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Vietnam’s rice exports to US surge by 71% in January-May

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) noted the market is fond of fragrant rice from Vietnam, including the ST25, one of the world's best rice varieties.

Vietnam’s rice exports to the US surged by 71.3% during the first five months of this year, the highest increase in all major markets.

 Vietnam continues to be among the world's major rice exports. File photo

A report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) showed Vietnam’s rice export volume in the first half of 2022 reached 3.52 million tons for US$1.72 billion, up 16.2% year-on-year and 4.6% in value.

The Philippines remained Vietnam’s largest rice buyer during the January-May period, accounting for 43.6% of the market share.

Vietnam exported over 1.27 million tons of rice to the Philippines in the first five months of 2022 worth $589 million, representing an increase of 34.8% in volume and 17.7% in value on-year.

Along with the Philippines, the US has now emerged as a key market for Vietnamese rice products. In the first five months of 2022, Vietnam’s rice exports to the country went up by 71.3% year-on-year.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) noted the market is fond of fragrant rice from Vietnam, including the ST25, which has been imported into the US for the past two years.

Meanwhile, the EU has also been importing a large volume of Vietnam’s high-quality rice. In June, 500 tons of rice under the brand of “Cơm Việt Nam Rice” of the Loc Troi Group have been exported to Germany, the Netherlands, and France for the first time.

In France, the brand has been on sale at Carrefour, the largest hypermarket chain in Europe.

However, Vietnamese rice faces fierce competition from similar products from Thailand and India.

Thailand’s 5% broken rice is currently sold at $420-450 per ton, a decline of $25 from the previous month. In India, the local 5%-broken rice is priced at $355-360 per ton, down $2 on-month.

The sharp depreciation of the Rupee has led to higher import demand for Indian rice, while India’s wheat export ban on May 13 has prompted traders to buy rice due to fear of further restriction.

At present, Vietnam’s 5%-broken rice is traded at $418-423 per ton, up $3 from the previous month.

The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) predicted the market would go through a volatile period with fierce competition, but Vietnam’s rice exports are forecast to be around 6-6.2 million tons worth $3.2 billion, equivalent to the export volume in 2020-2021.

The MARD expected Vietnam to continue maintaining its role as one of the world’s major rice exporters, thanks to higher quality products.

“Rice exports would be among key factors for the agricultural sector to realize the export growth target of $50 billion this year,” noted the ministry.