Illustrative image. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The agriculture sector enjoyed a trade surplus of 8.8 billion USD in the first 11 months of this year, 1.5 billion USD higher than the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The sector earned 37.3 billion USD from the export of farm produce and forestry and aquatic products in the reviewed period, a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, 28.5 billion USD was spent on agro-forestry-fishery imports, down 0.7 percent.

Seven items with export value exceeding 2 billion USD included coffee, rubber, rice, cashew nut, fruit, shrimp, wood and timber products.

China remained the largest buyer of Vietnamese agricultural products, accounting for 26.9 percent of the total exports. It was followed by the US (21.9 percent), the EU (11.7 percent), ASEAN (10 percent) and Japan (8.8 percent).

Strong growth was seen in shipments of rubber which totalled 2 billion USD, up 9.3 percent year on year; tea, 216 million USD, 16 percent; wood and wood products, 9.6 billion USD, 19.5 percent; and cinnamon, 163 million USD, 31 percent.

Some key commodities, however, suffered a drop in export value such as cashew nut (down 1.8 percent to 3 billion USD), fruits (down 5.5 percent to 2.6 billion USD), rice (9.4 percent to 2.6 billion USD), coffee (23 percent to 2.5 billion USD) and pepper (5.8 percent).

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development forecast that total agricultural export revenue for the entire year will be likely to hit 41.3 billion USD with a trade surplus of about 9.5 – 10 billion USD.

Last year, Vietnam’s export of agricultural products hit a record high of 40.2 billion USD, making it the second largest agricultural exporter in Southeast Asia./.