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Global coffee price fluctuates, domestic price plunges

Coffee prices in the Central Highlands and the south are predicted to continue to slide downward as prices have fallen globally.

The Robusta price in London with delivery in July 2020 was traded at $1,134 per ton on the same day, which meant a decrease of $16 per ton (1,39 percent).

Global coffee price fluctuates, domestic price plunges

Coffee beans were traded at VND30,400-30,900 per kilogram in the Central Highlands and southern region, which represented a decrease of VND700-800 per kilogram compared with one week before (June 12) and decrease of VND200-400 per kilogram compared with May.

In Bao Loc district, coffee was traded at VND30,400 per kilogram, the same as in Di Linh and Lam Ha districts. The price was higher in Cu M’gar, Ea H’leo and Buon Ho districts of Dak Lak province, at VND30,900 per kilogram.

In Kon Tum province, the price hovered around VND30,700 per kilogram. In HCM City, R1 coffee with delivery at ports was around VND33,000 per kilogram.

Coffee prices in the Central Highlands and the south are predicted to continue to slide downward as prices have fallen globally.

Prior to that, farmers witnessed a ‘black day’ March 28, when the price fell out of the VND30,000 per kilogram threshold, selling at VND29,700 per kilogram only, a 15-year low, lower than the production cost of VND32,000-33,000 per kilogram.

According to the Vietnam Industry and Trade Information Center, there are few transactions and the situation has lasted one month because farmers had sold nearly all coffee they had before the end of the 2019/2020 crop.

Do Ha Nam, deputy chair of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa), president of Intimex Group, said because of the spread of coronavirus in Europe, most coffee processing mills there have had to close. Therefore, most of the orders from Europe have been canceled.

The sharp fall of coffee price has prompted many farmers to fell coffee plants to grow other crops. Analysts warned that this would affect Vietnam’s coffee industry in the time to come.

The General Department of Customs (GDC) reported that Vietnam exported 63,800 tons of coffee in the first half of June with turnover of $108.08 million. It is expected that the total export amount would reach 127,600 tons in this month. The average export price was $1,680 per ton in May, down by 0.4 percent compared with April 2020, but up 2.4 percent compared with May 2019.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has predicted that Brazil would have coffee output of 67.9 million bags this year, while Vietnam’s output may decrease slightly because of unfavorable weather conditions at the beginning of the crop.

The high global inventory, predicted to reach 42 million bags, is clearly unbeneficial to coffee production countries.

Linh Ha 



VN struggles to have 5,000 science and tech firms this year


Students during a class at FPT University. Việt Nam is striving to reach 5,000 science and technology firms this year, but there are obstacles. VNA/ Photo Minh Quyết

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam would have difficulty achieving the goal of having 5,000 science and technology enterprises this year under the 2011-20 science and technology development strategy.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has proposed many solutions to reach this goal, including the Decree 13/2019/NĐ-CP on developing science and technology enterprises effective from March 20, 2019 with better incentives and opened mechanisms.

It has also improved policies and institutions, including amendments of some laws on investment, enterprises and corporate income tax and regulations supporting incubation and development of science and technology enterprises.

The system of mechanisms, policies and regulations on development of science and technology, and creative innovation is synchronised to ensure efficiency in supporting the development of science and technology enterprises and using results of State-invested research on science and technology.

However, Việt Nam now has about 500 science and technology enterprises, reaching 10 per cent of the target.

The ministry has found many barriers to having 5,000 science and technology firms this year.

Phạm Đức Nghiệm, deputy director of the ministry’s Department for Development of Market and Science and Technology Enterprises, said that the number of enterprises interested in science and technology is not high and programmes as well as disbursement of capital for the development of science and technology firms are also limited.

Recently, the ministry has reformed mechanism on investment to create more favourable conditions for businesses in becoming science and technology firms but they still need to renew themselves, Nghiệm said.

Science and Technology deputy minister Bùi Thế Duy said the failure to achieve this goal firstly is the responsibility of the science and technology ministry because its communication on the target is limited.

“The ministry has not cooperated with media agencies to encourage development for science and technology enterprises as well as incentives for those enterprises,” Duy told the Voice of Việt Nam.

Meanwhile, Nguyễn Hồng Phong, general director of the Tiến Nông Agriculture Joint Stock Company, one of the first science and technology companies in Thanh Hóa Province, said it has had a difficult beginning to be recognised as a science and technology company.

Since its establishment in 1995, the enterprise has identified science and technology as a foundation for its development and built a research and development (R&D) centre with modern equipment and technology.

