Improving the position of Vietnam’s rice

Sunday, 2017-11-26 07:04:25
 Font Size:     |        Print
 

Vietnam's ST24 rice variety was ranked second among the three most delicious rice varieties in the world.
 Font Size:     |  

NDO - The country’s rice exports in the first ten months of this year increased in comparison to the same period in 2016, both in volume and value, thanks to the growth of exports to key markets including China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

Strong growth of rice exports

In 2015, the rice variety AGPPS 103, developed by Loc Troi Corporation, was listed among the world’s three most delicious rice varieties. Immediately after receiving the title, the group continuously received export orders for this type of rice, a good sign in the context of rice exports facing numerous difficulties a few years ago. Currently, it is more important to enhance the export of high quality rice.

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam exported five million tonnes of rice in the first ten months of this year, an annual increase of 21.6%, earning US$2.23 billion (up 20.3% over the same period last year). The structure of Vietnam's export rice has shifted positively, with a sharp decline in the middle and low-grade rice segment and a strong increase in the volume of rice varieties with high quality and value (such as sticky rice, japonica and brown rice). The change has been also consistent with the directions for the development of export markets.

The country’s rice exports in the first ten months of this year increased in comparison to the same period in 2016, both in volume and value, thanks to the growth of exports to key markets including China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

Specifically, China is now the largest market, accounting for nearly 40% of the total rice export turnover of Vietnam, with 2.03 million tonnes (equivalent to US$909.04 million), an increase of 35% in volume and 34% in turnover over the same period last year. Over the past few years, types of high quality rice, including fragrant and glutinous rice, have been the main commodities exported to this market.

Following China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Ghana and ASEAN are the main export markets of Vietnamese rice. In addition, in the first ten months of the year, the exports of rice to Senegal and Iraq saw a sharp increase. Vietnam exported 98,000 tonnes of rice to Iraq (up 91 times over the same period in 2016), worth US$51.45 million (up 108 times); meanwhile the exports to Senegal increased 178 times in volume and nearly 90 times in turnover (reaching nearly 25,000 tonnes, worth US$8.18 million).

In addition to the advantages in the markets, the prices of exported Vietnamese rice have increased sharply from US$360 per tonne in early June to US$509 per tonne by October. The average rice exports price reached US$448.6 per tonne in the first ten months of the year, the highest price level in recent years.

There are many opportunities for the growth of rice exports, particularly in China where Vietnamese 5% broken white rice is cheaper than domestic rice. In addition the 23 Vietnamese enterprises that have been checked and granted permission for exports, nine more rice enterprises are undergoing the evaluation process for the license from the Chinese side to export their products to this market. Other markets, including Sri Lanka and the Philippines have also launched many rice import packages in the last few months of the year. Africa and Iraq have a great demand for rice, opening more opportunities for the growth of this commodity.

Grasping the demand of the markets, many Vietnamese enterprises have paid greater attention to the production of high quality rice varieties and specialty rice. Provinces in the Mekong River Delta have increased the cultivation of jasmine rice varieties, including Jasmine 85, Tai Nguyen (natural resources), VD 20, and OM 4900. The enterprises have also enhanced the use of the latest rice varieties from the Mekong River Delta Rice Institute, Southern Seed Centre and Soc Trang Rice Research Team to improve the quality of rice. As a result, the short-life ST24 rice variety, which can yield over five tonnes per hectare and has the aroma of pineapple, has been successfully produced. ST24 has become an honour to Vietnam’s rice as it was recognised as one of the three most delicious rice varieties in the world.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is actively implementing the strategy for developing the country's rice export market towards a reduction in the volume and an increase in the value of exported rice. The Ministry will develop plans and solutions to develop each rice export market and respond to market changes, as well as building a database of rice market information.

The localities also reorganised their production towards the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, strictly controlling the production process to ensure hygiene and food safety and meet the criteria and standards of importing countries. For example, Dong Thap province has planned and built large-scale raw material areas, in association with developing the brand of the local rice. The province has also focused on the investment for essential infrastructure and techniques that can create favourable condtions for the application of VietGAP and GlobalGAP procedures. In addition, Dong Thap is actively popularising the information on the strategy for developing the country's rice export market to enterprises, aiming to gradually improve the efficiency of rice exports.

With the satisfactory results of rice exports, the Vietnam Food Association has raised the target of rice exports to 5.6 million tonnes, instead of 5.2 million tonnes this year. To date, the country has reached 91% of the target.