Việt Nam's rice exports revenue surges to new record

October 09, 2023 - 09:10
In the nine-month period, Việt Nam exported about 6.61 million tonnes of rice, equivalent to US$3.66 billion, an increase of 23.1 per cent in volume and 40.4 per cent in value compared to the same period last year, said Nguyễn Văn Việt, director of the ministry's Planning Department.
A line of rice packaging for export of the Dương Vũ Co. Ltd in the Mekong Delta province of Long An. The company has exported nearly 300,000 tonnes of rice to China and the Philippines so far this year. —VNA/VNS Photo Minh Hưng

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam set a new record in rice export revenue in the first nine months of 2023 thanks to the increasing price of exported rice, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

In the nine-month period, Việt Nam exported about 6.61 million tonnes of rice, equivalent to US$3.66 billion, an increase of 23.1 per cent in volume and 40.4 per cent in value compared to the same period last year, said Nguyễn Văn Việt, director of the ministry's Planning Department.

In September alone, the country shipped abroad 800,000 tonnes of rice at the average export price of $618 per tonne – a record level over the past ten years, from which the country earned a revenue of $495 million.

In August, rice exports reached 950,000 tonnes with a value of $553 million. Thus, Việt Nam has provided the world market with nearly 1.8 million tonnes of rice, becoming the world's largest rice supplier in the past two months.

Notably, to achieve an export value of $3.66 billion in nine months, the volume of rice exported was only 6.6 million tonnes. While in 2011, to fetch a similar export turnover, the country had to sell 7.1 million tonnes to foreign markets.

Việt attributed the result to the increasing price of Vietnamese export rice, and the decline in rice supplies in many markets during the reviewed period.

Việt Nam’s average price of exported rice in the first three quarters reached $553 per tonne, a 14 per cent increase over the same period in the previous year. The price of Vietnamese rice exports at times reached nearly $650 per tonne.

The Philippines was the largest buyer of Vietnamese rice products in the first eight months, accounting for 40.3 per cent of the total rice export. China and Indonesia ranked second and third, accounting for 13.5 per cent and 12.4 per cent, respectively.

Additionally, positive growth in rice exports has also been recorded in countries in the European Union, such as Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium, and African nations, such as Ghana and Angola.

Chairman of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) Nguyễn Ngọc Nam stressed that there is ample room for rice exports to grow, especially as the Philippines needs to import an additional 1.1 million tonnes, while Indonesia plans to buy 2.3 million tonnes by the end of the year.

China’s demand for rice imports is also forecast to increase in the remaining months of the year, Nam said.

Rice exporters are advised to have appropriate strategies to ensure the ability to meet exports.

Price forecasts

Related to the export scenario, according to experts, in the best case, if the market continues to be favourable, the amount of rice exported remains at 800,000 tonnes per month like in September, then in the last three months of the year, total rice exports could reach more than two million tonnes.

However, with the calculated domestic supply, along with the forecast that the market will not be as good as in the past two months, the country will likely be able to export about 500,000 tonnes each month in the fourth quarter, which will bring the whole year's figure to a record eight million tonnes of rice, setting a record turnover of $4.5 billion.

Recently, rice export prices have tended to slow down following moves by some importing countries to curb inflation, focusing on policies to develop domestic production to increase reserves and search for supply sources of food alternatives to rice.

According to Phan Mai Hương, co-founder of SSResource Media Pte.Ltd (Singapore) and international rice market analyst, the world rice supply is abundant because Thailand has just finished harvesting the extra rice crop. The supply of cheap rice from Pakistan is also large because this country has had good yields.

As for the Philippine market, Mai Hương believes that Vietnamese rice still has the advantage of being a suitable type for demand, so there is no need to worry about competing with cheaper supplies. Therefore, Việt Nam's rice export price is forecast to remain high. Hương advised farmers to monitor information to avoid being pressured by traders.

Deputy General Director of the Export-Import Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade Trần Thanh Hải also predicted that the price of exported rice will likely remain high until the end of this year due to the continued demand for rice imports in major consuming markets such as the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Africa. This is coupled with the limited supply of rice from leading rice exporter like India.

VFA Deputy Chairman Đỗ Hà Nam forecasts that rice prices will stay flat, at around $600 per tonne. Compared to many years ago, this is still a good price for farmers.

Export promotion

To promote the export of this product, the MoIT's Import-Export Department will cooperate with Trade Promotion Agency to organise a trip for trading rice in China.

It is expected that 10-18 businesses will join the delegation, which will have working visits to Beijing and Guangzhou (Guangdong province) from October 30 to November 5 this year.

The goal of the programme is to directly introduce Việt Nam's export rice brands and products to importers and consumers in the Chinese market; and create opportunities for businesses on both sides to sign cooperation agreements.

Promoting rice exports will be done through activities such as organising B2B seminars on rice trade between Vietnamese exporters and Chinese importers; working at a number of factories, warehouses, transportation systems and some large rice importing enterprises in China; studying the retail system, methods of distribution, and Chinese consumers' taste, thereby building a direct market penetration method and increasing market share.

The trade delegation will also work with Chinese management agencies and relevant business associations to learn about policy directions, consumer needs, tastes, and regulations on rice import and export, thereby helping Vietnamese businesses grasp information, and proactively have working plans to meet market requirements. — VNS