Vietnam’s coal imports dropped 51% month on month in September

vietnam-coal-importHanoi—Vietnam’s coal imports dropped 51% month on month to 153,592 mt in September, according to Vietnam Customs data released late Wednesday.

The value of the imports for the month stood at $22.6 million, down 39.6% on the month. Vietnam Customs did not release data for last September. The country has actively imported coal this year to meet rising domestic demand, particularly that
from power sector.

Indonesia was the biggest supplier in September at 88,569 mt, or 57.7%, of the total. Surprisingly, in September Vietnam imported 63,935 mt of coal (41.6%) from China, its leading coal buyer for years. During January-September, Vietnam imported 2.2 million mt of coal, up 32.5% year on year. The import value in the period was $272 million, up 41.2%.

Over the nine-month period, Vietnam mostly imported coal from Indonesia (1.07 million mt, or 48.6% of thetotal), Australia (435,837 mt, or 19.8%) and China (356,048 mt, or 16.2%). Meanwhile, Vietnam — which mainly produces and exports thermal coal — exported 585,495 mt of coal in September, down 27.2% year on-year, but up 9.6% from August. Exports in September were worth $46 million, 22.3% lower year on year, but up 21.7% above the August value. China remained the biggest buyer of Vietnam’s coal in September (334,908 mt or 57.2% of the total), which was followed by South Korea (123,508 mt or 21.1%) and Japan (95,111 mt or 16.2%).

In January-September, Vietnam exported 5.84 million mt of coal, slipping 34.9% year on year. The export valuein the period was $435 million, 32.9% lower than thesame period in 2013. During January-September, Vietnam mainly exported its coal to China (3.58 million mt, or 61.3% of the total), South Korea (961,441 mt, or 16.4%) and Japan (780,305mt, or 13.4%).

Bright Export Signals

Bright Export Signals
Bright Export Signals

Given complex developments in the East Sea, Vietnam’s key agricultural exports like rice, rubber and cassava continued to face a plenty of challenges. However, contrary to popular worries, the country’s export performances in the first six months showed signs of improvement and pinned hopes on bright economic picture in 2014.

Increased volume
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said the export value of agricultural, forest and aquatic products was estimated over US$2 billion in June, totalling US$14.67 billion in the first six months of 2014, up 11.2 percent year on year. Specifically, agricultural staples accounted for US$7.15 billion, up 6.6 percent; seafood contributed US$3.45 billion, up 24.2 percent; and forest products made up for US$3.01 billion, up 14.9 percent.
Among key agricultural products, pepper export growth was the most impressive in the first half of this year. Its export value beats estimates by far in the reporting period. The commodity is expected to generate US$1 billion of export revenue for the first time this year. Vietnam exported 16,000 tonnes of pepper worth US$127 million in June and 111,000 tonnes worth US$790 million from January to June, up 36.2 percent in volume and 47.8 percent in value.
Coffee was also a surprising export. The country sold 109,000 tonnes abroad for US$229 million in June and raked in US$2.12 billion from exporting 1.04 million tonnes in the first half, up 24.7 percent in value and up 31.7 percent in volume from a year ago. The average coffee export price was US$2,025 per tonne in the first five months, down 5.85 percent from a year earlier.
The country exported 27,000 tonnes of cashew nuts worth US$178 million in June, bringing the export volume to 130,000 tonnes and the value to US$829 million in the first six months of 2014, up 17.5 percent in volume and 19.5 percent in value year on year. In the first five months of 2014, the export price of cashew nut was US$6,342 per tonne, up 1.18 percent year on year.
Seafood export value was estimated at US$536 million in June, grossing US$3.45 billion in the first half of 2014, up 24.2 percent year on year. The strong growth was attributed to shrimp export because domestic material supply was abundant, export prices were high while shrimp production in other major exporters shrank on disease outbreaks.
However, the country will need to have appropriate measures to boost up key exports in the second half of the year. Rice export volume was estimated at 479,000 tonnes worth US$212 million in June, totalling 3.2 million tonnes and US$1.44 billion in the first six months of 2014, down 9.9 percent in volume and 8 percent in value year on year. The average export rice price was US$439 per tonne in the first five months, down 0.1 percent from a year earlier.
Shares in traditional markets
While seeing a significant growth in key exports, Vietnam also saw expanding shares in traditional markets. China remained the main export markets of Vietnam’s agricultural products in general and rice in particular (40.46 percent of market share). The Philippine outstood with an increase of 2.65 times in volume in the first five months of the year, compared with the same period in 2013. This impressive growth made the Philippines the second biggest importer of Vietnam’s rice, with 20.66 percent of market share, followed by Ghana and Singapore with respective market shares of 4.39 percent and 3.63 percent.
Germany and the United States continued to be the two biggest coffee markets of Vietnam in the first five months of 2014, with respective market shares of 14.35 percent and 9.76 percent. Belgium posted the strongest growth, with an increase of 2.73 times in volume and 2.53 times in value compared with the first five months of 2013.
Pepper export growth was the most impressive in the first half of this year. The United States, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and India, the four largest importers of Vietnam’s pepper, accounted for 47.43 percent of the market share in the first five months 2014. The shipments to the US rose 25.58 percent in volume and 31.56 percent in value. Singapore saw a double increase in volume and a treble growth in value. The United Arab Emirates saw the growth of 55.17 percent in volume and 75.17 percent in value. The shipments to India increased more than 2 times in both volume and value. Remarkably, exports to Span jumped more than five times in volume and almost eight times in value from a year ago.
The United States maintained the largest importer of Vietnamese seafood, accounting for 23 percent of Vietnam’s exports. Seafood exports to this market reached US$671.86 million in the first five months, up 45.83 percent year on year. The shipments to other markets like Japan, South Korea and China increased 8.36 percent, 45.92 percent and 51.74 percent, respectively.
To bolster export growth, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is carrying out drastic measures to adjust production scales and expand export markets.
Thu Ha

