China remained the biggest consumer of Vietnamese rice with 26.8% of the market share during the first half of this year, followed by Indonesia with 18.2% and the Philippines with 10.4%.
The strongest growth came in exports of rice to Iraq (up 2.5 times to US$85.5 million), Malaysia (up 2.1 times to US$138.2 million), the Philippines (up 76.8% to US$183.4 million) and Ivory Coast (up 16.8% to US$66.4 million).
AgroTrade forecasts that rice exports are likely to continue their vigorous growth in the second half of this year as several nations will require supplies of the staple crop. The Philippines will need to import an additional 500,000 tons of rice in December. The export price of Indian rice is likely be higher than that of rivals like Vietnam and Thailand because the Indian Government has announced a 13% increase in the purchasing prices from farmers compared to the same period of last year. Iraq’s import demand will surge in the next months due to the country’s reduction of cultivation areas to cope with their water shortages. Furthermore, African countries have a widespread increase in demand for rice imports. These factors are all good opportunities for Vietnamese rice exports.
However, the rice sector will encounter many difficulties if it wants to boost exports, especially as the biggest consumer – China – raises import duties and strengthens quality controls. Besides, the rice price is unlikely to increase because the US dollar hike places pressure on export prices while supplies from the summer-autumn crops in Vietnam and Thailand are saturating the market. Therefore, it is necessary for businesses to focus on controlling the quality of export rice and seeking new export markets to promote exports, AgroTrade advises.