Vietnam’s coffee exports rake in 1 billion USD in Q1 hinh anh 1Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong (L) visits a coffee farm (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam exported up to 520,000 tonnes of coffee worth 1 billion USD in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 15.1 percent in volume but a decrease of 1.7 percent in value compared to the same period last year.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Germany, the US, Indonesia, Italy and Japan were among the country’s key export markets. Germany accounted for more than 14 percent of exports though its purchases fell by 18 percent year-on-year.

Do Ha Nam, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association, described the situation as “good.”

The sector’s export target for the 2017-18 crop is 1.5 million tonnes. In the last quarter of 2017, 400,000 tonnes of coffee had been exported, meaning only another 600,000 tonnes have to be exported to meet the target.

Nam said it is not a big number with five months still to go for the end of the coffee season, and the target would surely be achieved.

Talking about prices in the domestic market, he said they are down slightly since the market is now mainly affected by movements in the forward market. But many experts agreed there is no big threat this year since supply and demand are closely matched, Nam said.

The association said Vietnam’s coffee output is expected to increase by 15 percent this year, but would not create pressure because the increase would be much lower than in most years.

Vietnam exported 1.4 million tonnes last year for 3.2 billion USD. The country’s exports were down sharply last year due to a fall in output because of the impact of climate change, but thanks to high prices, the export value was down by only 2.7 percent over 2016, the association said.  

Vietnam is the second largest exporter behind Brazil. The country’s coffee industry has carried out a restructuring programme to improve its competitiveness by improving productivity, quality and value.

Under the programme, the country plans to keep the coffee growing area at 600,000ha and focus on planting new trees with higher productivity and quality, it said.-VNA