Export value to Africa rises sharply

Vietnam ExportsVietnam’s export turnover to key markets in Africa in the first five months of this year has seen a remarkable rise from 33%-177%, according to the Vietnam Customs.

The top African importers include Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Angola while export values to South Africa and Senegal fell by 39% and 44%, respectively, due to shrinking rice and gemstone demand.

Vietnam mainly exports rice, coffee, computers, electronics and spare parts, telephones, transport vehicles, equipment, garments and footwear.

By Thuy Dung

Source VGP

Bright prospects for cassava exports

CASSAVA-OKCassava export earnings are likely to reach US$2 billion if local exporters penetrate the European and US markets, according to Nguyen Van Lang, President of the Vietnam Cassava Association.

He noted that while Vietnam has more than 100 processing factories meeting standards of choosy markets, major markets for Vietnamese cassava are currently limited to Asia such as China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan.

According to the association’s statistics, the country now has 560,000 hectares under cassava cultivation, with an annual output of 9.4 million tonnes. It has planned to use all the cassava output for the production of bio-ethanol.

However, the economic downturn has delayed the operation of ethanol factories, forcing cassava producers to export their products.

Last year, Vietnam shipped abroad over 4.2 million tonnes of cassava products, bringing home US$1.35 billion, a year-on-year rise of over 57 percent in volume and 41 percent in value.

Vietnam is now the second largest cassava exporter in the world after Thailand.

The country’s bio-ethanol development project has set the target of producing 750 million litres of ethanol for domestic use by 2015, which will need about 4.2 million tonnes of raw cassava.

VNA/VOV online

Vietnam to export 7.5 mln tonnes of rice

Rice exportThe total volume of exported rice from Vietnam this year is estimated to reach 7.5 million tonnes, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).

The association has forecast that 2.2 million tonnes will be shipped abroad in the third quarter and 1.8 million in the fourth quarter.

The VFA presented the figures during a July 5 conference in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho .

It said that based on stockpiles and the output of the recent crops, the total volume of rice waiting to be sold is 5.3 million tonnes.

It was also reported that the country’s accumulative amount of exported rice in the first six months of this years is nearly 3.5 million tonnes, worth 1.5 billion USD, representing a year-on-year rise of 2.55 percent in volume, but a 2.04 percent decline in value due to falling prices.

The total rice inventory is now over 1.65 million tonnes, the VFA added.

Obvious changes were seen in the rice export market during the January-June period, with a decrease in orders from traditional markets. Asia was still the largest destination for Vietnamese rice, accounting for 61.95 percent (down 6.6 percent), followed by Africa with 23.74 percent (up 1.32 percent).

