Vietnam's rice export forecast to enjoy another successful year

HANOI, Feb 3 (Bernama): Vietnam’s rice export is forecast to continue reaping successes this year as the world's rice prices remain high at least in the short term as global economic and political uncertainties have resulted in high demand for rice reserves, according to experts.

According to the Vietnam Food Association, by the middle of last month, Vietnam earned nearly US$115 million from exporting more than 226,000 tonnes of rice, an increase of over 41 per cent in terms of both volume and value compared to the same period last year, reported VNA (Vietnam News Agency).

The country exported ST24 and ST25 rice to the Middle East region with a record-high price of US$1,000 per tonne, doubling the price of normal white rice.

Vietnamese rice further penetrated demanding markets like Japan and the EU.

According to experts, more than 80 per cent of rice varieties in Vietnam are fragrant high-quality rice, which is an important factor that helps increase Vietnamese rice's value and accessibility to markets.

This year’s rice prices are forecast to return to their peak in 2019 thanks to periodical factors and increasing demand for rice reserves in countries, including such populous nations as China and India.

Moreover, Vietnamese rice exporters are taking advantage of free trade agreements.

Pham Thai Binh, General Director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stocks Company, said that before the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect, Vietnamese rice exported to the EU was taxed at high rates, from 5 per cent to 45 per cent, depending countries.

As the result, it was difficult for Vietnamese rice to compete with those from Cambodia and Myanmar as the EU has exempted import taxes for those countries.

Meanwhile, although Thailand’s rice is heavily taxed branding is strong and long-lasting, resulting in its high competitiveness, Binh said.

According to analysts from BIDV Securities Company (BSC), unfavourable weather conditions make major rice exporters like India and Pakistan reduce export volumes while major rice importers like China to increase imports.

Vietnam and Thailand are expected to hold negotiations to discuss rising rice prices in the context of increasing prices of input materials.

Last year, Vietnam exported nearly 7.2 tonnes of rice, gaining US$3.49 billion. - Bernama

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