Sustainable Solution for Agricultural Export

10:48:12 AM | 13/5/2019

Of US$3.5 billion of total agricultural, forest and aquatic export value in April 2019, key agricultural products accounted for only US$1.5 billion and the rest came from forest products (US$875 million), aquatic products (US$694 million) and livestock products (US$46 million).

In the first four months of 2019, the total export value of agricultural, forest and aquatic products totaled US$12.4 billion, almost unchanged from the same period of last year. Of the sum, key agricultural products contributed US$5.2 billion, down 5.6% year on year. Trade surplus was estimated at US$2.7 billion, down 8.7% year on year.

Mixed performances of key agricultural exports

Forest products and wooden furniture outshone other agricultural sectors to achieve the highest export growth. The two sectors brought home US$875 million in April, totaling US$3.278 billion in the first four months of 2019, a year on year growth of 17.8%, and sending trade surplus to US$2.488 billion from January to April.

The seafood export value rose 2.4% year on year to US$2.48 billion in the first four months of 2019. Pangasius and shrimp shipments earned US$635 million and US$913 million in the four-month period.

By volume, two key agricultural products increased in export shipments from January to April. Cashew nut and black pepper shipments augmented 4.7% and 21.4%, respectively, but their value ranked 13.3% and 6%.

Other products like rice, coffee and cassava shrank in both volume and value. Rice export declined 8% in volume and 19% in value to US$915 million. Coffee export sank 13% in volume and 19% in value to US$1.13 billion.

Some secondary agricultural products also dropped in volume and value. Cassava slipped 14% in volume and 3.3% in value to US$356 million. Livestock products were estimated to dip 6.5% to US$170 million.

Solutions


The decline in agricultural export value was forecast in late 2018 given volatile global markets.

At the same time, many countries in the world tended to invest more in agricultural development and Vietnamese agricultural products faced fierce competition in key export markets. Vietnam’s major importers of agricultural products like the United States, the European Union (EU), Japan, South Korea and China intensified agricultural protection by introducing higher quality, hygiene, safety and traceability standards.

Another reason was recent policy changes in China and lingering U.S. - China trade tensions. Brexit uncertainties and global geopolitical instability also significantly affected Vietnam's agricultural exports.

Domestically, challenges arising from diseases, especially African swine fever (ASF) epidemic, adverse weather and drought also hurt agricultural production.

Therefore, sustainable agricultural development is considered a fundamental solution. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said, the agricultural sector has embarked on restructuring; developed three-axis production structure comprised of national flagship products, provincial flagship products and local specialties carrying geographical indications. The sector has also developed production forms, constructed concentrated material areas; promoted cooperative cooperation and development, and attracted private investment. Developing agricultural, forest and aquatic product and service value chains is a necessary trend for Vietnamese agricultural products to conquer domestic and foreign markets.

The agricultural sector has actively accelerated scientific and technological research, transfer and application, carried out solutions to embrace opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to build national brands; developed and scaled up the granting of regional production codes and traceability of agricultural products.

Minister Cuong added that the agricultural sector has embarked on restructuring; developed three-axis production structure comprised of national flagship products, provincial flagship products and local specialties carrying geographical indications. Vietnam will conduct negotiations to boost exports to China, Japan, South Korea, India, the European Union (EU) and the Middle East and seek exports to potential markets like Russia, the Middle East, Africa and ASEAN.

Nguyen Thanh