Vietnam's agro-forestry-fishery export revenue is expected to set a record high of 32.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, some 1.7 billion U.S. dollars higher than that of 2015, despite harsh natural disasters, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday.
The country's farm industry is forecast to see a trade surplus of 7.5 billion U.S. dollars this year.
According to the ministry's chief Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Vietnam has been facing continuous natural disasters so far in 2016. At the beginning of the year, historic cold spell that had never happened in the past 60 years stroke 14 northern localities, causing great damage on local agriculture.
After that, a historic drought and saline intrusion happened in Central Highlands and southern Mekong Delta regions while recently, since the beginning of October, historic heavy rains flooded eight central localities with rainfall ranging from 2,300 to 2,700 mm, said Cuong.
Due to natural disasters and an environmental incident that caused mass fish death in the central region, in the first six months this year, growth of the farm sector went down 0.18 percent year-on-year. However, the sector managed to grow 1.2 percent year-on-year in the whole year.
Tran Dinh Luan, deputy head of the ministry's Fishery Directorate, said on local Tien Phong (Pioneer) online newspaper that in January-June period, the country's shrimp output failed to hit 200,000 tons. However, the output rocketed to 650,000 tons in the second half this year.
Vietnam's shrimp exports are estimated to hit 3.2 billion U.S. dollars while the export revenue of catfish also flourished with over 1.7 billion U.S. dollars. The fishery sector is likely to rake in some 7 billion U.S. dollars.
Meanwhile, the livestock industry saw a "boom" in 2016, with total pig heads rising to 29.1 million and total poultries to 364.5 million, said the ministry.
Hoang Thanh Van, head of the ministry Livestock Production Department, said in the past year, Vietnam exported some 600,000 tons of pigs to China worth over 1 billion U.S. dollars.
With more efforts, the livestock sector can export up to 2 million tons of pigs to the market, Van said.
At the same time, the year 2016 marked the first time that fruit and vegetable exports surpassed rice in terms of export revenue.
In 2016, Vietnam's fruit and vegetable export revenue is expected to hit 2.4 billion U.S. dollars, up 31.2 percent year-on-year.
Other key items that saw growth in export revenue this year included coffee (up 25.5 percent year-on-year), cashew nuts (up 18.3 percent), pepper (up 12.7 percent) and seafood (up 6.3 percent) among others. The country has had as many as 10 items that have export revenue of over 1 billion U.S. dollars.