In the first six months of this year, rice export was higher than recorded in the same period from 2012, but still lower than expected due to the market underperforming in June.

Consecutive drops in price also affected the first half of this year, with value decreasing from 410 USD per tonne in January to 365 USD per tonne now.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has also began implementing a plan set by the Prime Minister to hoard up to one million tonnes of rice for this year, the association confirmed.-VNA

Second commodity exchange opens in Vietnam

The Ministry of Industry and Trade on May 3 issued a licence to the INFO Commodity Exchange (INFO) owned by Ocean Group.

The INFO exchange, the second of its kind in the country, will trade in steel, rubber, coffee and agricultural goods.

It will provide a direct channel between manufacturers and the market to end speculation of goods prices. It will regulate commodity standards, link the domestic and international markets, and integrate the Vietnamese goods market globally.

INFO will help Vietnamese businesses, in particular farmers, boost production and their competitive capacity in the global market.

The world’s first commodity exchange was established in 1948. There are 50 exchanges in the world, 30 from Asia.

Vietnam’s first commodity exchange is in Ho Chi Minh City.


Vietnam has imported coal for several years: official

Coal vietnamCoal exporter Vietnam imported the fuel last month but it was not the first-ever shipment as previously reported by local media, an industry official said Monday.

“The 9,500-ton shipment from Indonesia in June 2012 was not the first; Vietnam started importing coal around five years ago with an annual volume between 400,000 and 500,000 tons,” Le Minh Chuan, general director of state mining group Vinacomin, said at a meeting Monday.

Chuan said it was necessary to purchase coal even though the country is an exporter itself.

“In 2011 the country is set to produce 44 million tons of coal, but local demand is 27.5 million tons so we haveto export 16.54 million tons,” he said. “If we kept the coal, there wouldn’t be enough storage space for it.”

Explaining the imports, he said the country needed to purchase coal to “make acquaintance with trading partners and prepare for infrastructure.”

It was not the first time Vinacomin has defended its coal purchase over the past few weeks. Since the shipment from Indonesia arrived on June 13, critics have said the group should have halted exports to ensure local supply so that it does not have to depend on foreign sources.

Vinacomin officials, however, argued that the cheap imports would be used to power local steel and cement plants while Vietnamese coal is of higher quality and thus better suited for export.

Chuan said at Monday’s meeting that the company would continue to import the fuel this year.

According to news website VnExpress, Vinacomin plans to import about 10 million tons of coal in 2012, and this is expected to gradually increase to 100 million tons by 2020.

Vietnam is set to face a serious coal shortage in 2020, with a shortfall of up to 66 million tons.

Commodities trade may expand

HCM CITY — Pepper, sugar and cotton fibre may be listed for trade on the Viet Nam Commodity Exchange (VNX) under a proposal by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

At a seminar held on Tuesday in HCM City, participants agreed that these items would satisfy the diverse needs of commodity traders.

Vu Hong Son, general director of Ocean Group, said the commodity exchange contributed against price speculation as prices were based on transparent supply and demand.

“Trading on the exchange also helps link the domestic market with the international market,” he said.

Currently, MoIT licenses VNX for transactions in coffee, rubber and steel.

Pepper, one of the commodities that should be listed in the future, has one of Viet Nam’s highest export turnover rates.

Although the volume of Vietnamese pepper can influence world prices, the price of Vietnamese pepper is based on pricing information at India’s Kochi Commodity Exchange.

If pepper is traded on a domestic commodity exchange, it will help prevent price-related disadvantages for farmers and risks to businesses.

It would also help ensure the rights of farmers before world prices begin to fluctuate, and it would increase the prestige of Vietnamese pepper with its global partners.

The seminar, held by MoIT’s Domestic Market Department, in collaboration with EU-Viet Nam Multilateral Trade Assistance Project III, was attended by ministry officials, associations, research institutes and HCM City’s Department of Planning and Investment and Department of Industry and Trade.

For the important textile and garment sector, the amount of domestic cotton and raw fibre materials has not met production demand.

Seminar attendees said if these goods were listed on the commodity exchange, industrial development would be promoted.

Son said the listing would help minimise price risks and thus encourage farmers to grow and expand their cotton areas, providing much-needed materials for the textile and garment sector.

In addition, the commodity exchange would limit farmers’ dependence on small-scale purchasing agents, and would ensure long-term benefits for farmers and businesses as well.

