HCMC – Vietnam’s export value recorded in the first four months of the year rose 4.7% against the year-ago figure to reach nearly US$83 billion, with trade surplus of an estimated US$3 billion, according to the General Statistics Office.
These figures showed that the country’s import-export activities hold potential for further growth despite being heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic, reported Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper.
Some local exporters have reportedly received orders that will be filled after Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is brought under control in the country.
The agricultural sector alone earned US$11.9 billion in export turnover during the four-month period, dipping 4.9% compared with the 2019 figure but posting a trade surplus of US$2.8 billion.
Exports of local agro commodities maintained their growth momentum, including wood and wooden products, up 3.5%; coffee, inching up 1.5%; cashew, increasing 4.2%; and vegetables, rising 5%.
Nguyen Quang Hoa, director of Long An-based Duong Vu Company, one of the nation’s largest sticky rice exporters, noted that sticky rice has been approved for export based on market demand since April 24. His firm’s first batch of sticky rice was shipped on April 26 and the client is expected to receive the shipment on May 5.
Earlier, Vietnam had suspended exports of rice, including sticky rice, for a month, leading to a temporary sticky rice undersupply in consumption markets such as China, the Philippines and Malaysia. Accordingly, some importers agreed to purchase sticky rice at US$650 per ton, which is US$90 higher than previously, asking to receive the rice in May.
Local sticky rice exporters accepted the high shipping costs and are speeding up exports to meet customer demand, Hoa stated.
According to Phan Minh Thong, general director of Phuc Sinh JSC, his company recorded a 20% year-on-year increase in exports of coffee and pepper, its two key export items.
Thong added that the pandemic has slashed coffee consumption at coffee shops, restaurants and hotels but consumption of the product has risen at supermarket chains and online stores locally and abroad. His employees have had to work overtime to meet the surging demand.
Ong Hang Van, deputy general director of Truong Giang Fishery JSC in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, confirmed that Truong Giang’s number of export orders in April almost doubled compared with the first three months of the year. The firm’s shipment of aquatic products to the United States faced no obstacles, even during Covid-19.