09:02 | 01/10/2019 Trade
(VEN) - Vietnamese rice prices reached a record high in 2018, but a drop in demand by major importers has made it harder for exporters to maintain the record this year.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam’s rice exports in the first half of the year experienced great challenges. Except for the Philippines that has made changes in its rice import policy, China, Indonesia and Bangladesh all imported much less in the first half of the year. The trend is expected to continue for the rest of the year because of the high inventory in China, an election year in Indonesia, and Bangladesh’s ongoing recovery from flooding.
To make up for the shortfall, domestic rice exporters have sought to expand their markets in Africa, Europe, America and the Middle East. Several African countries, including the Ivory Coast, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique and Angola have increased import of Vietnamese fragrant rice, while Iraq is expected to import around 300,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice this year.
Ministry of Industry and Trade data show that prices of fresh summer-autumn rice have increased as traders have promoted rice exports to the Philippines, Cuba, Iraq, and African countries. At the beginning of the second week of August, the price of IR50404 rice in the field in Can Tho was at about VND4,200 per kg, a significant increase compared to the previous period.
Phan Van Chinh, director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said ministries and departments have paid greater attention to rice export activities and enhanced their responsibilities in rice export management. The ministry has completed the checking of 22 rice exporters at the request of the Chinese side, while helping exporters adapt quickly to the changes in the Philippines rice import policy. In particular, 42 businesses have been added to the list of rice exporters since last October, when a government decree on rice exports went into effect.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will strengthen the provision of market information and monitor the rice trade commitments signed with countries and regions, such as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Mexico to promote rice export growth.
Phan Van Chinh said the Agency of Foreign Trade is coordinating with departments, agencies and trade offices to organize rice trade promotion programs in the last months of the year in order to develop the market, boost consumption and increase exports.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade encourages businesses to promote branding. Each firm must ensure rice quality
and avoid violating contracts in order to protect the brand name of Vietnamese rice and promote new export markets.