The fertiliser industry expects to boost shipments to Southeast Asian markets in the latter half of the year, according to a leading executive in the industry.

PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Corporation (Phu My Fertilisers) Deputy Director Nguyen Hong Vinh said that Vietnam has a geographical advantage over major producers in the Middle East and Baltic regions and domestic producers should turn that edge into an opportunity to enlarge their market share in ASEAN countries.

After opening a branch in Cambodia last year, Phu My Fertilisers intended to open a representative office in Myanmar this year to better exploit the potential of that growing market, Vinh said.

The corporation exported 50,000 tonnes of fertiliser to Cambodia , the Philippines and Myanmar in the first half of the year, he noted.

It targeted to export roughly 300,000 tonnes annually to ASEAN markets within the next few years, with those markets being expected to ultimately account for 25 percent of its total sales.

However, Vinh noted that there were obstacles to increasing market share within neighbouring countries.

While domestic fertiliser production in Myanmar , for instance, met only 10 percent of that country's total demand, the domestic industry there was heavily subsidised and there was fierce competition from Chinese products, he said. Myanmar 's poor banking system also put exporters at risk for receiving payment, he noted.-VNA