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Vietnam rice export prospect bright with major markets returning

Vietnam rice export prospect bright with major markets returning

Thursday, February 23, 2023, 11:30 GMT+7
Vietnam rice export prospect bright with major markets returning
Vietnam’s rice exports to Africa account for 11 percent of the country’s total rice exports. Photo: T.Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s rice exports are expected to do well this year with the return of its traditional import markets, such as Indonesia and Bangladesh, and China’s reopening, according to a Ministry of Industry and Trade meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.

At the meeting to assess rice export results in 2022 and make forecasts for 2023, Nguyen Phuc Nam, deputy head of the Asia-Africa Market Department under the ministry, said Vietnam’s rice exports to other Asian markets accounted for 70 percent of its total rice exports, while the proportion was only 11 percent in Africa.

In Asia, Vietnam’s rice exports currently make up over 80 percent of the market in the Philippines thanks to competitive prices.

On the contrary with the positive results in the Philippines, Vietnam last year exported 2.43 million metric tons of rice to Africa, while consuming up to 42 metric tons.

According to the Vietnam Food Association, many countries imported rice for stockpiling late last year. African markets have a high demand for low-cost rice and their payment ability is limited.

As for China, Vietnam’s rice exports to the northern neighbor have fallen as the latter has diversified suppliers by cooperating with partners in Pakistan, India, and Cambodia.

However, China’s reopening will facilitate Vietnam’s rice export, Nam forecast.

Vietnam set a target to ship some 6.5-7 metric tons of rice to other countries this year, with over 4.1 metric tons expected to be exported in the first half of the year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The target was set based on the impact of climate change and droughts in the U.S. and Europe, China’s shortage of rice supplies, and India’s ban on broken rice exports and the imposition of a 20-percent export tariff on white rice.

To reach the target, Vietnam should understand the market demand, diversify rice varieties, and enhance the production of high-quality rice. 

He also proposed organizing a ‘Vietnam rice day’ in foreign markets and inviting foreign partners to take part in the Vietnam rice festival.

Localities and enterprises should invest in the research of new rice varieties, Nam added, giving the example of Thailand researching rice for diabetics.

Vietnam exported 7.1 million metric tons of rice worth US$3.45 billion last year, up 13.8 percent in volume and 5.1 percent in value over the previous year, making it among the three largest rice exporters in the world, the Vietnam Government Portal reported, citing statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

The average rice export price stood at $486 per metric ton.

In January this year, Vietnam shipped 359,310 metric tons of rice to other countries, earning $186.6 million, falling 29 percent in volume but rising 6.8 percent in price year on year.

The Philippines remained the largest importer of Vietnam’s rice, accounting for 35 percent of total rice exports.

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Thanh Ha - Thao Thuong / Tuoi Tre News

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