Mekong Delta exports off to a good start in 2018

10:02 | 27/03/2018 Trade

(VEN) - The exports of many Mekong Delta provinces’ rice and seafood have grown strongly since January.

mekong delta exports off to a good start in 2018
In the first two months of 2018, Vietnam exported 889,000 tonnes of rice worth US$437 million, up 21 and 39.6 percent from the same time in 2017

According to the Dong Thap Province Department of Industry and Trade, as of February 2018, the province earned export revenues of US$80.53 million, up 4.73 percent from January and 39.9 percent from the same time last year. Rice and seafood were the fastest growing exports, while confectionery, grain-based product, and garment exports experienced a relatively stable growth.

Specifically, February rice exports reached 9,407 tonnes (up 40.7 percent from February 2017) worth US$4.01 million (up 61.3 percent from February 2017). Rice exports grew considerably in February based on contracts signed in 2017. Meanwhile, seafood exports hit 22,576 tonnes (up 26.3 percent) worth US$60.48 million (up 36.8 percent).

A Dong Thap Province Department of Industry and Trade representative attributed the increased seafood exports to the favorable market and exporters’ good preparations. China is still posting high demand, while demand from South American markets in Colombia, Canada, and Brazil is also relatively stable. The insufficient supply of raw materials to meet demand for export production has increased the price of Tra fish to VND29,000-29,500 per kilogram.

Data compiled by The An Giang Province Department of Industry and Trade point to a relatively prosperous export picture in the first months of 2018. The department’s deputy director, Doan Minh Triet, said provincial businesses earned export revenues of US$63.29 million in January, up 24.56 percent from the same time last year, and the province’s key exports, including rice, seafood, and garments, increased greatly in value.

Rice exports are expected to further grow due to increased demand from the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh. In January, rice exports reached 35,890 tonnes worth US$17.39 million, up 69.84 percent in volume and 97.87 percent in value from January 2017. Meanwhile, seafood exports reached 12,000 tonnes worth US$28.36 million (up 28.52 and 77.82 percent). Frozen vegetable, garment, and footwear exports also brought in relatively high revenues. Triet said trade exchange through the An Giang border crossings to Cambodia reached US$57.42 million in January, up 10 percent from January 2017, with major exports including fertilizers, steel, iron, and building materials.

The Ca Mau Province Department of Industry and Trade said the province earned export revenues of US$82.45 million as of early February, an increase of 51.56 percent over the same time last year, with seafood becoming the biggest export – yielding US$81 million, soaring 58.02 percent over the same time in 2017.

The city of Can Tho reached export revenues of US$116 million in January, up 24.06 percent from January 2017. The increase augurs a brighter future for the city’s exports, especially rice and seafood, in the coming months.

Pham Thai Binh, Director of the Trung An High-Tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company, the largest exporter of rice in Can Tho, said that rice exports continue to show good signs in terms of both market and price. Therefore, Trung An will double its clean rice cultivation area in 2018 to 15,000 hectares with an expected output of 265,000 tonnes of commercial rice per year and export rice output of 150,000 tonnes.

mekong delta exports off to a good start in 2018
Seafood has become one of the Mekong Delta’s biggest exports

According to the Mekong Delta industry and trade sector, the export market, especially that for rice and seafood, is expected to remain favorable in the coming months.

To help enterprises boost exports and fulfill 2018 targets, the regional industry and trade sector plans to strengthen cooperation with Vietnamese trade counselors abroad to stimulate trade promotion and market expansion, pave the way for businesses to participate in trade fairs and seminars, and provide regular updates on export market information, especially about China.

To meet the requirements of export markets, enterprises need to study consumer habits and tastes to properly organize production in accordance with market demand, and focus on branding and applying science and technology in production.

Over the past several years, the Mekong Delta has achieved trade and export breakthroughs contributing to the comprehensive renovation of the region and the country as a whole. The region’s economic structure has been transformed with a view to accelerating growth and improving product quality. The region’s socioeconomic infrastructure has improved, strengthening the Mekong Delta’s position as Vietnam’s leading rice, seafood and fruit production center.

Thanh Duong