31.05.2021, 08:47

Bright prospects for Vietnam s rice exports in coming months

Vietnam’s rice exports are anticipated to continue rising during the second half of the year due to high demand for the staple caused by the complicated nature of the Covid-19 pandemic globally, according to industry insiders.

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade reports the country exported 1.89 million tonnes of rice worth US$1.01 billion during the opening four months of the year, representing an annual decrease of 10.8% in volume despite being a rise of 1.2% in value.

The average export price of rice throughout the reviewed period climbed by 13.4% to reach US$534 per tonne against the same period from last year.

The Philippines makes up the largest buyer of Vietnamese rice with 36.3% of the overall market share, followed by China, the Ivory Coast, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Cambodia.

Bags of rice loaded onto a ship for export. Photo: VNA

The structure of Vietnamese rice exports has shifted to fragrant rice and high-quality rice, while both farmers and traders have also increasingly taken an interest in improving product quality and origin traceability. Indeed, this is being done to meet the stringent standards set by demanding markets, such as the European Union, the Republic of Korea, and the United States, VOV reported.

Experts also reveal that local rice exports are poised to enjoy a number of advantages in the upcoming months of the year as China has brought the Covid-19 pandemic under control, and rice exports to this market are set to rise in the near future.

Furthermore, India, the world's largest rice exporter, is currently facing difficulties due to the impact of the pandemic, meaning that there are bright prospects ahead for the country’s rice exports in the time ahead.

Rice for export being stockpiled. Photo: VNA/VNS

Last year saw Vietnam diversify its export markets through the signing of several free trade agreements, such as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), and the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKFTA).

Moving forward, Vietnamese rice exports are expected to enjoy competitive advantages thanks to the implementation of preferential tariffs brought in by these FTAs, with huge export opportunities to the EU, UK, and Eurasian Economic Union.

Most notably, the Government of the Philippines has recently decided to reduce import tax on rice to 35%, which is anticipated to create a wealth of opportunities for Vietnamese rice exports to be shipped to the Philippines in the future.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has forecast that Vietnam would maintain its position as the world’s second-biggest rice exporter this year.

According to the department, Vietnam will export 6.4 million tonnes of rice in 2011, an increase of 233,000 tonnes compared to the volume recorded in the previous year.

It is likely that India will remain the largest rice exporter in the world, with 15.5 million tonnes of rice shipped abroad this year. Thailand will rank third with an estimated export volume of 6.1 million tonnes.

The Vietnam Food Association said Vietnam’s rice export structure has shifted towards quality types with higher prices and added values.

In 2020, Vietnam's rice exports reached 6.15 million tons, equivalent to US$3.07 billion. Although the amount of rice exported decreased by about 3.5% compared to 2019, mainly for the purpose of ensuring national food security, the export value increased by 9.3%.

The average rice export price for the whole year is estimated at $499/ ton, implying a 13.3% increase over 2019, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Vietnam earned over US$3 billion from exporting rice in 2020, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), a year-on-year increase of more than 10%.

Malie Nguyen