The Saigon Times Weekly
Bright prospect for rice export
Vietnam’s rice export activity has shown positive signs since early this year, prompting the forecast that the country may export 6.5-7 million tons of rice in all of 2023.
At a rice trade conference held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in HCMC last week, the Import-Export Department under the ministry said that Vietnam’s rice export activity this year would have favorable conditions. Climate change and drought in many countries have caused a rice supply shortage globally. Meanwhile, India has banned broken rice export and imposed a 20% tax on white rice exports. Demand from traditional markets like Indonesia and Bangladesh has increased, while demand from China is also forecast to revert to the pre-Covid 19 level after the country’s reopening of its economy. Further, the improved quality of Vietnamese rice has also boosted demand for the grain.
Therefore, the department has forecast that the country may export 6.5-7 million tons of rice this year. Vietnam was among the world’s top three rice exporters in 2022. Last year, the nation shipped 7.13 million tons of rice worth US$3.45 billion, up 13.8% and 5.1% year-on-year, respectively.
According to the Vietnam Food Association, rice export activity has kept its growth momentum so far this year. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice got the highest price worldwide. On February 15, the rice sold for US$463 per ton (FOB), a 16.3% increase over the same period last year. This selling price equals that of Thailand’s rice and is US$20-30 higher than that of India’s and Pakistan’s rice.
The Department of Crop Production estimated that Vietnam could produce about 24 million tons of paddy (about 12 million tons of rice) this year. After serving local consumption, the country has about 6.57 million tons of rice for export. Rice for export mainly comes from the Mekong Delta, while other regions supply rice for domestic consumption.