Last updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Rice Export: More Opportunities from Key Markets

Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017

Rice export has regained its growth momentum after a long period of steep decline. With strong demand from key markets, including China, the Philippines, Russia, Chile and Ukraine, Vietnam’s rice exports will have more new opportunities.

Optimistic signs
According to the report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, exported rice was estimated at 504,000 tonnes valued US$220 million in August, totalling 3.96 million tonnes and US$1.75 billion in the first eight months of 2017, up 19.8 per cent in volume and 17.5 per cent in value over the same period in 2016.

By market, China continued to be the largest importer of Vietnamese rice in the first seven months of 2017 with 40.9 per cent of market share. Vietnam shipped 1.38 million tonnes of rice for US$623 million in the first seven months of 2017, up 32.7 per cent in volume and up 31.1 per cent in value over the responding period of 2016. Malaysia was the second largest importer with 7.3 per cent of market share. This market bought 288,700 tonnes of rice for US$110.85 million in the first seven months of 2017, up 2.08 times in volume and 78.3 per cent in value year on year.

Rice export contracts also set a new record in August when foreign buyers signed deals to purchase nearly 842,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice, 207 per cent higher than in July and 115 per cent that of the same month of 2016.

The structure of export rice continued to shift positively. Low-quality and medium-quality rice exports dropped sharply while high-grade rice shipments increased. This matched the country’s export development orientation.

Remarkably, higher rice prices amid rising demands have benefited rice growers.

With the sharp volume of rice registered by foreign buyers in August and recent positive market developments, the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) recently revised up its rice export target to 5.6 million tonnes in 2017.

Opportunities for final three months
Rice export prospects look bright as many importers want to buy more rice from Vietnam. Rice export is forecast to stage a better performance than last year.
In addition, with higher demands from importing countries, it is likely that Vietnamese rice exporters will sign new export contracts in the last months of the year. China, Bangladesh and the Philippines will continue to be potential importers of Vietnamese rice for the rest of the year.

To boost rice shipments to these markets, Vietnamese rice exporters need to take full advantage of opportunities. For example, as for the Chinese market, they need to seize opportunities to export rice to China via licensed businesses. As for the Philippines, they necessarily make most use of the rice trade agreement signed by Vietnam and the Philippines in 2010, officially extended to 2018. The agreement is a solid legal basis for Vietnam to maintain the rice market share in the Philippines.

Besides, the rice sector is also seeing great opportunities benefiting from trade agreements with big tax incentives.

In the rice export market development strategy in 2017 - 2020, with a vision to 2030, approved by the Prime Minister, Vietnam will export four million tonnes of rice by 2030, of which universal white rice will account for only 25 per cent, of which low and medium-grade rice will not exceed 10 per cent of total rice exports; aromatic rice, specialty rice and japonica rice will contribute about 40 per cent; and sticky rice will make up 25 per cent. Vietnam will increase exporting rice with higher added value.

Nevertheless, in order to achieve this goal in 2017 and beyond, rice exporters need to build up a collective brand name for Vietnamese rice and absolutely deal with chemical residues in rice production to secure sustainable development in the future.

In addition, they also need to change their export strategies to quickly respond to new market developments, access potential markets and export order-customised rice to increase the value. They also necessarily seek to sign deals with foreign buyers instead of going through intermediaries to earn more value from the grain.

Thu Ha

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