10:36 | 21/04/2017 Trade
(VEN) - Vietnam earned more than US$22 billion from agricultural and seafood exports in 2016, a 7.7 percent increase from 2015.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s 2016 Export and Import Report, agricultural and seafood exports exceeded US$22 billion in 2016, a 7.7 percent increase from a year ago, accounting for 12.6 percent of Vietnam’s total export earnings.
China continued to be Vietnam’s largest agricultural and seafood export market, contributing US$5.62 billion and 25.4 percent of the country’s total export revenues. The EU took second place with US$3.71 billion, a 12 percent increase from 2015, followed by the US with US$3.35 billion, about 15 percent and a 17.5 percent increase, respectively.
Most major exports in the sector grew from 2015-2016. Specifically, seafood led the pack, earning US$7.06 billion, a 7.4 percent increase.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the sector faced challenges stemming from low demand, increasing competition and technical and trade barriers in the US, the EU, Japan, Chinese Taipei and China. Moreover, Vietnamese seafood in general, and major seafood exports such as shrimp and Tra fish, have not yet established their brand names in export markets and have not applied long-term advertising strategies, resulting in increased vulnerability to misinformation campaigns by their rivals.
Coffee exports took second place with revenues of US$3.34 billion, a 24.9 percent increase.
Cashew nuts followed, with export revenue of US$2.84 billion, an 18.5 percent increase. Vietnam has been the largest cashew processor and exporter in the world since 2006, contributing 28 percent of global raw cashew production and 42 percent of global cashew kernel exports in 2016.
Sales abroad of other products also grew impressively. Vegetables and fruits turned over US$2.5 billion, up 33.6 percent over the previous year; pepper sold for US$1.43 billion, up 13.5 percent; rubber - US$1.67 billion and 9.2 percent; and tea - US$217 million and 2.1 percent.
Agricultural and seafood imports reached US$11.3 billion in 2016, accounting for 6.5 percent of Vietnam’s total import revenues. This resulted in an export surplus of almost US$11 billion, an important contribution to the country’s trade balance.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s report also shows that many Vietnamese agricultural and seafood exports have carved niches in major foreign markets, as a result of government and business efforts to improve product quality and strengthen trade promotion activities.