Viet Nam rice exports face uncertain Q1

Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 08:22

The quality of Vietnamese rice has improved to meet the exporting demand. — File Photo

Viet Nam’s rice exports faced an unpredictable first quarter this year, increasing in January, declining in February and recovering in March, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

An estimated 524,000 tonnes of rice were exported in January, with a total value of $249 million, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, representing a 49 per cent rise in volume and 51.3 per cent in value compared to December 2017. After declines in February, exports rose steeply in March, jumping 93.9 per cent in volume and 100 per cent in value to US$338.44 million month-on-month. The rice export price also surged in March by 3.3 per cent to $513.7 per tonne.

The country’s overall rice exports in the first quarter of this year increased by 15.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. The average rice export price in the first quarter of the current year rose by 14.2 per cent year-on-year to $501 per tonne, reported

The rice export price was higher against most export markets during the same period last year, with the highest price reaching $834.5 per tonne for rice exported to Chile, a year-on-year increase of 114 per cent. However, rice exports to this market fell sharply by 95 per cent in volume and 90 per cent in year-on-year value.

China has remained the largest export market for Vietnamese rice, accounting for 27.7 per cent of total volume during the first quarter of the current year.

During the first quarter of 2018, 40 per cent of Viet Nam’s major rice export markets saw a surge in terms of both volume and value, while 60 per cent saw a reduction in rice exports.

Viet Nam’s rice exports to Bangladesh increased 89 times in volume and 59 times in value. A similar but smaller-scale trend occurred in rice exports to Turkey, Iraq, Malaysia and France.

However, rice exports to markets such as Argentina, Chile, Ukraine, Angola, Singapore, South Africa and the Netherlands plunged between 60 to 95 per cent in both volume and turnover over the same period last year.

According to experts, Viet Nam will have greater opportunities when the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) comes into effect, helping rice exporters increase exports to countries that joined the agreement and demand high quality and food safety standards, such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Viet Nam’s structure for exporting rice products has shifted to reducing middle and lower quality rice products while increasing high quality rice products annually.

As a result, from the end of 2017 to the current period, Viet Nam’s rice export prices have increased to $50 to $100 per tonne against its competitors, such as Thailand, Pakistan and India.— VNS

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