08:45 | 21/11/2019 Trade
(VEN) - Since the beginning of the year, Vietnam’s rice exports have experienced great challenges as Chinese importers have cut back purchases from Vietnam. The trend is expected to continue for the rest of the year, but opportunities for Vietnam’s rice exports are opening up in new markets.
According to the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam’s rice exports to China are declining in both volume and value. In the first eight months of the year, this figure reached 347,520 tonnes for US$173.74 million, a drop of 67.8 percent in volume and 67.2 percent in value compared to a year ago.
Bui Thi Thanh Tam, general director of the VinaFoods 1 Corporation, attributed the decline to China’s strengthening of quality control and food safety inspections.
The Philippines is also mulling the use of more non-tariff measures, such as stringent sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements, to regulate the entry of imported rice.
According to Bui Thi Thanh Tam, Vietnam is likely to complete the rice export plan this year despite these challenges, but the rice industry needs to pay more attention to quality.
Some experts say that new market opportunities are opening up for Vietnam’s rice exports, since its major competitor - Thailand - faced severe drought, affecting the country’s rice production. Singapore, which regularly imports 30-40 percent of its rice from Thailand, is considering a strategy to diversify imports from other sources, such as Vietnam and Cambodia.
In addition, Japan, which regularly imports 50 percent of its rice from the US, is also considering rice imports from member states of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), including Vietnam. Some US importers have also added rice to the list of goods purchased from Vietnam.
In the long-term, Vietnam should ensure rice supply and quality, while promoting and expanding export markets.
Vietnam’s rice exports in the first nine months of the year reached an estimated 5.2 million tonnes, earning US$2.24
billion, an increase of 5.9 percent in volume but a drop of 9.8 percent in value compared to a year ago. The
Philippines is a major export market for Vietnamese rice, with more than 36 percent of market share.