Update: 20:09 | 05/09/2020
Export prices of Vietnam’s 5% broken rice have climbed to US$488-492 per tonne, up US$25 from a month ago and marking the highest levels for years.
Purchasing prices in the Mekong Delta also rose significantly against previous crops, up to VND6,200 per kilogram, generating good profits for rice farmers.
Opportune time for Vietnam to boost rice exports.
According to the Vietnam Food Association, Vietnamese rice price rises were partly thanks to many countries increasing their reserves to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, with Vietnam’s ST25 rice named the world’s best rice, global consumers have paid more attention to Vietnamese rice in general, helping to boost both export volumes and prices.
In other good news, Vietnamese rice has begun to penetrate high-quality markets with Vinaseed recently announcing it will ship 50 tonnes of Japonica rice to Australia. The company already exported VJ Pearl Rice and RVT fragrant rice to the Netherlands and the Czech Republic in July at a price of US$1,040 per tonnes.
Such varieties have received the FSSC 22000 certificate on processing, packaging and shipping from Bureau Veritas, a world-leading British certification company. This is one of the comprehensive food safety standards necessary to penetrate demanding markets such as the EU and the US.
Besides Vinaseed, many Vietnamese rice exporters are also working to meet the stringent requirements of the EU, especially as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement has already come into force, under which the EU is giving Vietnam an annual quota of 80,000 tonnes of rice with zero tariffs.
This is a special opportunity for Vietnamese rice exporters to build and promote their image as well as outlining new strategies for production and export by focusing on speciality rice varieties designed to target discerning markets with higher prices and also reduce reliance on traditional markets, which mainly purchase lower-quality rice at lower prices.
It is a fact that Vietnamese rice accounts for small market share in European supermarkets while the rice of Thailand and Cambodia dominates. In order to expand their market and raise the value of rice, Vietnamese enterprises, therefore, need to change their mindset from creating safe growing regions to forging closer links with farmers in order to achieve high level domestic and international certificates regarding agricultural practices and food safety.