Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that Vietnam's rice export in May increased sharply, by 47% in volume and 55.3% in value, compared to April, and increased by 11.7% in volume and 35.7% in value over the same period in 2019, reaching 750,000 tons, worth USD395 million.
Notably, price increased to the highest level in many years with an average price of USD527 per ton, up 5.6% compared to April and up 21.4% over the same period last year. In the first 5 months of 2020, Vietnam's rice export price saw a year-on-year increase of 13%, gaining the average of USD485 per ton.
Vietnam has a great opportunity to surpass Thailand in global rice exports this year as Thailand’s rice export in the first 4 months in 2020 only stood at 2.11 million tons, gaining USD1.387 billion, a year-on-year reduction of 32.1% in volume and 15.7% in value.
In addition, rice exports are standing in front of great opportunities as the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is about to take effect, helping Vietnam diversify rice export markets, especially to selective ones, thus being able to promote its brand for gaining access to many other markets.
According to the Vietnam Food Association, although the rice export quota to the EU is only 80,000 tons, it is high quality rice. As the standards of the EU market are very high, Vietnam’s rice export to the region will help it raise its position on the international market.
Besides EVFTA, in 2020, Vietnam’s rice export enjoys number of other advantages. Vietnam signed multi-lateral documents with the Republic of Korea between the RoK and five WTO partners, including Australia, the US, China, Thailand and Vietnam, on the allocation of tariff quotas. Accordingly, from January 1st, besides allocating 20,000 tons of rice to all WTO members, the RoK gives Vietnam its own quota of 55,112 tons of rice.
According to the US Department of Agriculture's forecast, world rice production in 2020 is estimated at 496 million tons, down 0.6% compared to 2019, while world rice consumption reaches 490 million tons, an increase of 0.9% compared to 2019. Meanwhile, COVID-19 forces many countries to increase purchasing rice for storage.
The US Department of Agriculture also forecast that rice exports of Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Cambodia and China will increase in 2021.
In imports, the Philippines is expected to increase rice imports by 800,000 tons in 2021, while Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are forecast to increase imports by 200,000 tons of rice each./.