Rice export has gradually "turned over a page"

VCN- In the first months of the year, rice exports are continuously gaining positive signals when both production and value increase. Notably, thanks to changing the export structure, focusing on high quality rice, Vietnamese rice has gradually “turned over a page” when the export price is higher than the Thai rice.
rice export has gradually turned over a page
Rice export value gained more than 430 million USD in the first two months. Source: Internet

"Overcoming" Thailand

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first two months, rice exports reached 889 thousand tons and 437 million USD, up 21% in volume and 39.6% in value over the same period in 2017. Philippines ranked first in Vietnam's rice market in the first month with 26.9% market share, followed by the Chinese market with 23.5% market share. Mr. Tran Quoc Tuan, Chief of MARD Office commented: In the first months of the year, the situation of rice export is very good. Vietnam's rice price is higher than Thailand's. The average export rice price in 2016 only reached 435 USD per ton, in 2017 it was 450 USD per ton. Rice price in the first export months in 2018 reached 475 USD/ton.

Answering the reporters question from Customs Newspaper on the reasons why Vietnam's rice export is optimistic right from the beginning of the year, especially why Vietnam rice export price "overtook" Thai rice, Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan said that: the deepening of the rice price helped Vietnamese rice price increase is the structure of export changes, the quality of rice increased. Previously, Vietnam mainly export rice IR 50404. Currently, rice exports are mostly good rice. In 2017, 81% of export rice was glutinous rice, eight aromatic, and jasmine rice, etc. It can be said that the orientation of many years of rice restructuring to improve the quality of rice in Vietnam has been effective initially. Over the past 3-4 years, Vietnam has built up a high quality rice seed production of 80%. "In addition, in the auction of rice now, enterprises jointly participate in public auctions with Vietnamese enterprises. While the quality of Vietnamese rice has improved in recent years, the quality of other countries’ rice has hardly improved much. This will also help export rice to increase competitiveness", said Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan.

Expected export of 6.5 million tons

According to Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan, Deputy Director General, Department of Agro Product Processing and Marketing (MARD), rice is a traditional export commodity and has maintained steady growth in the last 3-4 years. In 2016, Vietnam exported 4.8 million tons, equivalent to 2.1 billion USD. In 2017, output and value of rice exports was 5.8 million tons and 2.6 million USD, respectively. With export momentum in the first two months of this year, it can be affirmed that the Vietnamese rice sector has many advantages.

"However, the results also made the rice industry in Vietnam happy and worried. At present, even at large corporations, the processing of rice products is still low compared to the world. May 5, 1974, when participating in the fair in Thailand, the point was easy to see, Vietnamese rice was far below Thailand rice in terms of product diversification. Quality, design also had many problems have to address", Mr. Toan said.

Mr. Toan added: Currently, the problem of brand building for Vietnamese rice is being attempted for completion. The national rice brand logo has been approved and will come with a management mechanism. Over time, the overall development of the rice sector has many solutions to be launched; appearing private sectors are interested in the field of rice processing. Synchronized solutions cannot deliver results "overnight". However, with the approach to problems from many aspects such as processing, brand building, market organization etc., together with the entry of agricultural enterprises, especially large corporations; there is hope the domestic difficulties of the rice industry will be resolved.

Regarding the story of promoting rice export in the time to come, Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan stated that in 2018, the target is to export about 6.5 million tons with the export structure of mainly good quality rice. Regular rice IR50404 still holds a certain percentage in the export structure, but not more than 20%. At present, despite the price of this rice being quite good, it is not because of the immediate benefit of increased sowing. "In the long run, rice exporters need to continue to persist in the way of improving quality. After the quality assurance, to better the brand, and so long as these are done, it will keep the price high", Mr. Tuan emphasized.

By Thanh Nguyễn/ Huu Tuc

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