With this R&D centre, the company has implemented many research projects to produce high-quality farming products to increase its revenue and output in farmers’ production.

However, to become a science and technology company is not easy, especially for small and medium sized enterprises like the Tiến Nông, according to Phong. The State has many incentives to support the development of science and technology companies such as tax, land and credit, but whether they receive these incentives or not is another issue.

Besides that, Lưu Hải Minh, chairman of the Nhật Hải New Technology Joint Stock Company with a certificated science and technology enterprise, said the right of using a State-invested scientific and technological research project has the same value as land use rights.

An enterprise could mortgage its land use right to get loans for development but is not permitted to mortgage the use right of State-invested scientific and technological research to have capital for producing new products, he said. — 



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More loans to enjoy restructured repayment periods

A branch of the Việt Nam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in Yên Bái Province. The State Bank of Việt Nam was drafting an amended circular which would allow more loans to be restructured. — VNA/ Photo Hải Quân

HÀ NỘI — The State Bank of Việt Nam is drafting amendments to a circular that restructures repayment periods, waives and reduces interest rates and fees and maintains debt classification to support people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure more receive the support.

According to the draft circular which was recently made public for comments, more loans could have repayments postponed until after the end of this year.

Restructuring of the repayment periods and maintaining debt classification would be provided to loans which required repayments to be made from January 31 to December 31, instead of from January 31 to three months after the Prime Minister announces the pandemic is over.

The draft circular also allows credit institutions and foreign banks’ branches to restructure repayment periods and maintain debt classification for loans disbursed from January 23 to April 24. Under Circular 01, restructuring of the repayment periods and maintaining debt classification were only provided to loans disbursed before January 23.

According to Cấn Văn Lực, chief economist of the Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam (BIDV), expanding loans subject to the circular’s supports was essential to ease the financial burden for companies affected by the virus.

Financial and banking expert Nguyễn Trí Hiếu expressed concerns over maintaining debt classification.

Hiếu said problems would arise if enterprises went insolvent but their debt classification stayed the same, which would not fully reflect the risks as some loans were becoming non-performing.

Hiếu said it was necessary to raise details for classifying restructured debts which were not repaid following the restructured payment periods, which would help prevent risks for the financial market and improve the efficiency of the policy.

According to the State Bank of Việt Nam, credit institutions restructured payment periods for nearly 260,000 customers with total outstanding loans of nearly VNĐ180 trillion and reduced interest rates for 421,000 customers with total outstanding loans of VNĐ1.3 quadrillion. Credit institutions also provided new loans worth VNĐ1.1 quadrillion to 240,000 customers with interest rates 0.5-2.5 percentage points per year lower than the pre-pandemic period. —


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VNR launches app to sell tickets

Passengers exit a North-South train operated by the Hanoi Railway Transport JSC. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) officially launched an application to buy train tickets and pay online on smartphones from July 15 to improve customer services.

This is an application which lets customers buy train tickets on mobile devices and tablets with a friendly interface, in which customers can select trains, tickets and payment methods easily and quickly.

A VNR representative said this application also helped customers look up their transaction history. Passengers only needed to present the e-ticket screen to ticket inspectors along with identity papers when travelling by train.

Along with the recent efforts to improve the quality of services and vehicles of VNR, the launch of a train ticket and online payment applications was considered a solution which applies technology to increase utilities and bring convenience for customers when buying train tickets, said the representative.

Customers can download the application “Vé tàu” on Google Play Store or Apple Store with keywords: “dsvn”, “vetau”, “duongsat”.

VNR reported revenue of VNĐ3.02 trillion (US$130 million), equivalent to 80.6 per cent of the same period last year.

The transport segment is hardest hit as many passenger trains have been cancelled.

VNR has cut 2,886 trains compared to the same period from February to May.

Although freight transport remained stable and compensated for passenger transport, its overall revenue was only about VNĐ1.6 trillion, equal to 70 per cent of the same period last year.

The corporation has estimated losses of more than VNĐ450 billion in its transport segment alone in the first half of this year.

The mechanical sector is also similar with output reaching VNĐ57.3 billion, equivalent to only 19.1 per cent over the same period last year.

The mechanical sector’s revenue was VNĐ80.5 billion, equivalent to 43.7 per cent over the same period last year.

Also due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, 4,387 workers serving passenger trains of railway transport units were underemployed.

The number of underemployed labourers accounts for about 78.3 per cent of the total number of employees of railway transport joint-stock companies. —


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