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Exports to China still stuck at border, trade stalls

Trucks carrying farm produce are still stuck at border gates, causing exports of some vegetables and fruits to fall sharply.

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has reported that export turnover in February was $3.3 billion, up by 21.8 percent compared with the same period last year, but down by 31.4 percent compared with January 2022.

Export turnover in the first two months of the year was estimated to reach $8 billion, an increase of 20.9 percent over the same period last year. Of this, exports of major farm produce brought turnover of $3.2 billion, up by 10 percent, seafood $1.5 billion, up by 47 percent, major forestry produce $2.9 billion, up by 17 percent, while input materials for production were $367 million, an increase of 2.1 times.

Major export items all gained two-digit growth rates, including catfish, which saw a very high growth rate of 83 percent, pepper 43.8 percent, shrimp 34.3 percent and coffee 35.6 percent.

However, the congestion of farm exports at the border gates in Lang Son and Quang Ninh, which started in late 2021, has led to the sharp fall of export items whose major target market is China.

The exports of vegetables and fruits in the first two months of the year decreased by 12.3 percent, while cassava and cassava-made products decreased by 10 percent, tea 10,8 percent and cashew nuts 2 percent.

Also according to MARD, the US continues to be the biggest consumer of Vietnam’s farm produce with export turnover to the market reaching $2.3 billion, or 28.2 percent of market share.

China ranks second, consuming $1.3 billion worth of Vietnam’s exports, or 16.2 percent of market share. However, the highest export turnover was for rubber, which accounted for 33.3 percent of farm exports.

There have been big changes in export product structure. For many years, vegetables and fruits always accounted for the largest proportion of total export turnover on China, but they have fallen to the second position, ceding the first to rubber.

The deadlock at border gates still continues. As of February 22, 1,931 goods-carrying trucks, including 1,442 fruit trucks, have been stuck at TanThanh and HuuNghi border gates.

On February 23, the Lang Son Department of Industry and Trade said that the province decided to stop receiving vegetable trucks to the land border gate to export to China until March 5 instead of February 25 as initially planned. 

Tam An

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