A gloomy year of rice exports

VCN - Rice exports had a difficult year in 2019 when value decreased compared to 2018. Forecasting 2020, rice exports of Vietnam are not positive, with stronger requirements in improving quality, various export markets.
tin nhap 20200107170356 A difficult year for rice exports
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tin nhap 20200107170356
Rice exports in 2020 are forecast to face difficulties. Photo: Internet

Mix of fun and sad

According to the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development (MARD): in the first 11 months of 2019, the rice export volume was estimated at 5.91 million tonnes, worth 2.6 billion USD, up 4.8 percent in volume but down 9.4 percent in value compared to the same period in 2018. About export markets, the Philippines ranked first in Vietnam's rice export market with about 30 percent market share. In addition, the markets with a strong increase in rice export value were Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Taiwan.

Throughout the year, rice exports faced many difficulties with decreasing export value compared to the same period last year.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said in 2019, the ministry has steered to focus on controlling and raising the percentage of high-quality, high-value rice varieties, accounting for more thnan 80 percent of export rice. Thanks to that, the rice export’s price has been raised, on average, increased from 502 USD/ tonne in 2018 to 510 USD / tonne in 2019. In general, Vietnam's rice industry continues to maintain increasing productivity, output and value of "Vietnamese rice brand" which has affirmed reputation in the international such a: Quang Tri organic rice; ST25 rice won the "World's Best Rice" award.

Further analysis discovered Quang Tri Seabees organic rice has two compounds, Momilactone A and Momilactone B (MA and MB), which have anti-diabetes, overweight, as well as gout and ST25 Rice is bred and developed by the science group of Soc Trang province which was recognised as "World's Best Rice 2019" at the 11th World Rice Trade Conference held in the Philippines, the "commander" of agriculture sector said that ”This is of particular significance to Vietnam's rice industry.”

Firstly, it helped to improve the reputation of quality and brand for Vietnamese rice in the international market. Consumers across five continents not only know Vietnam as a country exporting rice with large volume but also know Vietnam has a lot of other special rice nowhere else has. Besides that, 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 results prove a great potential for all kinds of agricultural products of localities, regions across the country," Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said.

Conversion of crops and exports suitable

About rice exports in 2020, the Department of Processing and Agricultural Product Market Development forecasts Vietnam's rice export will still face difficulties. The reason is the situation of Hong Kong (China) political crisis and Indonesia will reduce rice imports (Indonesia focuses on consuming the rice in stock, and there are large quantities currently). However, representatives of the Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development Department also analysed that Thailand has recently implemented the subsidy for the rice industry in the period of October, 2019 to October 2020, forecasting Thailand’s rice price will be high and reduce competitiveness. This will be an opportunity for Vietnam's export enterprises to expand their markets in 2020.

Some experts acknowledged that it is important to reorganise the domestic market to ensure quality rice, packaging, good supply capacity, to reach increasing request from markets, typically the Chinese market. About export markets, it is necessary to promote and expand markets in Africa, the Middle East as well as markets with geographical distance such as Indonesia and the Philippines, avoiding too much dependence on key markets.

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

The "commander" of the agriculture and rural development sector analysed that in 2019, for rice production, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development instructed localities to convert 100,000 ha of rice which is drought, lack of irrigation water to other crops, the conversion of low efficient rice areas to higher income crops and aquaculture. “In a long-term strategy, we propose to the Central Government, the National Assembly and the Government to reduce the rice area, unable to keep the current area. While the subjects cultivated, other production is very effective. Currently, the research and management agencies are consolidating to propose. We still maintain the food security and export a suitable part,” Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said.

By Thanh Nguyen/ Phuong Thao

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