Target for agro-forestry-fishery export value revised up to US$45 billion

The total export turnover of agricultural, forestry and aquaculture products reached US$24.23 billion in the first six months of 2021, an increase of 28.2% compared to the same period of 2020, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Based on the encouraging outcome and signs of recovery in the world market, the ministry has raised the yearly target for export earnings from those products to US$45 billion, US$3 billion higher than the amount assigned by the government.

The high export turnover in the first half was attributable to surges in the export value of several products, such as rubber, tea, pepper bean, cashew nuts, fruit and vegetables, cassava and cassava products, timber and wood products. Notably, rubber saw increases of 41.3% in export volume and 80% in value; cashew nut up 22.2% in volume and 11.1% in value; timber and wood products up almost 75% in value.

Regarding the growth of fruit and vegetable exports, Dang Phuc Nguyen, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association explained that it was buoyed by increases in shipments to China, which is the main buyer, accounting for 60% of Vietnam’s total vegetable and fruit exports value. He added that however, the growth is still lower compared to pre-COVID-19 period.

The four biggest export markets for Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery products in the period are China, the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

In the first half of 2021, Vietnam’s exports to China through border gates was under pressure due to the fourth COVID-19 resurgence which coincided with the harvest season of several main agriculture produce. With knowledge and experience gained from the previous outbreaks, ministries, agencies and localities have proactively handled the flow of goods through the border gates while still ensuring disease prevention measures.

In order to achieve the new goal for the year, the agricultural sector will implement solutions to assist key export products that have good prospects to increase export value, while striving to make better use of advantages brought by free trade agreements such as the EVFTA, CPTPP to remove barriers and facilitate markets entry.

At the same time, the sector will work to reach markets of economies with complementary product structures with Vietnam such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, the European Union or the Middle East; and select suitable products to export to potential markets such as Russia, the Middle East and Africa.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the MARD’s Agricultural Products Processing and Market Development Department, said the ministry is negotiating with countries to remove trade and technology barriers for Vietnamese agriculture exports.

According to Nguyen Nhu Tiep, head of the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, Vietnamese exports will continue to face new obstacles as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed up production and logistics costs. Therefore, the ministry will continue to provide information on foreign markets and immediately handle any arising market problems.