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

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.


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)

Vietnam economy to grow 5.2%-5.7% in 2012 vs. 5.89% in 2011: Prime Minister

Vietnam’s gross domestic product will likely grow between 5.2% and 5.7% in 2012 as the government continues focusing on inflation control towards sustainable growth for the rest of this year, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

 This is a “reasonable” growth rate, the government chief said at a meeting on Wednesday. The country’s economic growth target was initially set by the National Assembly at 6%-6.5%.

PM Dung also admitted that the local economy expanded at a lower-than-expected rate in the first half of this year, but he attributed the situation to the government’s top priority to tame inflation.

The government targets a higher economic growth rate of between 6% and 6.5% for next year, so as to make impetus for the following years to secure an average annual GDP growth goal of 7% in the 2011-2015 period.

The GDP growth reportedly decelerated to an annual pace of 4.38% in the first half of this year, the lowest for the same period in the recent three years, as local firms faced a lot of difficulties in production and businesses, plus the rising inventories amid weak purchasing power.

The growth has started recovering since the second quarter, with the GDP growth picking up to 4.66%, from 4% in the first quarter, though it was still low compared to an estimated growth of 5.67% between April and June of 2011.

The government is seeking to boost lending at commercial banks, which dropped 0.2% in the first five months, by an average 2% a month for the rest of this year, aiming to support local firms to revive production and businesses to spur economic growth.

Vietnam’s economy expanded 5.89% in 2011, slowing from a growth of 6.78% in 2010.

(Source: VnEconomy)