According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, rice export grew 23.8% in volume to over 2.2 million tonnes, earning US$1.11 billion, up 39.7% in value in the first four months of this year, a high figure over the past five years.
It was partly attributable to Vietnam’s winning of rice export contracts, including 141,000 tonnes in January and 300,000 tonnes in April to Indonesia, which will be delivered from May – July.
In early May, Vietnam won another contract of shipping 130,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines.
Apart from traditional markets, new markets such as Bangladesh, Turkey and Iraq also posted Vietnamese rice import growth, increasing from 11 to 91 times in volume and from 16 to 61 times in value.
During May, a number of export contracts from the private sector are expected to be signed with hundreds of thousands of tonnes in volume. They also seek opportunities in markets signing free trade deals with Vietnam such as the Republic of Korea and Australia, said the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).
Compared to 2017, Vietnam’s rice export prices moved up nearly 15% to over US$500 per tonne.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said demand for high-quality products such as glutinous rice, japonica and broken rice is rising. Last year, low and medium-quality white rice export only accounted for 3.88% and 8.24% of the total.
The VFA suggested the government, ministries and agencies diversify markets to facilitate rice export, which should be responsibility of not only the Ministry of Industry and Trade but the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also.