Agricultural exports to rise sharply in 2014

(VOV) -Government economists are predicting significant expansion for Vietnam’s agricultural exports in 2014.

According to the Vietnam Fruits and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit), 2014 is looking like it will be another bumper year for vegetable exports, which have experienced annual growth rates of 20% to 30% in recent years.

The Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) in turn has forecast that the export volume of pepper will be around 125,000 to 130,000 tonnes with total revenue remaining relatively unchanged from 2013 at US$900 million.

The revenue forecast is a rather conservative estimate based on the assumption that pepper prices were stable in 2013 and will not increase in 2014.  Pepper prices hovered around VND120,000 a kilo throughout 2013.

For rice exports, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Vietnam Food Association (VFA) said the export outlook is expected to remain unchanged compared to 2013. However, Vietnam will face tougher competition from Thailand and other main rice suppliers in Asia.

India will remain the world’s leading supplier and a strong rival of Vietnam this year.

VFA says despite falling demand in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is still in a position to win government-to-government export contracts with regional countries.

China, Vietnam’s biggest rice importer, is forecast to continue its high level of imports, yet economists warn of trade risks from this market.

VFA says Vietnam’s rice exports will reach around 6.5-7 million tonnes this year.