Rice industry ups production to take advantage of export opportunities

06:00 | 25/08/2020 Trade

(VEN) - Rice was among the few produce exports to maintain growth in the first seven months of this year and they are expected to further increase due to foreign markets’ growing demand.

rice industry ups production to take advantage of export opportunities

Bumper crop, good price

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Agro Processing and Market Development Department said Vietnam exported an estimated 400,000 tonnes of rice worth US$194 million in July, taking the total to almost 3.9 million tonnes and US$1.9 billion in the first seven months of 2020. This was down 1.4 percent in volume and up 10.9 percent in value compared to the same period last year.

In the first half of this year, the Philippines was the biggest importer of Vietnamese rice, accounting for 36.9 percent of Vietnam’s total rice export value. The price averaged US$487.6 per tonne in the first six months of 2020, up 13 percent over the same period in 2019.

Rice prices in Mekong Delta provinces increased in the first half of July. In Hau Giang Province, yield of the 2020 summer-autumn rice crop reached more than six tonnes per hectare, 500-700kg higher than the previous crop. Farmers sold fresh paddy rice for VND5,300-6,500 per kilo, earning a profit of about VND30 million per hectare. In Dong Thap Province, rice production reached a yield of seven tonnes per hectare in the summer-autumn crop. Provincial farmers sold ordinary rice, long seed paddy rice and fragrant paddy rice for VND5,200, VND5,500 and VND5,900 per kilo, respectively.

Rice and paddy rice export prices have recovered. Specifically, in An Giang, the price of IR50404 paddy rice increased VND200 to reach VND5,000 per kilo, that of OM 5451 paddy rice soared VND300 to VND5,200 VND per kilo, that of OM 6976 paddy rice was VND5,400 per kilo, while ordinary and fragrant rice were sold at VND11,000 and VND14,500 per kilo, respectively. In Kien Giang, the price of IR50404 paddy rice increased VND300 to VND5,700-5,900 per kilo, that of OM 6976 paddy rice increased VND100 to VND6,400-6,600 per kilo, and that of OM 5451 paddy rice soared VND300 to VND6,300-6,700 per kilo.

Le Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Crop Production said the Mekong Delta had a bumper summer-autumn rice crop this year despite increasingly fierce saline intrusion.

rice industry ups production to take advantage of export opportunities

Autumn-winter crop

Rice is one of the few produce exports maintaining growth in the first seven months of this year. Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Department, says he expects Vietnam's rice exports and the Mekong Delta rice market would see positive changes in the remaining months of this year.

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s latest data, the world's rice production is expected to reach an estimated 495.2 million tonnes in 2020, down about 0.3 percent compared to 2019. Global rice consumption in 2020 is estimated at 490.4 million tonnes, an increase of 1.3 percent over 2019. This will encourage Mekong Delta provinces to expand their rice cultivation areas in the autumn-winter crop.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has instructed Mekong Delta provinces to increase rice cultivation areas for the autumn-winter crop to more than 800,000ha, 50,000ha more than the 2019 autumn-winter crop.

The Mekong Delta has entered the rainy season, and salinity intrusion in the coastal estuaries has gradually decreased and is pushed away further from rice fields. According to the hydro-meteorological agency, flooding in the Southern Delta will peak by the end of September, a favorable forecast for rice production in the 2020 autumn-winter crop. Many provinces have increased their rice product areas compared to their initial plans. As of July 15, the Mekong Delta planted 215,600ha of autumn-winter rice, 2.2 percent more than during the same period of 2019.

To ensure a bumper winter-spring rice crop, the Department of Crop Production recommended that localities prioritize production of special and high quality rice varieties, and apply advanced techniques to improve yield and quality, and reduce costs. It is important to keep eyes on the weather conditions and pest control, and develop intensive cultivation of high quality rice and large rice fields to promote production and sales.

Professor Vo Tong Xuan, Rector of the Nam Can Tho University, said Vietnam needs to transform rice production according to value chains connecting farmers, cooperatives and enterprises. Farmers need to work with each other through cooperatives, while cooperatives link with businesses, he said. Enterprises need to take the initiative in looking for markets and work with the state in product branding, Xuan said.

Global rice consumption in 2020 is expected to increase about 1.3 percent compared to 2019, encouraging Mekong

Delta provinces to expand their rice cultivation areas in the autumn-winter crop.

Nguyen Hanh