Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines’ exports of agricultural and aquatic products in the first quarter of this year grew by 12 percent to 1.31 billion USD year on year, according to the country’s Department of Agriculture.

It is a opposite of the Philippines’ total shipments during the period which dropped by 5 percent year on year to 25.7 billion USD.

The biggest agri-fishery export earners were banana (489 million USD), coconut oil (232 million USD), fresh or dried pineapples (97 million USD) and shrimp and prawns (77 million USD).

The department pointed out that the agri-fishery sector was not yet affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during the period as the nationwide lockdown was imposed only over the last two weeks of the first quarter and the country’s major trading partners like Japan, China, the Republic of Korea and the EU have not yet imposed import restriction policies.

In Cambodia, exports of the renowned Kampot pepper, one of the country’s only two products to be registered as a Geographical Indication in the EU, has now been stymied because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an official of the Kampot provincial agriculture department.

At present, more than 130 tonnes of Kampot pepper remain in stock which cannot be exported especially to the EU and the Republic of Korea (RoK) because those countries suffer lockdown measures or restricted movement.

The Kampot Pepper Promotion Association projects about 100 tonnes will be produced this year despite unfavourable weather.

About 50 percent of all Kampot pepper is shipped to the EU, while about 20 percent is exported to other countries. The remaining 30 percent is consumed locally./.