Japan is a market with a large demand for imported agricultural, forestry and fishery products. This is also a potential market for Vietnamese agricultural products to expand in the coming time.
Free trade agreements such as the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA), ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), with preferential tariffs, also create advantages for Vietnam to bring agricultural products to Japan. However, currently, many key products have not been able to make full use of these advantages.
Potential for exporting products from industrial crops
From the beginning of 2023 until now, Vietnam’s rubber exports to the Japanese market have encountered many difficulties; the quantity and value of exports to this market have continuously decreased, compared to the same period in 2022.
According to statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the first eight months of 2023, Vietnam’s rubber exports to Japan reached 574,000 tonnes, worth 8.98 million USD, down 10.4% in volume and down 27.6% in value, compared to the same period in 2022.
In the first 8 months of 2023, Vietnam mainly exported natural rubber to Japan. The average export price of rubber to this market reached 1,565 USD/tonne, down 19.2% over the same period in 2022.
In the first seven months of 2023, Vietnam is the 8th largest rubber supply market for Japan with 544,000 tonnes, worth 1.18 billion JPY (equivalent to 8.03 million USD), down 6.4 % in volume and down 18.7% in value, over the same period in 2022. Vietnam’s rubber market share accounts for 1.26% of Japan’s total rubber imports, higher than 0.99%, in the first seven months of 2022.
For coffee products, the proportion of robusta coffee exports to Japan increased. According to statistics from the General Department of Customs, in the first eight months of 2023, Vietnam’s coffee exports to the Japanese market reached over 787,000 tonnes, worth 218.87 million USD, an increase of 1.1%. in volume and increased 11.6% in value, compared to the same period last year.
In August 2023, Vietnam’s average coffee export price to the Japanese market reached 3,132 USD/tonne, up 0.9% compared to July 2023 and up 29.3% compared to August 2022. In the first 8 months of 2023, the average export price of Vietnam’s coffee to the Japanese market reached 2,780 USD/tonne, up 10.4% over the same period last year.
The proportion of Robusta coffee in total export revenue to the Japanese market increased from 66.51% in the first eight months of 2022, to 69.1% in the first eight months of 2023. Similarly, the proportion of processed coffee exports also increased from 23.13% in the first eight months of 2022 to 24.57%. In contrast, the proportion of Arabica coffee exports to Japan decreased from 10.36% in the first eight months of 2022, to 6.34% in the first eight months of 2023.
There is still much room for development
In addition to products from industrial crops, Japan is also a market with high demand for fruit and vegetable products, especially fruits from Vietnam. For example, Vietnamese bananas imported into Japan are enjoying preferential tax rates and Vietnam has a tax rate under the AJCEP Agreement of 0%, from April 1, 2023, previously it was 3%.
According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan, in addition to tariff advantages, currently, many consumption systems in Japan want to import bananas from Vietnam to replace Philippine bananas, because Japanese consumers believe that Vietnamese bananas are delicious.
In the first seven months of 2023, Japan’s banana imports from Vietnam reached 7,900 tonnes, worth 1.05 billion JPY (equivalent to 7.1 million USD), an increase of 62% in volume and an increase of 80.2% in value, compared to the same period in 2022. However, the proportion of banana imports from Vietnam accounts for only 1.3% of the total amount of imported bananas. Therefore, there is still a lot of room for banana export businesses to expand their market share in Japan.
Similarly, for coffee, according to statistics from the International Trade Centre, Vietnam was the largest coffee supply source for Japan in the first seven months of 2023, reaching more than 65 thousand tons, worth a price of 152.5 million USD, down 8.2% in volume and down 3.6% in value, over the same period in 2022. However, Vietnam’s coffee market share in Japan’s total imports increased from 27.65% in the first seven months of 2022, to 31.38% in the first seven months of 2023.
The commercial counsellor of the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan said, that Japan’s reduction in coffee imports from major sources will only happen in the short term. The main reason is due to economic recession and high inflation, causing demand for coffee to decrease. However, according to forecasts, the year-end outlook for coffee products exported to Japan will be very positive, due to increased demand.