Vietnam pocketed about 2.39 billion USD from agro-forestry-fishery exports in September, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The figure has raised the sector’s total export turnover in the first nine months of this year to 20.45 billion USD, representing a year-on-year increase of 0.5 percent.

Among the export items, pepper and cashew recorded the most impressive growth in both volume and value.

Over the past three quarters, Vietnam exported a total of 188,000 tonnes of cashew nuts for 1.19 billion USD, up 16.5 percent in volume and 9.3 percent in value.

The US, China and the Netherlands were key markets of Vietnamese cashew, accounting for 34.4 percent, 16.6 percent and 10.4 percent of the country’s total export value respectively.

Meanwhile, pepper export volume rose by 20.2 percent to 112,000 tonnes, earning 743 million USD, up 16.5 percent year-on-year.

Wood and wood product export brought home 389 million USD in September and 3.77 billion USD in the past three quarters, up 12 percent over the corresponding time last year.

The sector’s export to major markets such as the US, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea grew strongly, ranging from 7.8 percent to 49 percent. The only significant exceptions were the German and French markets.

During the January-September period, seafood exports experienced a rise of 3 percent year-on-year to 4.61 billion USD.

The US remains Vietnam’s largest seafood customer, making up 21.6 percent of the country’s total export value, up 10.6 percent against the same period last year.

While Vietnam’s fishery export enjoyed remarkable growth in China, Canada and Thailand with 53 percent, 13.8 percent and 13 percent respectively, the figures in Japan, the RoK and Germany dropped by 0.6 percent, 14.1 percent and 2.6 percent.

The country exported around 471,000 tonnes of rice in September, bringing home 214 million USD. This fell far short of the country’s 650,000 tonne target, itself lowered from the 750,000 tonne goal previously set by the Vietnam Food Association.

In the first nine months of this year, rice export saw decreases of 14.3 percent in volume and 16.7 percent in value with 5.35 million tonnes shipped abroad worth 2.35 billion USD.

China remains Vietnam’s largest rice importer, consuming 1.62 million tonnes or 31.4 percent of the country’s total rice export turnover.

Experts forecast that the fourth quarter will be gloomy picture for the country’s rice exporters, saying Vietnamese businesses are finding it hard to seek new contracts.

They pointed to India’s heightened efforts to become the world’s top rice exporter, Thailand’s increasing rice stockpiles and China’s move to reduce rice imports this year.

During the reviewed period, the Vietnamese coffee businesses delivered 1.03 million tonnes to foreign importers, garnering 2.21 billion USD, down 23.1 percent in volume and 22.5 percent in value year-on-year.

With the present performance, experts said the yearly target of 4 billion USD may be out of reach for the country.

Apart from Germany and the US, the largest overseas drinkers of Vietnamese coffee, countries such as Russia, the UK and Spain have shown their interest as well.

During the timeframe, rubber exports also contracted by 1.2 percent in volume and 17.8 percent in value year-on-year, with 710,000 tonnes worth 1.68 billion USD delivered abroad.

At the same time, Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery imports enjoyed an increase of 10 percent over the same period last year to 13.59 billion USD.-VNA