Viet Nam saw a year on year reduction of 29 per cent to $1.79 billion in export value of fisheries products during the first quarter of this year. — VNA/VNS Photo

The trade value of agro-forestry-fisheries products in the first quarter of this year was estimated at US$20.63 billion, down 11.2 per cent year on year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Of the total, the export value reached about $11.19 billion, down 14.4 per cent. Imports were $9.44 billion, a fall of 7.2 per cent year on year, Nguyen Van Viet, director of the Planning Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said at a press conference on the agriculture sector in the first quarter held on March 31.

The agriculture sector saw a trade surplus of $1.76 billion in the first quarter, a drop of 39.6 per cent year on year.

An upturn was recorded in the export value of agricultural products (3.8 per cent to $5.73 billion), and livestock (46.5 per cent to $115 million), while a downturn was seen in the export of forestry products (28.3 per cent to $3.11 billion), and fisheries products (29 per cent to $1.79 billion). The fall was mostly due to the decrease in product price.

Especially, products that enjoyed strong growth in exports include rice (30.2 per cent), fruits and vegetables (14.2 per cent), and milk and dairy products (22.2 per cent).

In the period, major export markets of Vietnamese agro-forestry-fisheries products were Asia with 48.8 per cent of the market share, America with 20.3 per cent, Europe with 12.8 per cent, Oceania with 1.4 per cent, and Africa at 1.2 per cent.

Specifically, China remained the largest market of Viet Nam with a consumption value of $2.4 billion, followed by the US with $2.04 billion, and Japan with $936 million.

The ministry reported that the export revenue of the products in March was estimated at $4.66 billion, representing a rise of 27 per cent over February but a fall of 6.5 per cent year on year. Agricultural products contributed $2.42 billion to the figure, forestry products $1.29 billion, fisheries $720 million, and livestock $115 million.

To facilitate the trade of the products, the MARD plans to focus on removing difficulties and obstacles in trading activities and reducing the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the developments in domestic and world markets.

The ministry will assist exporters in optimising the incentives offered by trade deals, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to strengthen exports of agro-forestry-fisheries products.

It is also preparing for the organisation of a conference of northern border provinces on farm produce trade with China, and participation in trade promotion events in the UK.

Meanwhile, "according to the General Statistics Office, the added value growth rate of the agricultural, forestry and fishery sector in the first quarter was estimated at 2.52 per cent year on year. Of which, this value increased by 2.43 per cent for agriculture, 2.43 per cent for forestry and 2.68 per cent for seafood," Viet said.

The plantation industry's value production increased by about 1.21 per cent over the same period of last year, accounting for 59.5 per cent of the total production value of the agriculture sector.

For the livestock industry, pig production faced difficulties because the selling price of live meat remained low while the price of raw materials for animal feed processing increased. Poultry production was stable in the first quarter.

Production value of the livestock industry in the first quarter increased by about 4.69 per cent on year. The growth in production value was estimated at 3.66 per cent for the forestry industry and 2.68 per cent for the fisheries industry.

The agriculture set targets of added value growth of about 3 per cent and $14 billion in the total export value of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in the second quarter of this year, Viet said. — VNS