VN export 1.7 million tonnes of rice during Q1

Friday, Apr 07, 2023 07:37

Farmers during rice harvest season in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap. — VNA/VNS Photo

Viet Nam exported 1.7 million tonnes of rice during the first quarter of 2023 worth over US$900 million, a 19 per cent increase in quantity and 30 per cent increase in value compared to the same period in 2022.

These latest figures were released in a latest report by the General Department of Customs.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), Vietnamese rice has seen some success in improvements in quality and demand over the last several years.

The majority of exported rice came from the Mekong Delta, with the rest of the country's rice production centres mainly serving the domestic market.

Le Thanh Tung, deputy head of the plant cultivation department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said rice production this year for the Mekong Delta alone is projected to reach 24 million tonnes. Consumption for the Delta and HCM City, Viet Nam's most populous city, will stay around 11 million tonnes, leaving 13 million tonnes for export.

Of which, premium-quality rice for export accounts for 3 million tonnes, specialty rice 2.1 million tonnes and regular rice 1 million tonnes.

Vietnamese rice will likely continue to be sought after in the second quarter of the year as demand has been on the rise in major markets including the Philippines, China and Africa, said the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).

Nguyen Ngoc Nam, president of the VFA, said Vietnamese rice has been fetching good prices on the international market despite a gloomy outlook for the global economy as countries look to stock up on food for uncertain times ahead.

In addition, major free trade agreements including the European Union - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) have seen tariffs on Vietnamese rice reduced by as much as 175 euros per tonne, giving Vietnamese premium rice an advantage in the European markets.

As demand soars, exporters have been trying to purchase additional amounts from farmers to maximise efficiency and profit. However, many have voiced concerns over a lack of capital.

Phan Van Chinh, head of MoIT's import/export department, said the ministry has been working closely with exporters to find solutions to minimising logistic costs and dealing with import/export protocols in international markets.

On the other hand, the ministry said it is to keep a close watch on the amount of rice being exported to ensure the country's food security.

In an earlier development, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has ordered commercial banks to review and streamline the borrowing process for rice traders to help them access additional capital sources. — VNS

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