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Vietnam’s agro-forestry, seafood exports top record $22.2bn in 2014

Friday, January 02, 2015, 16:46 GMT+7
Vietnam’s agro-forestry, seafood exports top record $22.2bn in 2014
Workers work at a seafood processing company in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho in this photo illustration.

Vietnam posted record high revenue from agro-forestry and seafood exports in 2014 as larger volumes offset slumping export prices, an export official said Thursday.

Exports of agro-forestry and seafood products reached US$22.2 billion last year, a 12 percent rise from 2013, said Tran Thanh Hai, deputy head of the export department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, citing the ministry’s 2014 import-export report.

Agro-forestry and seafood exports accounted for as much as 14.8 percent of the total export turnover last year, Hai added.

Agricultural products including pepper, fruit and vegetables, and coffee all posted annual growth of more than 30 percent. However, commodities such as tea, cassava and rubber suffered steep drops of nearly 30 percent.

Vietnamese agro-forestry and seafood exporters had to charge lower export prices in 2014, but total revenue was still $1.1 billion higher than a year earlier thanks to rising volumes.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) reported early this week that the country’s seafood exports in 2014 could exceed its target by $900 million.

The seafood sector had targeted to bring home $7 billion from exports, while the real figure could reach an estimated $7.9 billion, according to VASEP.

Shipments of catfish slightly rose 0.6 percent from 2013 to $1.77 billion, while shrimp posted a strong growth rate of 28 percent, standing at $3.9 billion in 2014.

The two main markets of Vietnamese catfish, the EU and the U.S., cut orders significantly last year, but expansions from other markets including ASEAN, China and Mexico were positive, the VASEP noted.

The association also attributed the strong growth of shrimp exports to the abundant domestic supply and disease outbreaks in China and Thailand, one of the world’s largest shrimp exporting countries.

Vietnam’s shrimp shipments, however, slowed down at the end of last year as the U.S. levied higher antidumping duties on them, according to the VASEP.

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