Vietnamese agricultural, forestry and seafood sector is forecast to post a trade surplus right in the first month of the year, when it export value is estimated to reach 2.17 billion U.S. dollars (up 39.7 percent year-on-year) while its import value at 1.28 billion dollars (up 10.6 percent), reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on Monday.
Of the total export value, main agricultural exports contributed 1.17 billion dollars (up 46.6 percent), wood-based exports with 447 million dollars (up 46 percent), and seafood exports with 376 million dollars (up 3.5 percent).
Among the agricultural exports, coffee posted the highest export value, gaining 387 million dollars from 191,000 tons, an increase of 70.6 percent in volume and 70.7 percent in value compared to the same period last year. The average coffee export prices reached 2,120 U.S. dollars per ton in 2012, down 3.5 percent against the previous year. The United States is the largest consumer of Vietnamese coffee, making up 12.51 percent of the market share, followed by German with 11.63 percent. In particular, demand from Indonesia increased sharply, up 3.2 times in both volume and value, year-on-year.
During the month, the country exported 534,000 tons of rice, worth 259 million dollars, up 108.5 percent in volume and 76.4 percent in value, compared to last January. However, rice export prices declined, which reached 458 U.S. dollars per ton, down 10.8 percent, year-on-year. China became the largest importer of Vietnamese rice in 2012, with an increasing demand of 6.7 times in volume and 6 times in value.
About 76,000 tons of rubber exports brought 182 million dollars to the country, up 8.8 percent in volume, but down 5 percent in value, year-on-year. Rubber export prices in 2012 averagely reached 2,794 U.S. dollars per ton, down 29.4 percent. Demands for Vietnamese rubber increased from China's Taiwan (up 13.2 percent), Malaysia (up 3.4 times) and India (up 2.6 times).
Other agricultural exports gained notable value including cashew with 88 million dollars and pepper with 40 million dollars. Vietnam maintained its top ranking worldwide in cashew export, mainly to the United States (27.6 percent of the market share) and China (19.6 percent).
Demands for Vietnamese wood-based exports also increased mostly from the United States (up 24.4 percent), China (14 percent) and Japan (12.4 percent).
Meanwhile seafood exports were mainly exported to the United States, accounting for 19.15 percent of the market share; Japan ( 17.81 percent) and South Korea (8.36 percent).
During the first month of the year, the sector spent 1.28 billion dollars for the imports, mainly fertilizers (92 million dollars), insecticides (57 million dollars), wheat (37 million dollars), animal feed (203 million dollars), wood-based products ( 86 million dollars), and seafood (54 million dollars).
Last year, Vietnam's agro-forestry-seafood sector pocketed 27. 54 billion dollars from the exports (up 9.7 percent year-on-year), while it spent 16.94 billion dollars for the imports (up 5 percent) , which posted a trade surplus of 10.6 billion dollars, according to the Vietnamese General Statistics Office.