Vietnam seeing promising future in rice export

Vietnam Food Association has just informed the price of Vietnamese 5-percent broken rice passes that of Thailand, becoming the leader in this segment, a milestone in the national target for rice export.

The winter-spring rice crop is the main one in the Mekong Delta. Thanks to favorable weather and high price, with a yield of 7.2 tonnes per hectare, farmers earn a profit of over VND30 million a hectare (US$1,260).

The Mekong Delta now has 1.5 million tonnes of rice ready for harvest. The price of Jasmine rice in Vinh Long Province and Can Tho City is at VND7,600/kg ($0.32), OM 4218 rice at VND7,400/kg ($0.31), and ST24, ST25 in Ca Mau Province at VND7,000/kg ($0.29). These are positive signals besides the stably high price of Vietnam 5-percent broken rice at $463 per tonnes ($2 higher than that of Thailand counterpart).

In this year’s winter-spring rice crop, An Giang Province is the leader in terms of rice field area under the partnership between farmers and businesses. Chairman Nguyen Thanh Giang of the Director Board of Binh Thanh Agricultural Cooperative (sited in Thoai Son District) said that his cooperative is growing rice on 1,000ha according to the order from Loc Troi Group, with a yield of 7-8 tonnes/ha thanks to proper techniques and synchronous mechanization in most steps. Loc Troi Group informed that it has made orders with farmers in the Mekong Delta for 210,000ha of rice.

Similarly, General Director Pham Thai Binh of Trung An Hi-tech Farming JSC. (sited in Can Tho City) shared that it is urgently finishing the order to sell 30,000 tonnes of rice to the markets of Singapore, Malaysia, and the Republic of Korea. The company is collaborating with farmers in the Mekong Delta to form a stable rice farming area for its export orders in 2023. At present, it is processing 9,000 tonnes of high-quality fragrant rice.

The year 2022 ended with remarkable achievements in rice export, with nearly 7.3 million tonnes sold abroad and a revenue of $3.54 billion (a volume rise of 16.3 percent and a value increase of 6.9 percent compared to 2021).

The most impressive result was that ST24 and ST25 rice types of Vietnam for the first time were sold to the markets of the EU and the Middle East at the price of more than $1,000/tonne, which is a true miracle.

Hence, in 2023, Trung An Hi-tech Farming JSC. has sighed a contract to export fragrant rice at the price of $1,250/tonne. This February, Quang Tri Organic Agro-product JSC. (QTOrganic) has sold its first 15 tonnes of organic rice to the EU market at the price of $1,800/tonne. Meanwhile, Loc Troi Group is expanding its market to the EU with orders of up to 400,000 tonnes of rice this year, at the price of €12.9/pack of 5 kilos or $2,000/tonne.

To successfully sell rice in such picky markets, both farmers and rice enterprises have to strictly follow a specific rice growing and processing procedure under a close partnership to ensure quality.

Another positive signal comes from the project ‘Sustainable Development of 1 Million Hectares of Specialized Field for High-quality Rice in Association with Green Farming’ by the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry. It is now in the finalization stage to submit to the Prime Minister for approval, in hope of creating more breakthroughs in rice export.

Accordingly, the total estimated investment for the project in the 2023-2030 period reaches over VND40 trillion ($1.68 billion). 30 percent of this amount will be distributed to farmers for seed purchasing at a rate of 80kg/ha in the first 4 crops.

An Giang Province immediately expressed the wish to join in the project with its 200,000ha. Director Nguyen Si Lam of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development stated that in order for the project to be successful, it is necessary to create favorable conditions for rice companies to access this investment, to provide sensible land policies, and to call for the collaboration of relevant partners like the State Bank of Vietnam, the Industry and Trade Ministry, the Planning and Investment Ministry, trading associations in the field.