As China Raises Standards, Vietnamese Exports Suffer

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May 25 – Since China implemented stricter import quality rules last March, Vietnamese agricultural exports to the country have declined.

One of the products affected by the new rules is latex exports. The Information Center for Agriculture and Rural Development said this will lead to a 2 percent drop of  latex exports to China by the end of the year. Vietnam’s cassava exports to China are also being subject to stringent safety rules.

Starting July 1 fruits like watermelon, longan, lychee, banana and dragon fruit are only allowed to be exported if it comes from registered orchards and packaging factories in Vietnam.

China is the largest buyer of Vietnam’s agricultural products. Last year, Vietnam exported US$1.9 billion worth of products mostly latex, cashew, cassava, coffee, fruits and vegetables.

Exporters told Thanh Nien News that higher standards would affect them lead to a plunge in prices and stockpiling should China cut imports.

The president of the Vietnam Cashew Association, Nguyen Duc Thanh, said that China buys 22 percent of the cashews that Vietnam exports. He advised  exporters not to rely too much on the Chinese market since policies are constantly changing and urged them to increase shipments to markets like the Middle East, the European Union and Russia.

Vietnam and China bilateral trade reached more than US$20 billion last year and is forecast to grow to US$25 billion by 2010.