The agro-forestry-aquatic sector raked in a total of US$33.18 billion from exports during the first ten months of the year, an annual increase of 1.6 per cent, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Simultaneously, the country spent approximately US$25.9 billion on agro-forestry-fishery imports throughout the reviewed period, a fall of 0.5 per cent.
With these figures, the agro-forestry-aquatic sector gained a trade surplus of US$7.3 billion, a US$664 million rise on-year. As a result, the agricultural sector has six products that enjoy an export turnover of more than US$2 billion.
The strong export growth during the ten-month period was largely driven by forest products which brought in a turnover of US$9.04 billion, up 18.8 per cent, whilst tea exports went up by 14.3 per cent and bamboo and rattan exports expanded by 40.6 per cent.
Elsewhere, the export of major farm produce fell by 7.4 per cent to US$15.25 billion, accounting for 46 per cent of total export turnover, while seafood exports dropped by 2.4 per cent to US$7.06 billion.
During the ten-month period, the export of fruit and vegetables dipped 1.3 per cent to US$2.3 billion. This decline can be attributed to a reduction in exports to the Chinese market as China has tightened regulations with regard to products with chemical residues and requirements of food safety and packaging.
China remains the largest export market for Vietnam's farm produce, accounting for 26.8 per cent of total export turnover, followed by the United States (21.7 per cent), the EU (11.9 per cent), and ASEAN (10.3 per cent).
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) forecasts that global trade will continue to slow in the near future, while trade barriers, especially those concerning the Chinese market will increase, resulting in additional pressure to the country’s agricultural exports.
Furthermore, the export prices of several major agricultural products are projected to endure a downward trend.
The MARD will continue to monitor the consumption of agricultural products at border gates whilst assessing the impact of China's policies on exports via official channels, as well as boosting trade promotion activities to the markets of China, India, the Netherlands, and Russia in the future.
Aside from securing traditional markets and expanding into potential new markets, the MARD will actively support local firms to take full advantage of opportunities presented by free trade agreements and seek to enhance market development activities.