Vietnam’s cassava exports recover in first quarter

Vietnam achieved cassava export growth in both volume and value in the first quarter of this year despite experiencing difficulties, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

vietnam’s cassava exports recover in first quarter hinh 0
Vietnam's cassava chip exports were estimated at 263,000 tonnes, earning US$57 million in the first quarter of this year. (Photo: congthuong.vn)

Cassava exports in the first quarter rose by 14% in volume to 772,000 tonnes and 0.4% in value to US$257 million year-on-year, the MARD’s Department of Agro-product Processing and Market Development said. Of which, exports reached 335,000 tonnes in March, earning US$113 million.

However, the average export price of cassava in the quarter fell by 12% to US$332.5 per tonne.

In terms of product structure during the first three months, cassava chip exports were estimated at 263,000 tonnes, earning US$57 million, up 70% in volume and 96% in value over the same period last year.

Cassava starch exports reached 509,000 tonnes, earning US$200 million, down 2% in volume and 12% in value.

During the quarter, lower supply of cassava chips due to prolonged hot weather and the pandemic pushed up export prices by 16% to US$217 per tonne compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, the average export price of cassava starch fell by 10% to US$393 per tonne.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import and Export Department said the cassava export growth in the first quarter was mainly due to growth to mainland China. Besides that, businesses also promoted exports to Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan.

According to the General Department of Customs, in the first two months this year, China was the largest export market of Vietnam's cassava and cassava products, reaching 402,480 tonnes worth about 130.9 million. These exports had an increase of 10.6% in volume but a plunge of 2.8% in value over the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the nation saw strong growth in both volume and value of cassava exports to Malaysia in the first quarter. Exports were up by 48.5% in volume to 7,400 tonnes and by 49.4% in value to US$3.2 million.

Vietnam’s cassava export price is expected to increase due to lower supply on the domestic market as hot weather, disease and the pandemic take hold. Meanwhile, output of this product in Thailand, which is the largest exporter of cassava to China so far this year, is expected to decrease by 20% compared to 2019.

On the other hand, according to MARD, China would have increased demand for cassava to promote ethanol production after the pandemic and animal feed for pigs. China has faced a shortage of pork due to African swine fever.

However, the export of cassava starch via the border gates is likely to slow because China is prioritising imports of fruit and other essential foods.

In 2019, Vietnam's cassava exports reached 2.46 million tonnes, earning US$948 million. Exports surged by 2.9% in volume but fell by 0.2% in value compared to 2018.

VNA