VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam has been warned that China will import rice from Laos instead of Vietnam, but many Vietnamese in the industry do not believe this will occur in the near future. 



Shenzhen officials on January 10 announced that the first consignment of rice imports from Laos, 87.8 tons, worth $746 million, passed quarantine procedures at the Shenzhen port in the southern part of China.

China, which has been mostly importing rice from Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan, has added Laos to the list of rice suppliers.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has reported a decrease in rice exports. The General Statistics Office (GSO) showed that Vietnam had exported 6.07 million tons of rice by the end of November, worth $2.58 billion, a 7.4 percent decrease from the same period of 2014.

China remains the biggest export market for Vietnam, which consumed 33.4 percent of the total rice exports.

However, Nguyen Trung Kien from Ipsard, an institute on agriculture development, noted that Vietnam rice’s market share in China is on the decrease. 

China remains the biggest export market for Vietnam, which consumed 33.4 percent of the total rice exports.

Sixty five percent of Chinese rice imports were from Vietnam in 2012-2013, while the figure dropped to 53 percent in 2014 and 47 percent in the first fourth months of 2015.

Experts say Vietnamese want to export to China because it is an easy-to-please market, which has high demand for rice. Meanwhile, China wants Vietnam’s rice because it is cheap thanks to geographical conditions.

However, Vietnam no longer has the advantage as its 25 percent and 5 percent broken rice prices are near prices offered by Thailand and India.

Therefore, experts have warned that Vietnam, in the future, would have to compete with a lot of rivals to penetrate the Chinese market. 

They said the volume of rice from Laos and Cambodia remains modest, but the rice has higher quality than Vietnam’s and therefore, has a competitive edge in the Chinese market.
Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh warned that if Vietnam cannot reform the way it organizes production, processing and trading, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar would become formidable rivals.

Nguyen Van Ngai from the HCM City Agriculture and Forestry Agriculture pointed out that while Vietnam has exploited nearly all the advantages it has, Laos and Cambodia still have great natural advantages. 

Meanwhile, Vo Thanh Do from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said there was no need to be too worried about this.

Do said that China’s actual rice demand was much higher than 4 million tons that it had announced before. China would still need Vietnam’s rice, and this will not change in the short term.

Dat Viet