Cassava exports dry up in 2010

Cassava exports declined sharply in volume and value in the first four months of this year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

In the first four months, 901,000 tonnes of cassava or cassava-based products were exported, worth US$240 million – down 52.4 per cent in volume and 12.8 per cent in value compared with the same period of last year.

The decline was exaggerated by the exceptionally high export volume last year, said experts from the Agro-Forestry, Seafood Processing and Salt Industry Department.

Mainland China is the biggest importer of Vietnamese cassava – followed by South Korea and Taiwan – accounting for 90 per cent of the industry's export value.

After Thailand, Viet Nam is the second biggest exporter of cassava in the world.

In the first quarter, cassava exports totalled 680,844 tonnes, worth $177.3 million – down 50 per cent in volume and 7 per cent in value against the same period last year.

The domestic market is expected to consume 1 million tonnes of dried cassava for animal feed and ethanol production in 2011. That would leave at least 4 million tonnes for export.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam has about 508,000ha of cassava under cultivation at present.

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