.

The data from the ministry also indicated that Vietnam’s import bill regarding these products over the past eight months soared by 44.1% year-on-year to US$28.8 billion.  The main agricultural products reported a surge of 57.7% in import turnover at US$17.8 billion, while the country spent US$2.5 billion, US$1.4 billion and US$2.2 billion buying meat, fishery and forestry products, respectively.

Cambodia was the country’s biggest farm produce supplier between January and August, with a value of US$2.9 billion.

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