Export turnover of main agricultural products down significantly

The export of many agricultural products, especially industrial crops such as pepper, rubber, tea, and cashew nuts, fell remarkably from January to July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the biggest fall was seen in the export of pepper.

In the first seven months of this year, Vietnam shipped 187,000 tonnes of pepper abroad, earning US$405 million, down 6.5% and 20.6%, respectively, year-on-year. The latter decline was attributed to a fall of over 16% in the export price.

MARD’s Farm Produce Processing and Market Development Department has forecast that, in the months to come, purchasing power in Europe and the US will continue to shrink amid the second wave of COVID-19. Natural disasters in China - one of Vietnam’s major pepper importers - will also affect demand for pepper imports in the short term.

The department therefore advised exporters to choose appropriate solutions to minimise risks and limit problems relating to international trade.

Similar to pepper, the export of rubber is also facing difficulties. During January-July, Vietnam earned US$855 million from shipping 662,000 tonnes of rubber abroad, year-on-year decreases of 20.3% and 15.1%, respectively.

The rubber market is predicted to see bright signs in the short term as Governments shift from focusing on the fight against COVID-19 to economic recovery. The reopening of economies will boost demand and positively affect the rubber industry.

According to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), the industry has overcome the worst period caused by the COVID-19 crisis and is showing signs of recovery. After falls of 15% in May and 5.3% in June, global rubber consumption in the third quarter is forecast to increase 1.4% against the same period of 2019 and is estimated to enjoy an upward trend from July.

Vietnam posted a rise of 10.4% in the volume of exported cashew nuts in the first seven months but a reduction of 4% in value. It earned US$1.72 billion from exporting 265,000 tonnes. The average export price in the first six months reached US$6,641 per tonne, down 13.1% year-on-year.

According to the Farm Produce Processing and Market Development Department, the export of cashew nuts will continue to fall in the third quarter as the price was quite low at the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the third.

Exports are expected to rise in the fourth quarter as major importers such as the US, India, the EU, and China normally increase imports for the year-end holidays.

The tea industry was also hard hit, exporting 12,000 tonnes and earning US$19 million, up 1.3% in volume but down 8.7% in value year-on-year.

Slight decreases in both volume and value were reported in the coffee sector. Vietnam shipped a total of 1.06 million tonnes of beans to earn US$1.8 billion, down 0.1% and 0.6%, respectively, year-on-year.

VNA