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May 2024

Việt Nam’s rice looks for high value export

VIETNAM, March 8 –  

ĐÀ NẴNG — Việt Nam’s rice export has been shifting significantly toward high-quality and speciality products rather than quantity, with an annual stable turnover from 6.2 to 6.3 million tonnes in 2019-23, chairman of Việt Nam Food Association Nguyễn Ngọc Nam said at the Rice News Convention in the central city on Wednesday.

Nam said Việt Nam’s rice export hit a record 8.3 million tonnes in 2023, the highest volume since the country started exporting rice in 1989, of which the percentage of high value and speciality rice was increased, earning US$4.7 billion, a 38.4 per cent increase in value from last year.

“Asia is seen as a major market share of our rice export, but America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia have emerged as new importers of Việt Nam’s rice in recent year. The Philippines became the largest importer when it took a 34 per cent share (2.87 million tonnes) of Việt Nam’s rice export turn-over in 2023,” Nam said at a panel discussion.

“The rice brands ST24, ST25, Jasmin 85, Japonica and sticky rice have become key leading products in the export growth in 2019-23.”     

He said Indonesia outclassed China as the second largest importer of Việt Nam rice after the Philippines, while Malaysia, Japan, Germany and Sweden added to the list of new importers.

Phạm Đạt, a business manager of Amprotek, an inspection and analysing company in HCM City, said Việt Nam’s rice has gradually penetrated the Philippines in the recent three years, accounting for 80 per cent of rice import turnover.

She said previously, Thailand provided 90 per cent of rice import for the Philippines, but Việt Nam has now occupied 80 per cent of the Filipino rice market.

“Rice of Việt Nam is a favourite product for Philippines consumers in terms of competitive price and quality. New varieties were grown, with advanced technology used in farming, processing and post-harvest,” Đạt said.

“An average price of US$650 per tonne offers a smooth advantage for Việt Nam’s rice to access selective markets. Marketing solutions have been approaching closer to consumers’ needs in different markets, helping Việt Nam’s rice earn a successful market share in stiff competition,” she said.

Although exporting to 54 countries over the world, rice of Việt Nam has still been struggling to reduce input costs and loss ratio during processing and storage to gain better advantage in market occupation.

“It requires more active marketing action and joint solutions from Vietnamese farmers, exporters and policy-makers in creating the best way for rice export. Investment and support policies in post-harvest technology and bank loans are still limited,” she explained.

She said some rice producers have introduced varieties, such as red rice and premium long grain, that help draw health-conscious customers.

Desh Ratna, Southeast Asia regional head of Valency International, an international commodity trading house, said Việt Nam’s rice quality has been improved recently, and the rice export market is expected to increase in the coming time as India has banned exporting rice.

He said Việt Nam and Thailand have opportunities to expand market share in the absence of India, a big competitor in the world rice market.

Lê Anh Nam, head of rice export division of Tân Long Group, said investment in technology, market access and premium production would help local companies expand added value and sustainable growth.

He said the group earned about $120 million for exporting 200,000 tonnes last year, and it expects to increase to 300,000 tonnes in 2024.

“We invested $70 million in a Europe-based fully automatic Hạnh Phúc Rice Mill, the largest such facility in Asia, for processing a maximum 240,000-tonne storage capacity. The group also uses a cooling system to store grain for year-around production,” Nam said.

“The group operates a system of 60 rice mills nationwide to meet the 2024 target. We plan to export 1,500 tonnes of the premium rice to Japan where the price is $50 higher than an average export value of other rice products,” he shared.

Rice News Convention, organised for the first time in Việt Nam, is a brand-new initiative by the SS Rice News team among efforts to build a network of rice market participants tuned to the latest developments in the global rice market.

Organisers of the convention said it aims to bring together all elements of the global rice market, from farm to fork, with the event’s primary aim to bring industry participants from across the supply chain supporting the world rice trade for the opportunity to gain insights on market developments, and understand the risks and opportunities from an event that aims to build a better awareness as well as to improve communications within the rice trading community.

The Việt Nam Food Association unveiled at the convention that Việt Nam would produce 43.5 million tonnes of rice in 2024, of which more than 7 million tonnes are for export, for revenue of $5.3 billion. — VNS QR Code

Published Date: March 8, 2024

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