The average prices of many key export items such as farm-aquatic produce and minerals are dropping, posing great challenge to the country in its bid to raise export value by 10 percent this year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Speaking at the MoIT’s online conference on April 7, Director of the Planning Department Nguyen Tien Vy said farm produce saw their export prices reduce by between 2 and 24.8 percent in the reviewed period.

Ores and minerals, including coal, face the same problem, with their prices dropping by as much as 66.3 percent.

The export volume of these two groups of products also decreased, resulting in a reduction of around 390 million USD in their export turnover compared to Quarter 1 last year.

With the set target of 145.4 billion USD in export turnover for this year, the country must earn an average of 12.1 billion USD each month, but the monthly figure for the first three months stood at only 11.12 billion USD. Therefore, experts urge more efforts to remove difficulties for exporters if the target is to be met.

At the same time, the management of import is also under pressure when import is required to be controlled at under 10 billion USD. However, the import of luxury goods has surged the first quarter, with a 78.7 percent rise in the import of under-nine seat cars and a 25.3 percent increase for mobile phones.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang asked the ministry’s agencies to keep close contact with enterprises in order to timely tackle arising problems and complaints.

Particularly regarding farm produce, the ministry will work to enhance its capacity of stockpiling and price management to counter price fluctuation in the world market.

In addition, the MoIT asked relevant ministries and sectors to continue giving priority to farmers in accessing loans to purchase production materials as well as to enterprises engaging in production for export.

On the macro level, the negotiations on free trade agreements between Vietnam and foreign partners will be expedited with a view to expanding market for the country’s exports.

Vietnam’s export revenues reached 33.35 billion USD, up 14.1 percent from the same period last year, while imports stood at 32.34 billion USD in the first quarter of this year.

The processing industry alone earned more than 23.5 billion USD, up 17.6 percent year on year.

However, crude oil export revenues dropped by 8.3 percent to 1.7 billion USD, and cassava and cassava products earned only 367 million USD, a 14.8 percent reduction. Another staple, rubber suffered from a 39.2 percent drop, bringing home 306 million USD while coal posted an export value of 217 million USD, a 25.4 percent decrease.-VNA