HANOI, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — Vietnam's exports of cassava and related products have declined significantly so far in 2016 due to decreasing demand of the item from China, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on Monday.

As of the end of August, Vietnam sold abroad a total of some 2. 6 million tons of cassava and products worth 700 million U.S. dollars, down 14.5 percent in volume and 22.5 percent in value year-on-year.

Much of the fall can be attributed to decreasing demand, particularly from China, said the ministry's report.

China accounted for nearly 86 percent of Vietnam's cassava and relative products exports. However, so far this year, Vietnam's cassava exports to China witnessed a decrease of 21 percent in volume and 31.3 percent in value year-on-year.

Although Malaysia bought 15.1 percent more, but shipments to most other markets like the Republic of Korea, Japan and the Philippines were down, said the report.

Nghiem Minh Tien, vice chairman of the Vietnam Cassava Association, said exports to China through unofficial channels have stalled in the first half of the year and mainly imported cassava from Thailand, he said.

In 2015, Vietnam was one of the world's largest cassava exporters, earning 1.32 billion U.S. dollars from exports, a year- on-year increase of 15.8 percent.