Rice export prices plunge as global supply increases

By Hong Chau  &nbspNovember 9, 2019 | 09:00 am GMT+7
Rice export prices plunge as global supply increases

A farmer harvests rice on a rice paddy field outside Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

Vietnam’s rice exports fetched an average of $435.6 per ton in the first 9 months this year, a drop of 13.4 percent year-on-year.

Surplus global supply has driven prices down this year, with rice from major competitors like Thailand and India, and even newly exporting countries like Cambodia and Myanmar, being sold at very attractive prices, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Vietnam’s major export markets such as China, Indonesia and Bangladesh have all reduced imports of Vietnamese rice as economic growth slowed down, said head of MARD’s Agrotrade Department Nguyen Quoc Toan.

Vietnam exported 5.56 million tons of rice worth $2.43 billion in the first 10 months this year, up 6.1 percent in volume but down 9.1 percent in value compared to the same period in 2018, the report said.

In this period, the Philippines was the biggest importer of Vietnam’s rice, accounting for 35.1 percent of export turnover for the item. However, in September, Philippine authorities initiated a “safeguard probe” after the country saw a surge in rice imports.

But the country did not end up putting any additional import duties on rice imports, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said in an announcement one month later.

MARD did not provide further information on rice exports to other countries in the first 10 months, but mentioned that exports to Senegal, Ivory Coast, Australia, Hong Kong and Iraq had risen during this the period. 

Last year, Vietnam exported $3.03 billion worth of rice, up 16 percent from 2017, MARD data shows.

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