|Workers at Tien Giang Food Company prepare rice for export. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh
HA NOI (VNS) — Rice exports have declined sharply in the first five months of the year, indicating that the industry is struggling, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's latest report.
In the first five months the country exported 2.4 million tonnes of rice worth US$1.05 billion, according to ministry statistics. These represent declines of 11.4 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively over the same period last year.
The average price of exported rice was $436.7 per tonne, falling 4.27 per cent below last year's price in the same period.
China remained the country's largest rice import market. Its market share accounted for 34 per cent. Rice exports to China also declined 28.11 per cent in volume and 31.06 per cent in value over the same period last year.
The ministry said rice exporters were facing difficulties in recent months due to competition from other large exporting countries. At the same time the product's global demand has fallen.
In fact, Viet Nam's rice exports had struggled in recent years due to low competitiveness in quality and price, compared with other major rice exporters. Experts attributed this to a lack of a prominent rice brand name.
Viet Nam Food Association statistics showed rice exports declined from 7.7 million tonnes, worth $3.45 billion in 2012; to 6.6 million tonnes and $2.95 billion in 2013; and 6.5 million tonnes and $2.84 billion last year.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently approved a project to develop a leading Vietnamese brand by 2020. — VNS