Chinese farm produce market choosier, causing concern among exporters

Vietnam’s businesses have had to change the way of organizing production to satisfy the increasingly high demand from China.

According to WTO, in 2011-2017, China imported $163 billion worth of farm produce each year. The country surpassed the US to become the biggest importer of Vietnam’s farm produce.

Chinese farm produce market choosier, causing concern among exporters



Considering the 13 key farm export items of Vietnam, China imports $6.3 billion worth of products each year, accounting for 21.1 percent of Vietnam’s ‘basket of export farm produce’.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam, 60-70 percent of Vietnam’s farm produce exports to China go through border gates.

However, rice exports to China dropped dramatically by 75.4 percent in first five months of the year, and by 75.2 percent in export turnover compared with the same period last year.

According to WTO, in 2011-2017, China imported $163 billion worth of farm produce each year. The country surpassed the US to become the biggest importer of Vietnam’s farm produce.

 According to experts, Vietnam did not have proper attitude towards the warning given by China in early 2018.


It is difficult to understand why only 20 Vietnamese rice exporters can satisfy Chinese requirements which are no more demanding.

 

Meanwhile, Vietnamese exporters should have prepared to adapt to the new requirements, because China, which consumes 20 percent of Vietnam’s rice exports, should be seen as an important market.

In Vietnamese exporters’ thoughts, China is an easy to please market. This assumption created an unprofessional way of organizing production. Rice is carried to Vietnam-China border gates where it is sold at different price levels.

However, China has become choosier and Vietnam’s rice, in order to enter the Chinese market, have to satisfy strict requirements and overcome technical barriers.

Not only rice, but fruits, vegetables and cassava all are meeting difficulties as China has changed its import policies – restricting imports across border gates and tightening control over imports.

Experts have urged farmers and exporters to change production to adapt to the new circumstances.

“If we can make safe high-quality products, China will still be a vast market for us,” said Dang Phuc Nguyen, secretary general of the Vietnam Vegetable and Fruit Association, predicting that Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exports may bring $4 billion in some years.

Nguyen Van Nam, a trade expert, said Vietnam should learn from China’s new policy on restricting imports across border gates.

He said Vietnamese farmers will lose twice if China restrict imports from Vietnam while Vietnam opens its market widely to Chinese products.

Kim Chi

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