Vietnam’s earnings from agro-forestry and fishery exports in the first five months of this year were US$10.7 billion a drop of 4.6% compared with the same period last year, according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
The decrease was due to difficulties in both markets and prices, which affected major agricultural and fishery products, according to MARD.
Meanwhile, the country’s agricultural import turnover rose 4.9% on the previous year, pulling the trade surplus of the industry down to $3.7 billion.
In the Jan-May period, the country shipped abroad 2.86 million tonnes of rice, bringing home $1.26 billion, a decrease of 3% in volume and 8% in value year-on-year.
China remains Vietnam’s largest rice customer, consuming 38.7% of Vietnam’s total export, followed by Malaysia 6.1%, Singapore 5.6%, Hong Kong 4.2%t and Indonesia 4.1%.
Seafood export saw a 5.6% decrease in the first five months of 2013, with $2.2 billion. The US, Japan and the Republic of Korea, which are Vietnam’s leading seafood consumers, saw a considerable decline in their imports, with a corresponding year-on-year decreases of 1.1%, 4.9% and 20.2%.
In face of the situation, MARD has directed businesses to further improve their product quality, while expanding to new markets to further step up exports of key agro-forestry and fishery products.