Cassava exports decline by 18%

Viet Nam exported 70,000 tonnes of cassava and cassava-based products worth US$30 million in September, according to a report published by the General Statistics Office.

Last month's figures brought the country's total export value during the first nine months to $384 million, a year-on-year decrease of 18.1 per cent.

Director of the Information and Statistics Centre under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Viet Chien attributed the decline to waning Chinese consumption.

"China consumes 90 per cent of Viet Nam's cassava and cassava-based exports products. They have stopped importing the goods due to the products' high price," said Chien.

The national cassava export market last year was hectic and it pushed up prices during the beginning of this year, said Chien.

According to a ministry report, about 87 large and 300 small-sized manufacturers process cassava in Viet Nam. Each year, the manufacturers produce 985,000 tonnes of starch and 150,000 tonnes of cassava.

In the past few years, cassava plantation shrank because of the crop's low demand. However, cassava demand has increased because the crop is used to produce feed and ethanol.

Viet Nam is the second leading cassava exporter in the world.

The ministry wants to create national quality and manufacturing standards to further develop the cassava-export sector.

Setting up a cassava manufacturers' association should also be launched, reported the ministry.

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