08:03 | 28/05/2015 Trade
(VEN) - According to the African, Southwest Asian Markets Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the early months of this year saw strong increases in Vietnamese rice exports to Africa. If the growth is maintained, rice exports to Africa will revive in 2015.
Vietnamese businesses should promote the export of high quality rice
Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that in the first quarter of this year, rice exports to Africa and Southwest Asia reached US$71.3 million, a rise of 531 percent compared with the same period in 2013. Of this, rice exports to Africa accounted for 94.1 percent. After a long time declining, rice exports to major African markets such as Ghana, Ivory Coast, and South Africa were reviving quickly in the first quarter.
Vietnamese rice has been present in Africa for many years and the presence has strongly increased since 2011. In 2013, Vietnam exported over two million tonnes of rice to Africa, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the total export value of Vietnamese rice. Also in 2013, Africa became the second largest importer of Vietnamese rice, behind China. However, rice exports to Africa decreased rapidly in 2014, reaching US$425.7 million, due to a decline in importers’ demands and fierce competition with rice exports from Thailand, India, and Pakistan.
Africa is the world’s largest rice consumer with annual demand for more than nine million tonnes, of which 6.4-6.5 million tonnes are imported. Vietnam should make the most of opportunities to boost rice exports to this market of great potential.
In the early months of this year, Vietnam encountered numerous difficulties in exporting agricultural, forestry and aquatic products, including rice. Therefore, satisfactory results of rice exports to Africa in the first quarter allowed Vietnam to expect better results in the time to come. Economists believe that if marketing activities are intensified and the quality of Vietnamese rice is ensured and its price is competitive, rice exports to Africa will revive quickly in 2015, and that Africa will continue to be a market of great potential for Vietnamese rice because African consumers have very high demand for rice.
Plan for rice exports to Africa
Along with organizing meetings between Vietnamese rice exporters and potential importers from markets such as Ivory Coast, and Angola, the African and Southwest Asian Markets Department has drafted and submitted to the MoIT a plan for promoting rice exports to Africa. When it is approved, the plan is expected to boost rice exports to Africa, offering businesses greater support to carry out trade promotion activities and open bonded warehouses in markets with high demands such as Angola, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon to promote direct exports.
To make the most of opportunities from the African market, the MoIT said that along with exporting medium quality rice, businesses should promote the export of high quality rice such as aromatic or parboiled rice because the demand for these kinds of rice was very high. As the world’s largest rice importer, Nigeria imports about two million tonnes of rice each year, mostly parboiled rice. However, the volume of Vietnamese parboiled rice exports to Africa remains low due to high production costs. To penetrate the African market in the context of fierce competition with low-priced rice from India and Thailand, Vietnamese businesses should invest in producing high quality rice./.
By Phuong Lan