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Rice industry is less affected by COVID-19 outbreak


Rice is one of the few Vietnam’s agricultural commodities that has grown in both quantity and value during the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, although manufacturing sectors are facing difficulties due to the adverse effects caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, import-export activities still recorded positive growth in February.

Specifically, export turnovers in February 2020 were estimated at USD 18.6 billion, compared to the same period in 2019, exports of February 2020 increased by 34%. Combined for the first two months of 2020, export turnover is estimated at USD 36.92 billion, an increase of 2.4% over the same period last year.

In particular, export turnover of several agricultural products decreased significantly compared to the same period last year, e.g. export turnover of seafood reached USD 912 million, a decrease of 17.7%; export turnover of coffee reached USD 497 million, a decrease of 9.8% (a decrease of 6.6% in volume); export turnover of fruits and vegetables reached USD 481 million, a decrease of 17.4%; export turnover of cashew nuts reached USD 315 million, a decrease of 19.3% (a decrease of 6% in volume); export turnover of rubber reached USD 231 million, a decrease of 24.2% (a decrease of 32.4% in volume); export turnover of pepper reached USD 81 million, a decrease of 18.8% (a decrease of 2.8% in volume).

Particularly, rice is considered a bright point in export when creating a big turning point in February, with export turnover of USD 372 million, an increase of 20.5% in value and an increase of 15% in volume over the same period. This is especially meaningful in the context of declining export of many agricultural products due to restrictions on trade with the Chinese market in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.

Vietnam's export rice price in the market tends to increase continuously, e.g. price of IR 50404 type 5% broken rice increased from 30-40 USD per ton, reaching USD 380 per ton, the highest price from December 2018 to date. The increase in export rice price has also led to an increase in the domestic rice price, creating good support for farmers.

Previously, in 2019, the domestic rice industry had a sharp decline, "evaporating" USD 300 million compared to 2018. Specifically, rice export volume reached nearly 6.26 million tons, earning only USD 2.75 billion, while in 2018 rice export volume reached 6.1 million tons, but bringing in USD 3.06 billion.

However, rice export volume to China fell to about 8% of the total rice export volume. Also in this year, the market recorded the Philippines ranked first in terms of rice export market of Vietnam.

Besides, Vietnam's major rice import markets are: Senegal increased by 9.86 times, Ivory Coast increased by 78.6%, Taiwan increased by 31%, Hong Kong increased by 28.3%. and Tanzania increased by 26.6%.

Commenting on the situation of rice market, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Food Association, Mr. Do Ha Nam said that the COVID-19 outbreak in China does not affect the export of rice from Vietnam to the world's largest market.

Sharing the same view, Ms. Bui Thi Thanh Tam, General Director of Vietnam Northern Food Corporation, said that rice is one of the commodities that will have a lot of luck, less affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.


Kylie Nguyen

© 2019 Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development No. 2 Lang Ha street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi, Vietnam
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