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Vietnam Eyes US$8Bln from Farm Product Exports This Year
23 | 06 | 2007
Vietnam will likely earn US$8 billion from farm product exports in 2007, up from the target of US$7.4 billion set by the government earlier this year, thanks to better world market agricultural product prices, said a Ministry of Trade (MoT) official.
Soaring world demand for Vietnamese agricultural mainstays have pushed up prices, and total agricultural export sales may surpass US$8 billion if the country reaps bumper crops this year, said Pham The Dung, head of the Import-Export Department under the ministry.
 
Farm product exports so far have fared quite well, generating over US$2 billion in the first quarter alone, according figures recently released by the Government Statistics Office.
 
Vietnam’s key farm exports are rice, coffee, rubber and pepper, plus wooden furniture, which is classified as a forestry product not an industrial item. The prospects for all these items look bright, according to the trade ministry.
 
Rice export in the first quarter decreased by 43 per cent in volume to 710,000 tons worth US$230 million, but the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development estimates total export this year may amount to 4.5 million tons worth US$1.4 billion, up US$200 million from last year.
 
Truong Thanh Phong, head of the Vietnam Food Association, said demands for rice on the world market would strongly increase, especially in Vietnam’s key markets such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Iran, prompting prices to rise.
 
The Trade Ministry has, since the beginning of this quarter, revised up the rice export target; total export volume in the first half will amount to at least 2.5 million tons, worth some US$800 million.
 
Coffee is another foreign currency earner whose export value this year will beat the annual target of US$1.02 billion.
 
Van Thanh Huy, chairman of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, said the country shipped abroad some 488,000 tons of coffee beans in the first quarter, earning US$697 million. He estimated total export volume would be 900,000 tons, and price would stay high this year.
 
Rubber export decreased a little in the first quarter to some US$254 million due to falling prices on the world market, but a trade source said the period of falling prices would be short-lived.
 
Tran Thuy Hoa, general secretary of Vietnam Rubber Association, said rubber prices would soon bounce back as demand still outpaces supply on the world market. Therefore, the estimated rubber export earnings of US$1.4 billion this year is within reach, Hoa said.
 
While pepper is not among the key cash earners of the country’s agricultural sector, its surging prices on the world market contribute greatly to the overall sector. The export price for Vietnam’s pepper has doubled from last year’s figure to some US$3,000 a ton.
 
Furniture is seen as a key booster of the country’s agriculture this year, with total export revenue estimated at US$2.5 billion this year. In the first quarter, the item generated US$584 million in export earnings, up 23 per cent year-on-year.
 
Last year, Vietnam reportedly fetched a total earning of US$7.16 billion from shipping agricultural and forestry products abroad.


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