UKVFTA opens up fresh opportunities for rice exports to UK market

VOV.VN - Tariff quotas set out in the terms of the Vietnam – UK Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) as well as 100,000 Vietnamese people residing in the UK are viewed as important factors for promoting local rice exports to this market.

According to the Vietnam Trade Office in the UK, in 2020 the volume of rice imported into the UK expanded by 13.5% from 671,601 tonnes in 2019 to 762,526 tonnes.

Of the figure, rice imported from the nation increased from 1,296 tonnes to 3,396 tonnes during the reviewed period.

As a result, Vietnamese rice exports to the UK in 2020 increased spectacularly by 116% in volume and 106% in value compared to 2019.

Among the Southeast Asian nations exporting rice to the UK, Vietnam boasts the highest average unit price at US$1,012 per tonne.

Contrary to the reduced supply from Southeast Asia, four countries increased rice exports to the UK in 2021, including the Netherlands with an increase of 22,396 tonnes, Argentina with a rise of 5,194 tonnes, India up 2%, and Pakistan up 1%.

Rice consumers in the UK primarily come from the Asian community, with the second largest being the Indian and Pakistani communities. As a result, the market shares of Indian rice and Pakistani rice account for a high proportion of 27% and 20%, respectively.

Furthermore, the Vietnam Trade Office in the UK market noted that Vietnamese rice in the UK is mainly sold to the Vietnamese community, as well as parts of the Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, and Filipino communities.

The Trade Office said that Vietnam currently ranks 15th among rice exporters to the UK with a market share of only 0.42%.

Due to this small figure there remains plenty of room for Vietnamese rice in the UK to be expanded, particularly due to the 100,000 people of Vietnamese origin living in the European country and thanks to the tariff quota regulations set out in the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).

However, in order to turn this potential into reality, rice growers and rice exporters must thoroughly apply Global Good Agricultural Practice on a large scale, while simultaneously promoting the production of high-quality fragrant rice.

The Department of Crop Production, the Department of Plant Protection, and local administrations with large areas of rice cultivation must implement programmes to support farmers in rice varieties, safe agricultural materials, and rice storage before allowing exports.