A difficult year for rice exports

VCN- Rice exports have experienced a difficult year in 2019, as the value decreased compared to 2018. In 2020, Vietnam's rice exportsare not forecast to improve, setting stronger requirements in improving quality and diversifying export markets.
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a difficult year for rice exports
Rice exports in 2020 are forecast to continue facing many difficulties

Bittersweet

According to the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development (under MARD), by May 11, 2019, the rice export volume is estimated at 5.91 million tons, reaching $2.6 billion, increasing by 4.8 percent in volume but down by 9.4 percent in value compared to the same period in 2018. Regarding export markets, the Philippines is the largest rice importerof Vietnam with about 30 percent market share. In addition, the markets with a strong increase in rice export value are Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Taiwan.

Throughout the year, rice exports faced many difficulties, with a decrease in value compared to the same period last year.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuongsaid: “In 2019, the ministry has focused on controlling and raising the percentage of high-quality and high-value rice varieties, accounting for over 80 percent of export rice. As a result, the export price of rice has been raised, on average, increasing from $502 per ton in 2018 to $510 per ton in 2019. In general, Vietnam's rice industry continues to maintain the momentum of increasing productivity, output and value. Vietnam's rice brand has gradually affirmed its prestige in the international arena, such as: Quang Tri organic rice; ST25 rice won the ‘World's Best Rice’ award.”

Further analysis showed that Ong BiểnQuảngTrị organic rice has two compounds, Momilactone A and Momilactone B (MA and MB), which have anti-diabetes and obesity effects, as well as gout.

ST25 rice, produced and developed by a team of scientists in Soc Trang province was recognized as the‘World's Best Rice 2019’ at the 11th World Rice Trade Conference held in the Philippines, the head of agriculture sector said this is of particular significance to Vietnam's rice industry.

Firstly, it has helped to improve the reputation of quality and brand for Vietnamese rice in the globalmarket. Not only famous as a country exporting rice with large volume,Vietnam also has a lot of other very special rice. In addition, Vietnam demonstrates the ability of Vietnamese scientists and farmers to research and apply science and technology in rice production to the peak of the world.

"In addition, the achieved results prove a great potential for all kinds of agricultural specialties of localities, regions across the country very rich and diverse," Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said.

Convert to other crops

Regarding rice exports in 2020, the Department of Processing and Agricultural Product Market Development forecasts that Vietnam's rice export will still face difficulties. This is due to the political crisis in Hong Kong (China) and Indonesia reducing rice imports to consumerice in stock. However, representatives of the Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development Department also said: Recently, Thailand has implemented a subsidy package for the rice industry in the period October 2019 to October 2020, forecasting Thai rice prices will be higher, reducing competitiveness. This will be an opportunity for Vietnam's export enterprises to expand their markets in 2020.

Some experts said,in the future, it is important to reorganize the domestic market to ensure quality rice, packaging and good supply, meeting increasingly stringent requirements from markets, typically the Chinese market.

Regarding export markets, it is necessary to promote and expand markets in Africa, the Middle East as well as markets with geographical advantagessuch as Indonesia and the Philippines, avoiding too much dependence on some key markets.

Referring to the long-term and stable development for Vietnam's rice industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has determined that it will continue to promote rice production restructuring and orientation of rice production by region. Accordingly, rice production in the Mekong Delta is geared towards export markets and the high-quality segment in the domestic market, Red River Delta towards the domestic market and the central coastal plains mainly serve internal consumption.

The "commander" of the agriculture and rural development sectorsaid: “In 2019, for rice production, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has instructed localities to convert about 100,000 ha of rice that is likely to sufferdrought and lack of irrigation water to other crops, together with the conversion of low efficient rice areas to higher income crops and aquaculture.”

“In a long-term strategy, we proactively propose to the Central Government, the National Assembly and the Government to reduce the rice area. While other production is very effective. Currently, the research and management agencies are synthesizing to propose. We still maintain the food security and export at a suitable volume,” said Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong.

By Thanh Nguyen/ KieuOanh

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