For sugar products, the most challenging problem is the difficulty of finding buyers, which discourages sugar investors from increasing capacity.

The commodity exchange would help the sugar sector cut costs for storage and find more raw materials to purchase.

Do Ha Nam, chairman of the Viet Nam Pepper Association, said the country was a leading agricultural exporter but it faced too many problems in developing trade.

He said the commodity exchange for these items was vitally necessary.

“Vietnamese pepper farmers use information at India’s Kochi Commodity Exchange to regulate their prices because there is no domestic commodity exchange for them,” he added.

Commodity trading activities in the country are not that robust because of a lack of large enterprises and diversity in multi-sectors, according to Nguyen Phuong Dung, head of the Domestic Market Department’s VNX operation management office.

She suggested that State management agencies draft a Commodity Exchange Law and establish an agency that would be in charge of managing operations of the VNX.

State management agencies also need to offer training and raise awareness about commodity exchange activities to businesses and investors.

Nguyen Duy Phuong, general director of VNX, said commodity exchanges were a new concept for Viet Nam.

The prices of agricultural commodities are often driven by derivatives on the world market.

Companies expect a domestic intermediary to form an entity to regulate the market, hedge price fluctuations, and stabilise business operations.

VNX, established in 2011 with charter capital of VND150 billion, is an organised commodity exchange for all individuals and institutions.

It acts as bridge to provide information to help businesses quickly access market demands, reduce marketing costs, cut transportation costs, and link the production process with market demand.

A legal framework has not yet been completed for the commodity exchange, a topic that was discussed at the seminar.

Phuong said the ministries of Planning and Investment and Industry and Trade should issue documents to help guide foreign investors’ participation in the commodity exchange in Viet Nam, in an effort to increase the number of investors and transactions. — VNS

Vietnam-India trade hits US$1.85 bln in six months

Vietnam TradeTwo-way trade between Vietnam and India achieved US$1.85 billion in the first half of this year, according to the Vietnam General Department of Customs.

Notably, bilateral trade deficit fell 45 percent compared to the same period last year to US$335 million.

Of the 23 types of goods Vietnam exports to India, 14 have recorded high growth in volume, including rubber, computers, electronic products, chemicals, and cell phones. 

Agricultural products also continue to show increased export volumes. 

Vietnam imports 33 items from India, of which 17 reported considerable growth. The value of imported maize increased 88 percent to US$192 million. 

Cattle feed imports showed a sharp decrease to only US$172.2 million, down 48 percent against the same period in 2011. 

Source (VOV)

Business confidence grows after economic recovery in Q2Y2012

The Vietnam’s Business Confidence Index (BCI) in the second quarter of this year rose seven points over the previous quarter.

According to a survey conducted by World Vest Base Financial Intelligence Services Company Vietnam (WVB FISL), the index was 20 points higher than the third quarter in 2008 when it was first compiled, showing that the country’s business community has confidence in the country’s economic recovery.

The survey, which was carried out from June 15 to the first week of July, covered 154 Vietnamese enterprises operating in 11 major industries who currently take the lead nationwide in terms of total assets, turnover, brands and number of employees. More than 50 per cent of them are small- and medium-sized enterprises.

It revealed that more than 44 per cent of businesses said that Vietnam’s economy is now healthier, almost 36 per cent said it stays the same and more than 20 per cent said it is now worse than last year.

For the next 12 months, 71 per cent of respondents said they believe it will get better, while only 3 per cent are worried about further economic gloom.

Worthy of note is that nearly 71 per cent of those interviewed said that they expect to do even better in 2011, nearly 25 per cent thought the economy will remain stagnant while 4.5 per cent are worried that they will face tough times over the next 12 months.

Nearly 51 per cent have plans to keep their labour force intact, 35 per cent said they will recruit more employees, while 14 per cent said they will lay off part of their labour force.

Most of the respondents said that the procedures they have to endure to access credit, along with inadequate tax policies, are the worst difficulties they have to face with.

On top of that, many said that the amount of fake goods that are currently flooding the market is their greatest concern, because of their poor quality. This results in companies losing their prestige with consumers and their brands become associated with inferior products.

As for factors that will affect business operations in the second half of this year, many respondents pointed to inflation, economic instability, difficulties in accessing capital and falling consumer demand.