Vietnam’s agroforestry and fisheries value is estimated at 5.4 billion USD in the first quarter of 2011, a year-on-year rise of 33.3 percent, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Of the total value, major farm products accounted for 3.4 billion USD, up 56.2 percent while fisheries made up 1.1 billion USD, up 22 percent, and forestry products represented 809 million USD, up 1.2 percent.

The ministry said that most agroforestry and fisheries commodities recorded year-on-year increases in both volume and value.

Rubber ranked first in terms of export value with 179,000 tonnes being exported for 798 million USD, year-on-year increases of almost 50 percent and 2.5 times, respectively.

It was followed by cashew nuts with 28,000 tonnes for 194 million USD, a year-on-year reduction of 9.8 percent in volume but a 21.7 percent year-on-year increase in value.

Contrasting with last year’s reductions in both volume and value, the country exported 504,000 tonnes of coffee for 1 billion USD in the first three months of the year, year-on-year rises of more than 46 percent in volume and more than double in value.

Secretary General of the Vietnam Coffee Club Nguyen Nam Hai said that climate change and disasters occurring in many places in the world have damaged coffee crops in the world’s major coffee producers, including Colombia and Brazil, thus resulting in short supply and higher coffee prices.

Despite year-on-year increases of 13.3 percent and 3.9 percent in rice export volume and value, the whole year’s rice export volume is unlikely to increase as strong as last year. However, wheat export figures show recovery.

Vietnam slashed its rice export prices by 9.6 percent to 505 USD per tonne in the first two months of the year.

Indonesia remains Vietnam’s leading rice importer, making up 39.2 percent of the country’s total rice exports./.