The potential of Vietnam’s rice exports is great as the world demand for the country’s staple skyrockets, representatives of local rice exporters said at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.
The conference was held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to assess rice exports in the first quarter of this year and to evaluate plans for the foreseeable future.
Vietnam exported more than 1.8 million metric tons of rice worth US$981 million in the first quarter of this year, up 23.4 percent in volume and 34.3 percent in value year on year, Tran Quoc Toan, deputy head of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said at the conference.
Average rice export prices reached $529 per metric ton between January and March, an 8.8 percent rise over last year.
Asia remained the largest importer of Vietnam’s rice, followed by Africa and Europe. Traditional markets, such as China, Indonesia, and the Philippines, also reported positive growth.
White rice made up the largest proportion of the country’s total rice shipments at 53.7 percent, followed by fragrant, glutinous, and broken rice.
Toan said that Vietnam recorded impressive rice export results last quarter despite global economic volatility.
“Our rice export prices maintained their growth momentum. Vietnam’s five-percent broken rice export price ranked first in the world at times [during Q1] and was higher than the rate of the same rice of Thailand and India," Toan added.
“This proves the potential to expand markets and increase the market share of high-quality Vietnamese rice.”
Several enterprises used the conference as a platform to share ideas on how Vietnam can take advantage of export opportunities and maintain the growth of the country's rice sector.
They also discussed the obstacles they face as they work to meet global demands.
“Our company exports tens of thousands of metric tons of rice each year, but we do not have enough high-quality grains to meet customer demand,” said Huynh Van Khoe, director of Blue Ocean Company.
“All [Vietnamese] enterprises want to sell rice to Europe and America but all face a shortage of rice.”
Meanwhile, a leader from the Department of Industry and Trade in Long An Province in southern Vietnam, said that supply is not the only issue confronting exporters.
The leader mentioned difficulties in exporting to China through the northern province of Lao Cai and proposed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade work with its Chinese counterparts to remedy the problem.
Market analysis firm Fitch Solutions earlier forecast a global rice shortfall of 8.7 million metric tons in 2022-23, which would mark the biggest global rice deficit since 2003-04.
Poor weather in rice-producing nations, such as China and Pakistan, is seen as the primary driver of the deficit.
(Tuoi Tre News)