ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Sharp drop in prices pulling down Vietnam's export growth
Publication Date : 09-04-2014
A sharp price decline in Vietnam's key export products, including agriculture, seafood, and minerals, lays heavy on the country's 10-per cent growth rate target for this year.
Nguyen Tien Vy, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Planning Department. said the total import-export revenue in March was estimated at US$12 billion, increasing by $2.46 billion from the level in the previous month.
The total import-export turnover in the first quarter of the year was recorded at $33.35 billion, posting a 14-per cent year-on-year rise.
Of the amount, domestic enterprises enjoyed an export turnover of $10.9 billion, increasing by 9.8 per cent from year-ago level, while foreign-invested businesses accounted for $22.47 billion worth of export turnover.
In a press briefing, Vy said the processing industry made the biggest contribution to the export results, as the group roped in about $23.5 billion, accounting for 71 per cent of the total.
The United States remained Vietnam's largest importer in this quarter, accounting for $5.9 billion, up by 23 per cent from year-ago level. The European Union also imported $5.9 billion worth of products from Vietnam. The other major markets during the period were: Asean, $4.7 billion; China, $3.8 billion, and Japan,$3.6 billion.
However, he pointed to a fall in prices and the quantity of exports of key staples in the first quarter of the year.
As per statistics revealed by the ministry, the export prices of agricultural products, including coffee, rubber, cassava, and cassava products, reduced by 2 to 25 per cent due to the bad weather conditions.
Ore and minerals noted a maximum decrease of 66 per cent in the material and mineral group, while coal price was down by 27 per cent.
Vo Van Quyen, the head of the ministry's Domestic Market Department, reported the low prices of agricultural and fishery products despite the high output, due to lack of market information.
Tran Minh Toai, the deputy director of the southern Can Tho Province's Department of Industry of Trade, shared the same view, stressing that businesses in the locality had no information on export markets, and thus faced problems in finding buyers.
Toai requested the ministry to start a website focussing on market information to update import demands on agro-forest and fisheries products.
Deputy Minister Le Duong Quang urged the relevant agencies to hold timely meetings with businesses for tackling their difficulties.
Quang emphasised that the producers should improve their reserve capacity and quality in order to enhance competitiveness, especially in the case of rice.