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France emerges as Vietnam’s second-largest rice importer in January

France emerges as Vietnam’s second-largest rice importer in January

Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 16:58 GMT+7
France emerges as Vietnam’s second-largest rice importer in January
This image shows rice being loaded on a vessel for export at My Thoi Port in Long Xuyen City, An Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Buu Dau / Tuoi Tre

France surpassed many countries to become the world’s second-largest buyer of Vietnamese rice in the first month of this year, with an imported rice volume soaring by over 160 times from the preceding month, according to the Vietnamese General Department of Customs (GDC).

In January, Vietnamese rice exports reached more than 512,000 tonnes worth US$362.3 million, with an average price of $707 per tonne, marking an increase of four percent in volume and seven percent in value compared to the previous month, the GDC reported recently.

Of the total volume, the Philippines bought nearly 281,000 tonnes, or 54.8 percent, for $691 per tonne, topping the list of countries importing the grain from Vietnam.

France secured the second position, importing 17,919 tonnes of Vietnamese rice valued at $18.64 million.

This represented a significant increase of 164 times in volume and 184 times in value compared to December 2023.

In January, the average export price of rice to France reached $1,040 per tonne, marking the highest among all of Vietnam's rice export markets during that period.

In January 2023, France was not on the list of the top importers of Vietnamese rice, but the European country has moved up impressively to overtake Indonesia and China – two large purchasers of Vietnamese rice – a year later to rank only after the Philippines. 

Among the amount of rice France brought in from Vietnam in January, fragrant rice represented 97 percent, white rice two percent, and Japonica rice one percent.

After the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect in August 2020, Vietnam’s rice exports to the EU in general and France in particular have posted quite impressive growth, according to news site VietnamBiz.

Among the EU countries, France is the top importer of rice from abroad, with nearly 600,000 tonnes imported last year, of which 3.2 percent was from Vietnam.

Last year, Vietnam shipped nearly 104,000 tonnes of rice to the EU market, recording a climb of 10 percent in both volume and turnover from 2022, according to GDC data.

This result reflects the fact that Vietnamese rice exporters have made the best use of the EVFTA to boost exports and expand markets, while the quality of local rice has been enhanced to meet the strict requirements from demanding markets, including France, VietnamBiz commented.   

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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