QI agriculture posts nearly 49 percent growth in trade surplus hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Vietnam’s agriculture sector gained a trade surplus of nearly 2.9 billion USD in the first quarter of 2020, up 48.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

During the three-month period, the sector achieved a total trade value of approximately 15.2 billion USD from horticultural, forestry and aquatic products, with exports worth 9.06 billion USD, equal to the same period last year; and imports of about 6.2 billion USD, down 13.2 percent.

Exports of key horticultural products declined 3.1 percent year-on-year to 4.2 billion USD. A similar trend was witnessed in exports of main forestry products (2.8 billion USD, down 16.13 percent), aquatic products (1.5 billion USD, 14 percent) and livestock products (109 million USD, 21.8 percent).

However, several items maintained growth, including rice, cassava, and wood and timber products. The country exported 1.7 million tonnes of rice from January – March for 774 million USD, up 19.9 percent and 27.8 percent, respectively. Exports of wood and timber products valued 2.62 billion USD, up 15.9 percent.

The biggest contraction was seen in the export of tra fish, which was worth 238 million USD, down 61.5 percent. It was followed by rubber (down 26.1 percent), tea (19 percent), and pepper (13.9 percent).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US replaced China as Vietnam’s largest buyer who imported 2.1 billion USD worth of agricultural products, up 18 percent and accounting for 23.2 percent of the total export revenue. China came second with 21.4 percent, followed by the EU (13.1 percent), Japan (8.9 percent), and ASEAN (16.4 percent)./.