According to data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the first eight months of 2023, Vietnam exported 5.81 million tonnes of rice worth US$3.16 billion, up 21.4 percent in volume and 35.7 percent in value compared with the same period last year. The average export price was US$543.9 per tonne, up 11.8 percent.
The Philippines topped the list of Vietnamese rice importers, accounting for 40.3 percent of the total export volume, followed by China 13.5 percent, and Indonesia 12.4 percent. Exports to EU countries such as Poland, the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium, and African countries such as Ghana and Angola also increased.
In the third quarter, the global rice market continued to undergo complicated changes. Countries’ demand for rice reserves increased. The export price of Vietnamese rice has reached the highest level over the past 11 years and sometimes surpassed the price of Thai rice of the same categories.
In August, the export price of Vietnamese rice reached US$593 per tonne, the highest level since January 2022. Also in August, Vietnam saw the third highest monthly export volume of rice so far.
|Rice exports have increased in both volume and value – photo: Quang Hung
In recent days, rises in rice prices tended to slow down since some importing countries take actions to curb inflation, focusing on domestic production to increase reserves while seeking alternative food supply sources for rice, such as maize and wheat.
Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Agency of Foreign Trade, predicted that the export price of rice will remain high from now to year’s end due to the demand of major importers such as the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and African countries, and limited supply from world-leading rice exporters such as India and Pakistan.
Changes in the export price of rice will also depend on other factors such as weather impacts on rice production and political situation or policy reactions of major exporting countries such as India and Thailand.
Greater attention to quality required
According to Tran Thanh Hai, domestic rice businesses should seriously implement existing regulations on the minimum level of reserves for circulation and prepare periodical and contingent reports as required by relevant authorities, according to Government Decree 107/2018/ND-CP dated August 15, 2018 on rice exports, and Prime Ministerial Instruction 24/CT-TTg dated August 5, 2023 on measures to ensure national food security and promote sustainable rice production and export.
The Prime Minister also issued Official Note 610/CD-TTg dated July 3, 2023, urging the implementation of tasks and measures to promote rice production and export. The Minister of Industry and Trade issued Instruction 07/CT-BCT dated August 15, 2023, intensifying the provision of market information and trade promotion to boost rice exports and stabilize the domestic rice market.
“The Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked domestic businesses to keep a close watch on global trade in rice, learn carefully about partners before signing contracts, and be cautious in delivery and payment to avoid fraud,” Tran Thanh Hai noted.
Currently, 400,000ha of autumn-winter rice has yet to be harvested. Under the plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, rice production in the coming winter-spring crop (from October 2023 to January 2024) will focus on fragrant and high-quality varieties to ensure sufficient products for export.