With stable and high demand for specialty rice from Asia, the European Union (EU) remains a highly potential market for rice exporters of Vietnam, the Dau tu (Vietnam Investment Review) reported.
|Workers prepare rice for transportation__Photo: VNA|
In 2021, Vietnam shipped about 60,000 tons of rice worth USD 41 million to the EU, rising nearly 1 percent in volume and over 20 percent in value from the previous year. That included some 40,000 tons of fragrant rice worth almost USD 30 million, up over 9 percent in volume and nearly 30 percent in value.
The EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), coming into force on August 1, 2020, has helped raise prices of the Vietnamese grain by USD 10 - 20 per ton, partly making up for the modest increase in volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the EU statistical office Eurostat, among the 10 largest rice suppliers for the bloc, rice from Vietnam saw the strongest price growth, 20.3 percent, to an average of USD 781 per ton.
The Foreign Trade Agency under Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade attributed those outcomes to businesses’ capitalization of advantages created by the EVFTA. Besides, they are also stepping up the production of high-quality rice such as fragrant, long-grain, and specialty varieties to enter demanding markets.
For example, fragrant rice accounted for 70 percent of the country’s total rice exports to the EU, compared to 64 percent in the previous year.
With 27 member states, a population of about 516 million, and annual per capita GDP of over USD 35,000, the EU has great demand for imported goods, especially agricultural products (more than USD 160 billion each year), from around the world.
To Vietnam, the EU is its third largest importer of agricultural products, about USD 5.5 billion per year. However, farm produce from the Southeast Asian nation has made up just 4 percent of the bloc’s imports of these commodities. In particular, Vietnamese rice only has a market share of merely over 1 percent.
The Vietnam Food Association predicted rice exports to the EU will continue growing well in 2022. Notably, the improved quality of fragrant rice has met European consumers’ demand.
The optimization of the EVFTA to export rice at zero-percent tariffs is being promoted by the enterprises with large material production zones such as Loc Troi, Tan Long, and Trung An.
Pham Thai Binh, General Director of the Trung An Hi-Tech Farming JSC, said the EVFTA is bringing about greater opportunities for agricultural products of Vietnam, including rice. The firm has made use of the agreement to sell thousands of tons of rice to such markets as Switzerland, France, and Germany.
Meanwhile, Loc Troi was the first to export 126 tons of fragrant rice to the EU under the EVFTA, in September 2020. It is currently accounting for nearly 70 percent of Vietnam’s rice exports to this bloc.- (VNA/VLLF)