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Rice keeps agro-forestry exports at a healthy level   2009-04-29 - VietNamNet/VNA

Agro-forestry and seafood exports reached nearly 5.2 billion USD in the first four months of the year, a rise of 5.7 percent against the same period last year, with most of the revenue coming from rice.

According to the Ministry Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), during this period, Vietnam exported 2.53 million tonnes of rice worth a total 1.16 billion USD, an increase of 51 percent in volume and 42.5 percent in value. The average export price experienced a slight increase to stand at 456 USD per tonne.

The Philippines still remains the largest importer of Vietnamese rice, taking 45.4 percent of the country’s total exports.

However, other major agro products, such as coffee, tea, cashew nuts and pepper dipped in both export volume and value.

Seafood, one of Vietnam ’s hard currency earners suffered its first drop in 10 years due to the adverse effects of both the economic recession and bad press in the major markets of Italy , Russia and Egypt .

The sector earned 300 million USD in exports in April, bringing the total value of the four-month period to 1.05 billion USD, a fall of 8 percent over the same period last year.

As a result, MARD has set the target of 12.5 billion USD for agro-forestry and seafood exports for the whole year, a decrease of 3.7 billion USD when compared to last year.

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