May 11, 2021 / 12:31

Vietnam remains world’s second largest rice exporter in 2021: USDA

There has been a positive shift in Vietnam’s rice export structure towards a focus on fragrant rice products with higher quality and price, stated the country’s food association.

Vietnam is set to remain the world’s second largest rice exporter in 2021 with 6.4 million tons, an increase of 233,000 tons compared to last year.

 Rice packaging for export at Trung An Hi-tech Farming Company. Photo: Vu Sinh

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the latest projected data on its global rice outlook report.

According to the USDA, India is expected to remain the largest rice exporter of the world with 15.5 million tons, representing a surge of 940,000 tons year-on-year, while Thailand could be the third by exporting 6.1 million tons, up nearly 400,000 tons.

For the 2020-2021 period, global rice production is forecast to reach an all-time high of 504.2 million tons, down 0.24 million tons from the previous forecast but up 1% from a year earlier.

In contrast, global rice consumption and residual use during the period is projected to be a record 504.3 million tons, 0.4 million tons less than the previous forecast but eight million tons more than a year earlier.

Countries and territories that are expected to boost their rice imports include the Philippines (up 13%), Cote d’Ivoire (9.1%), Ghana (5.6%), and EU (2.1%). Among them, China would account for the largest amount of rice imports in 2021 with 2.9 million tons, followed by the EU (2.45 million tons), and the Philippines (2.2 million tons), with all of them being Vietnam’s major rice buyers.

In 2020, Vietnam exported 6.15 million tons of rice for US$3.07 billion, down 3.5% in quantity but up 9.3% in value against last year.

For the first four months of this year, Vietnam exported nearly 1.9 million tons of rice for US$1.01 billion, down 10.8% in quantity but up 1.2% in value, mainly due to a 13.4% increase in rice export price, reaching US$534 per ton on average.

The Vietnam Food Association noted there has been a positive shift in Vietnam’s rice export structure towards a focus on fragrant rice products with higher quality and price.

Meanwhile, farmers and rice traders are more focusing on improving rice quality and meeting rules of origin to penetrate highly demanding markets of the EU, South Korea or the US.