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Loc Troi rice exported to Europe. Photo: TL
Loc Troi rice exported to Europe. Photo: TL

Not enough rice for export

According to statistics of the General Department of Customs, in the first four months of 2023, Vietnam's rice exports reached 2.9 million tons, worth $1.52 billion, up 40.7% in volume and 51.6 % of turnover value compared to the same period in 2022.

The announcement of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) showed that, last week, the price of 5% broken rice for Vietnam's exports was adjusted by 5 USD, up 488 USD/ton, which is the highest price so far this year and $15 above the February peak.

Mr. Nguyen Huu Dung, Director of Dong Thap Department of Industry and Trade:

Rice exports

In 2022, although the rice volume and export turnover of the province increased compared to 2021, but mainly focused on the Asian market accounting for about 80%, while the proportion of rice export turnover to Europe are still quite modest, accounting for only 1%. Therefore, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is requested to support Dong Thap to participate in European market connection events organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, enabling businesses to access this market and effectively exploit the EVFTA.

In addition, in order to support rice exports of Dong Thap and increase the province's rice export turnover to the Chinese market, it is proposed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to propose the Chinese side to supplement the list of enterprises that can export rice to China.

According to the assessment of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the rice export market recorded good growth in both traditional markets such as the Philippines, China and potential markets such as Chile and Singapore. In particular, the value of rice exports to the EU achieved outstanding growth thanks to the export of fragrant rice products, high-quality rice with high added value. Therefore, it is proved that Vietnam's rice is qualified to meet the requirements of even fastidious markets, and at the same time, there are many potential chances to expand the market and increase the market share of high-quality rice in Vietnam.

Mr. Huynh Van Khoe, Director of Dai Duong Xanh Import-Export Company also said that enterprises do not have enough rice to export, especially quality rice meeting the fastidious markets such as the EU market.

Previously, Ocean Green Company exported to the EU only 1-2 containers/year (about 20 tons/container), but now it has increased to several thousand tons/year. However, according to Mr. Khoe, the demand of this market is still very large. "In the past, customers bought Vietnamese rice because it was cheap, but now Vietnamese rice is chosen because of its deliciousness and quality," said Mr. Khoe.

From now until the end of the year, rice export is forecasted to continue to be favorable. In particular, according to Mr. Tran Quoc Toan, Deputy Director of the Import-Export Department - Ministry of Industry and Trade, China's announcement of reopening is a positive signal for rice exporters. China has also announced that Mong Cai border gate (Quang Ninh) is officially a border gate eligible to import food into China with a maximum volume of 200,000 tons/year. Thus, along with Huu Nghi border gate (Lang Son), Vietnam has 2 land border gates that are allowed to import food into Guangxi (China).

Data from the Chinese Customs Administration shows that, in the first two months of this year, while the country reduced rice imports from India, Pakistan and Thailand, it increased its imports from Vietnam. Thereby, Vietnam's market share in China's total rice imports was up to 19.2% compared to 6.7% in the same period in 2022.

Continue to improve quality and value

Before the positive signals from the world rice market, the re-planning of the growing area, focusing on expanding the area of high-quality rice is what localities and businesses are aiming for. Mr. Huynh Van Khoe asked the question of the need to re-plan the growing area to increase the supply of high-quality rice, thereby building a brand for Vietnamese rice grains.

From a local perspective, Nguyen Huu Dung, Director of Dong Thap Department of Industry and Trade, said that in 2022, the province will have 64,300 hectares of rice production linkages with an output of 434,000 tons, accounting for 17% of the total rice production area. There are 43 cooperatives and 22 cooperative groups and farmers that signed contracts.

However, this level of linkage is quite modest compared to the area and output of the province. Therefore, Dong Thap will focus on strengthening linkages, promoting high-quality rice production, ensuring food safety and hygiene, increasing productivity and reducing costs to benefit farmers as well as stabilize exports.

Mr. Pham Thai Binh, General Director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company, also affirmed that the problem of output for rice is not a concern because no matter how volatile the world is, the demand for rice will always remain.

What needs to be done now is to promote linkages to improve the quality and value of rice grains. As a matter of fact, Vietnamese rice has not been taken advantage of for a long time which led to its low selling price. Currently, businesses are very much looking forward to connections between businesses and farmers in supporting techniques to improve the quality and value of Vietnamese rice.

In order to better exploit the markets in the near future, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Huan, Deputy Director of An Giang Department of Industry and Trade, said that localities as well as businesses should take advantage of the system of Vietnamese deals abroad.

According to Mr. Huan, An Giang's rice exports have achieved very positive results, partly thanks to the support of the trading system in exchange information and supportive measures. Thanks to that, An Giang has connected businesses with deals to access the market. In turn, the deals also asked the locality to bring samples and information about products to introduce to businesses in the host country. Thanks to that, besides the traditional markets in Asia, An Giang has successfully exported rice to Russia and Bangladesh. In particular, Loc Troi Group has exported about 1,000 tons to the European market.

By Nguyen Hien/ Thu Phuong

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