Export turnover of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products in the first quarter of the year surged 6.2 percent against the same period last year, to hit 6.56 billion USD, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The export turnover of forestry products rose 16.3 percent to 1.24 billion USD while those of agricultural and fisheries products declined 5.4 percent and 5.9 percent respectively.

The rise in export value of forestry products was attributed to the growing demand from foreign markets, According to Director of the Ministry's Information and Statistics Centre Nguyen Viet Chien.

He said that the Chinese market saw the highest rise of 63.08 percent, and other markets including the US , Japan and the Republic of Korea ranged between 13.18 and 27.55 percent.

The decline in export value of agricultural and fisheries products was due to a reduction in both export volume and value of many key staples, he explained.

Rice exports, for example, had grown 34.3 percent in volume, but the turnover was down 5.7 percent to reach 616 million USD, with prices falling 14 percent to 450 USD per tonne, he noted.

Mainland China remained Vietnam 's largest rice importer, accounting for 40.2 percent of Vietnam 's total rice exports.

Singapore , the Philippines and Hong Kong followed with 8.83, 6.23 and 5.47 percent, respectively.

Export volume of rubber in the first quarter declined 36.9 percent to 200,000 tonnes, down 15.9 percent at 526 million USD.

Tea export value surged 2.5 percent to 43 million USD, although export volume was down 14.1 percent at 29,000 tonnes.

Another key agricultural export item, coffee, also experienced a decline in both value and volume. Value was down 18 percent at 909 million USD while volume fell 21.2 percent to 447,000 tonnes.

Germany and the US are currently Vietnam's largest coffee consumers, representing 12.51 and 11.31 percent of the country's total coffee export turnover.-VNA