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Bright outlook predicted for rice exports

04/07/2022    44

As many countries in the world have limited food exports to guarantee domestic food security, rice – a staple in most of Asia – is forecast to witness surging prices in the time ahead, which is said to be a chance for Vietnam – one of the world’s largest rice exporters.

Vu Thi Hue, head of the export - import division of the Dai Duong Xanh Export - Import Co. Ltd, said while lower wheat output and higher production costs have forced many countries to seek alternatives, rice is a suitable choice with good prices. So a bright prospect could be seen for both export volume and prices in the time ahead.

In the first five months of 2022, nearly 2.77 million tonnes of milled rice worth over 1.35 billion USD were shipped abroad, rising 6.6% in volume but declining 4% in value year on year, according to preliminary data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

The Philippines remained the biggest importer, accounting for about 46% and 43.6% of total rice export volume and value. It was followed by China with 14% and 15% of the respective figures.

Strong growth was also recorded in shipments to many markets such as Africa (up over 76% from a year earlier), including Ivory Coast (37%) and Mozambique (47%).

Though export prices, 489 USD per tones on average, have fallen compared to 2021, they are still higher than rice prices of other major exporters like India, Pakistan, and Myanmar.

Nguyen Van Thanh, Director of the Phuoc Thanh IV Production - Trading Co. Ltd based in Vinh Long province, expressed his belief in a bright outlook for rice exports thanks to high demand in foreign markets, especially the Philippines, whose reserves are running low, and China, where production is decreasing due to floods.

Apart from traditional buyers, businesses are also stepping up shipments to demanding markets such as the US and EU countries like Germany, Sweden, Belgium, and Poland.

Vietnam’s Trade Office in Sweden noted rice is the commodity posting the strongest growth in exports to Northern Europe, adding that since the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect in August 2020, Sweden’s imports of the Vietnamese grains have gone up considerably.

The Dai Duong Xanh Export - Import Co. Ltd is the firm with the biggest rice volume exported to the EU by utilising preferential treatment under the EVFTA.

Hue said since this deal came into force, great opportunities have opened up for rice exports to the EU, which has big demand for the grains from Vietnam at present. Many businesses are planning to ship thousands of tonnes of milled rice to the region this year instead of just several hundreds of tonnes like in the past.

If exporters manage to make use of preferential tariffs, they can earn 175 EUR (about 200 USD) per tonne in profits, helping make up for soaring shipping costs and other expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

This is an opportunity for rice businesses of Vietnam to enter the EU market, Hue added./.

Source: Vietnam Plus