Rice and fruits and vegetables reach the target early

VCN - While many export industries are forecasted to struggle in meeting their annual plans, fruits, vegetables, and rice have already reached their destination early, setting new records in 2023.
Bustling rice export Bustling rice export
Vietnam’s rice exports hit record high since 1989 Vietnam’s rice exports hit record high since 1989
Rice and fruits and vegetables reach the target early
The first three mainstream lychee export containers have arrived in China. Photo: TL

The forecast is to reach the target of 5.5 billion USD

According to the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, vegetable and fruit exports in November 2023 are expected to exceed 375 million USD, a decrease of 38.4% compared to October (over 608 million USD) but an increase of 22.5% compared to November 2022 (over 306 million USD). The total export turnover of vegetables and fruits for the first 11 months is estimated to reach 5.2 billion USD, an increase of over 70% compared to the same period in 2022. Among them, lychee is the leading export sector contributing the most significant growth to the vegetable and fruit group, accounting for 40% of the export turnover. Following are jackfruit, watermelon, pomelo, and longan, all experiencing growth rates of 50-200% compared to the same period last year. With these results, vegetable and fruit exports have reached the destination earlier than the set target, marking the first time that fruits and vegetables have led the agricultural sector, surpassing key groups such as rice, cashews, and coffee to set new records in 2023.

Regarding markets, the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association states that China remains the largest customer of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables, accounting for nearly 65% of the total turnover, reaching 3.2 billion USD, an increase of 164.7% compared to the same period in 2022. In addition, exports of fruit and vegetable products to traditional markets have also shown good growth, such as the United States reaching over 212 million USD, a decrease of over 3% compared to the same period last year; South Korea reaching 187 million USD, an increase of 25%; Japan reaching 151 million USD, an increase of 7%...

Citing an interview with a reporter from Customs Magazine, Mr. Dang Phuc Nguyen, the General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, analyzed the reasons contributing to the remarkable increase in fruit and vegetable exports in 2023. He stated that Vietnam's deep integration into the global economy through the signing of numerous bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, coupled with the proactive efforts of government agencies to promote and expand markets, as well as facilitating trade-friendly solutions, have helped Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exports achieve a record-breaking figure of over 5 billion USD.

Furthermore, as China is the largest export market for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables, the reopening of some border gates by China since the beginning of the year, along with decrees signed at the end of 2022, are among the key factors driving the growth of the fruit and vegetable sector.

"In addition, the increasing awareness among farmers about adopting good agricultural practices, such as VietGAP, has led to improved quality and quantity. As a result, the Chinese Customs has approved an additional 230 region codes for cultivation and packaging facilities of Vietnamese lychee, bringing the total to 343 licensed facilities. This is also a significant driving force for the growth of Vietnam's fruit and vegetable exports to this market. Currently, lychee and jackfruit are the two most exported items to the Chinese market," added Mr. Dang Phuc Nguyen.

In addition to jackfruit and lychee, which have shown impressive export growth, pomelo has also become a bright spot in the fruit and vegetable export landscape. According to preliminary statistics from the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, the export of pomelo to various markets has reached approximately 30 million USD since the beginning of the year, a 144% increase compared to the same period in 2022. This is the strongest growth in the past five years.

According to forecasts from many experts, as the end of the year is the peak time for shopping and consumption activities, the export situation for this sector is expected to continue to grow. It is anticipated that by the end of 2023, Vietnam's fruit and vegetable exports will easily reach the target of 5.5 billion USD.

Breaking records consecutively

In addition to the fruit and vegetable sector, rice is also setting new records. In just 11 months of this year, rice exports have exceeded 4 billion USD. This is the highest figure in 34 years since Vietnam returned to the world rice export market. Currently, Vietnamese rice has surpassed Thai rice, commanding the highest selling price. Rice exports have not only recorded growth in quantity but also in value and selling prices.

Specifically, according to recently released data from the General Statistics Office, in the first half of November 2023, the country exported 332,214 tons of rice, valued at 219 million USD. Accumulated from the beginning of the year until November 15, 2023, the country has exported 7.37 million tons of rice, earning 4.15 billion USD. This far exceeds the figures for 2022 (7.1 million tons, valued at 3.45 billion USD). The top export markets for rice are the ASEAN region and China. In ASEAN, the largest rice export destinations are the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. According to updated figures for the first 10 months, rice exports to ASEAN reached 4.2 million tons, an increase of 25.7%, while exports to China reached nearly 900,000 tons, a 16.7% increase compared to the same period last year. With the current export momentum, it is expected that Vietnam will export approximately 8 million tons of rice in 2023, generating about 4.5 billion USD.

According to forecasts, the export price of rice from Vietnam, and Asia in general, is expected to continue rising in the coming months, given the ongoing tightness in the global rice supply. This is especially true as India recently announced plans to maintain restrictions on rice exports in the coming year. This could potentially keep rice prices at their highest levels since the food crisis of 2008, as India is a leading global rice exporter.

The supply shortage from India could have a significant impact on the rice market in the last months of this year and the beginning of next year. Consequently, it is predicted that there is still considerable room for Vietnam's rice exports in 2024 due to increased demand from major markets facing supply shortages and countries boosting imports to ensure food security amid unpredictable global rice market fluctuations.

While rice exports have seen significant growth in both quantity and price, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien believes that building a sustainable value chain for the rice sector is essential. Currently, this aspect is not well-developed, and it is crucial for every industry. Additionally, exporting enterprises need to control the quality of their products, ensuring strict compliance with regulations from importing markets, as more countries are imposing technical barriers.

By Xuan Thao/ Phuong Thao

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