|The rice storage of Sông Hậu Food Company in Cần Thơ City. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Up to 205 local traders nationwide were permitted to export rice as of January 18, following a list released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import and Export Department.
Per the list, the Mekong Delta City of Cần Thơ saw the highest number of licensed rice exporters at 43. HCM City ranked second with 38 eligible rice exporters, followed by the southern provinces of Long An, An Giang and Đồng Tháp at 25, 20 and 18, respectively.
Other localities with licensed rice exporters were Tiền Giang and Hà Nội with eight, Nghệ An with seven, and Kiên Giang and Vĩnh Long at six.
Meanwhile, other localities had only one permitted rice exporter, such as Đắk Nông, Trà Vinh, Tây Ninh, Bình Định, Bình Dương, Hà Tĩnh, Nam Định and Ninh Bình.
Despite a modest decline of 3.5 per cent in export volume to 6.15 million tonnes mainly due to the Government's efforts to ensure national food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rice shipments still recorded turnover of nearly $3.1 billion in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 9.3 per cent.
The export price of Vietnamese rice reached $499 per tonne, up 13.3 per cent compared to 2019. This was the highest price of rice for export in recent years, which brought about benefits for local rice farmers.
The Philippines was still the top importer of Vietnamese rice in 2020, purchasing 2.22 million tonnes worth $1.06 billion, a year-on-year surge of 4 per cent in volume and 19.3 per cent in value, according to the General Department of Customs.
This was a record high for rice export volume to this traditional market and it was also the first time the value exceeded the $1 billion mark. In addition, the export price to the Philippines surged in the year, hitting $476 per tonne on average, up 14.7 per cent against 2019.
The Philippines remained the leading market of Vietnamese rice, holding the lion’s share of 35.5 per cent and 33.9 per cent in total volume and export revenue of the country.
The Việt Nam Food Association forecasts a bright picture for the country's rice exports in the first quarter of 2021 as main export outlets such as the Philippines and Africa have signed contracts to buy rice from Việt Nam.
According to the association, the Asian rice market started to heat up again when many potential customers mainly from China, Bangladesh, the Philippines were urgently buying.
Thus, rice exports this year would likely top 6 million tonnes, the association predicted.
Trade experts said the country was switching to exporting more fragrant and high-quality rice at a higher price and added value. Furthermore, local rice farmers and traders had paid much attention to improving the quality of rice, origin traceability as well as adopted measures to meet the requirements of demanding markets like the EU, South Korea and the US. — VNS