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Rice export: Success exceeds expectations

Rice export: Success exceeds expectations
Author: Thanh Nguyễn - Kiều Oanh
Publish date: Wednesday. December 20th, 2017

Along with the traditional markets that increase rice imports as well as expand new export markets, while the export price of rice is higher than the previous year, 2017 is seen as a surprising success of the rice industry in Vietnam.

The exports of rice in this year is expected to reach about 6 million tons, far exceeding the target of 5 million tons. Picture: ST.

11 months have passed the target

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, by the end of November, rice exports reached 5.52 million tons worth US $2.49 billion, increased by 24% in volume and 24.9% in value compared to the same period in the last year. Thus, the export of rice by the end of November was 500 thousand tons higher than the target of exporting 5 million tons of rice in 2017. Notably, in terms of price, exports of rice also received positive signals on average as in the first eleven months, exports of rice price reached US $452/ ton, rose by 0.7% compared to the same period last year.

At the market level, the latest update in the first 10 months, Vietnamese rice has been exported to 132 markets in the world. Of which, China accounted for 40% of the total volume of Vietnam's export rice with a volume of 2.03 million tons, a sharp increase of 35% compared to the same period in the last year. In addition, rice exports to other markets such as the Philippines, Malaysia, and Ivory Coast, also increased sharply compared to the same period in the last year with increases of 41.3%, 97.3%, 39.7%. In particular, some markets saw unexpected growth: Iraq increased by more than 9,000%, South Korea increased by 470%, Saudi Arabia increased by 210%, and Senegal increased by more than 17,700%. In addition to the dramatic increase of exporting rice to some of the markets mentioned above, the markets of Ghana, Cuba, Hong Kong, and East Timor recorded a decrease of 23.9%, 15.8%, 45.2%, 46.1%, respectively, compared to the same period of 2016.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade predicts that in the last month of the year, the rice export will reach 400-450 thousand tons, bringing the total volume of rice export for the whole year to 5.9 - 6 million tons, increasing by 1.1 - 1, 2 million tons of rice compared to 2016 and far exceeding the export target of 5 million tons of rice set at the beginning of the year.

Expectation for the brand

In fact, from the beginning of this year, the rice export market has been considered to be difficult as many countries turn to food self-sufficiency. However, the reality has changed, bringing dramatic success for the rice export of Vietnam. According to analysis of some experts, rice exports in this year still has strong growth because of the impact of climate change causing the supply of rice in some countries to decrease. Thereby increasing the demand for rice from the consumer market. In particular, the expansion of rice export to new markets such as Bangladesh, and Iraq, also contributed to increasing the exports of Vietnam’s rice.

In the coming time, rice export is expected to continue to grow satisfactorily thanks to the increased demand from China, Philippines, South Korea and Iraq. However, in terms of export prices, the forecast is likely to be adjusted down slightly by the fierce competition from Thailand and India. Currently, Vietnam's rice prices are higher than Thailand and at the same level with India. However, the two countries are entering a new harvest, creating considerable competition for Vietnamese rice.

In fact, although this year's export of rice is quite successful even though the brand has not been built on the international market. Vietnam's rice export has been considered unsustainable for many years, large quantity but low and medium quality. To overcome this problem and create sustainable development for the rice sector, the MARD is organizing the consultation and finalization of the draft regulation on management of Vietnam Rice.

According to this draft, the certified rice must be white rice, white fragrant rice and white glutinous rice which is to be grown in areas planned by the State and is to meet the requirements of quality as prescribed. In addition, in order for rice products to use national certification, domestic rice must comply with VietGAP standards or other equivalent standards to ensure that rice products have a stable quality and meet the quality norms as prescribed and traceable to the product’s origin.

Mr. Vo Thanh Do, Deputy Director General, Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (MARD), said that the construction of a national certification mark of Vietnam Rice (Vienam Rice) will contribute to create confidence and prestige. It can enhance the competitiveness of Vietnam's rice products on the world market. Visibly, the position of the country has topped world rice export for many years, but so far Vietnam is still struggling to position Vietnamese rice on the world map. However, it is hoped that after the drafting of the Regulation is complete, the export of Vietnamese rice in the international market will actually create a new “look” for the Vietnamese rice industry.

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