China no longer largest buyer of Vietnam rice

20-Sep-2019 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:02 AM Print This Post

China’s rice imports from Vietnam plummeted during the first few months of 2019, pushing it off Vietnam’s top rice consumers list.

The latest report from the general Department of Vietnam Customs showed that in August, the country’s rice exports to China totalled 19,370 tonnes, worth $14.3 million, dipping 67.4 percent in volume and 63.3 percent in value year-on-year.

In the year to August, some 347,520 tonnes of rice worth $173.7 million had been shipped to China, slumping 67.8 percent in volume and 67.2 percent in value year-on-year.

The China-bound rice shipments accounted for a mere 7.6 percent of Vietnam’s January-August rice exports.

The sharp plunge in volume was attributed to China’s tightening control over informal imports and its strict conditions on the quality of imported rice.

For instance, rice bound for China must be sterilised for 120 hours; rice samples must be sent to Chinese agencies for testing; rice packaging and labels must display full information on product origins in line with international practices; and products must display the labs’ verification stamps.

These requirements have discouraged Vietnamese rice exporters from trading rice on the Chinese market. Only 20 firms meet its requirements for exporting rice formally, leading to a strong drop in rice shipments to China. As such, the northern neighbour is no longer Vietnam’s largest rice consumer.

Nguyen Dinh Bich, a rice market analyst, told The Saigon Times that the rice market will continue to face hardships for the rest of the year. The rice inventory on the global market remains high, whereas rice export prices are in decline.


Category: Economy, Vietnam

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