Agro-forestry-fishery exports: The decline is slowing

VCN - Because many key export products had a decrease in export value compared to the same period last year, the export turnover of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in the first quarter was only estimated at 11.19 billion USD, down 14.4% over the same period last year.
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Agro-forestry-fishery exports: The decline is slowing

In the first quarter, seafood exports reached 1.79 billion USD, down 29%. Photo: N. Thanh

Immersed in difficulties

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the total export and import turnover of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in the first three months of 2023 was estimated at US$ 20.63 billion, down 11.2% over the same period last year. In which, export is estimated at 11.19 billion USD, down 14.4%; import was estimated at 9.44 billion USD, down 7.2%; trade surplus of USD 1.76 billion, down 39.6% over the same period in 2022.

Specifically, exports of agricultural products reached USD 5.73 billion, up 3.8%; forest products reached 3.11 billion USD, down 28.3%; seafood reached 1.79 billion USD, down 29%; livestock production reached 115 million USD, up 46.5%; production input reached USD 458 million, down 26.8% and salt reached USD 0.9 million, down 31.3%.

The items that decreased include: coffee at 1.27 million USD (down 2.3%), rubber at 552 million USD (down 22.9%), tea at 35 million USD (down 22.9%), pepper at 239 million USD (down 3.8%), pangasius at 422 million USD (down 33.1%), shrimp at 578 million USD (down 39.4%), wood and wood products at 2.88 billion USD (down 28.3%), rattan, bamboo and sedge carpet products at USD 172 million (down 34.9%).

In the gloomy picture of agricultural, forestry and fishery exports in the first quarter, there are still some "bright" spots such as rice reaching US$952 million (up 30.2%); fruit and vegetable group reached 935 million USD (up 10.6%); cashew nuts reached 708 million USD (up 14.2%); milk and dairy products reached 33.3 million USD (up 22.2%); meat and by-products USD 37 million (up 80.1%).

The growth rate of added value of the agricultural, forestry and fishery sector in the first quarter of 2023 was estimated at 2.52% compared to the same period in 2022. Of which, agriculture increased by about 2.43%; forestry increased by 3.66% and fisheries increased by 2.68%.

The reason for the sharp decline in agricultural exports in the first quarter of 2023 was pointed out by Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Center for Digital Transformation and Agricultural Statistics (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) because the global economy in 2023 is expected to slow down; influence from the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict; High inflation in some countries around the world has reduced consumer demand and import demand. In addition, after the Covid-19 pandemic was controlled, many countries re-exported agricultural products and increased supply in the market. While in the country, many businesses have not yet signed new export orders in 2023.

In the domestic market, the prices of some commodities decreased slightly such as rice, coffee, tea, pepper, fruit, live pigs, chicken because in March, the demand for food consumption was lower than last month (during the Lunar New Year).

“The price of input materials for agricultural, forestry and fishery production fluctuates rapidly, affecting regulation, business administration and reducing profits of farmers and agriculture enterprises," said Nguyen Quoc Toan.

Falling momentum is slowing

Assessing the difficulties in the second quarter and the future, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said that 2023 will be a very difficult year for the agricultural industry when bank interest rates are high, limited bank room, reduced market consumption, increased input material prices.

However, the decline in agricultural exports is showing signs of slowing down and is expected to recover at the end of the second quarter.

"By March, the decline is being prevented, creating growth momentum for the next month. According to industry associations, the end of the second quarter is the time to accelerate, so we must have a solution first and long-term to ensure the goal, accordingly, flexible management, timely implementation of solutions continue to be the motto of the agricultural industry to be able to recover the growth momentum of agriculture, forestry and fishery exports," emphasized Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien.

Entering the second quarter, the agriculture and rural sectors continue to carry out tasks with more difficult goals, with the goal of increasing value of the whole industry by 2.9 - 3%, total export turnover for agriculture, forestry and fishery is about 14 billion USD.

According to Le Ba Anh, Deputy Director, Quality Management Department of Agro-Forestry and Fisheries (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), in order to restore seafood exports - Vietnam's key export product in the near future. In the future, the two key seafood markets that Vietnam needs to focus on are Japan and China, because we have a competitive advantage over other suppliers.

“Particular attention should be paid to the Chinese market because we have the advantage of distance. The Japanese market has both the advantage of distance and the advantage when the Japanese market is very trusting of Vietnam's shrimp products. These will be two key markets," said Le Ba Anh.

In addition, Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien also said that the agricultural sector will continue to focus on removing difficulties and obstacles, expanding the market for domestic and foreign agricultural products. Specifically, the Ministry will organize a conference of border provinces on connecting trade and promoting trade in agricultural products between Vietnam and China (quarter 2 and quarter 3); participate in a series of events promoting Vietnam's key agricultural products in the UK; and a series of international Food and Beverage events in the UK in Q2.

At the same time, take advantage of free trade agreements, especially the CPTPP and the Vietnam - European Union Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to boost the export of key agricultural, forestry and fishery products, supporting enterprises to sign new export orders.

Coordinate to support the protection of trademarks and geographical indications for potential export products of Vietnam abroad. Coordinate with localities to support connection, promote the processing and consumption of agricultural products in the harvest season. Submit to the Government a proposal to develop a decree on the management of Vietnam's national agricultural product brand. Implement a project to investigate the current status of agricultural product processing in association with raw material production and market demand.

By Xuan Thao/ Huu Tuc

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