Vietnam seeks to cut annual rice exports by 44% by 2030

by Khan Woo

HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam aims to reduce its rice exports by 4 million tonnes a year by 2030 to focus on quality and expand its markets, according to the government’s new strategy for the sector detailed in a document consulted by Reuters. can diversify.

Vietnam is the world’s third largest rice exporter after India and Thailand, with 7.1 million tonnes exported last year.

The move is aimed at “promoting high-quality rice exports, ensuring national food security, protecting the environment and adapting to climate change,” the May 26 document said.

According to the document, rice export earnings will drop from $3.45 billion in 2022 to $2.62 billion (€2.38 billion) per year by 2030.

“Although the area under Vietnamese rice cultivation is shrinking due to climate change and some farmers are switching to other crops and shrimp farming, the strategy seems very aggressive,” said Chi Minh City, a Ho-based rice trader.

Some rice farmers in the Mekong Delta are turning parts of their farms into fruit farms, growing mangoes, grapes, jackfruit and durian, but most of them depend on rice, he remarked.

Shrimp farming has been increasing in the region for many years because of a significant increase in salinity in the Mekong Delta region due to sea level rise due to climate change.

The document states that Vietnam seeks to diversify its rice export markets to reduce its dependence on any particular country.

The Philippines has long been a major buyer of Vietnamese rice, with 45% of shipments in particular last year.

At a regional meeting in Indonesia this month, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh assured Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that Vietnam was ready to supply the Philippines with long-duration rice and reasonable prices.

By 2025, according to this new strategy, 60% of rice exports will go to Asian markets, 22% to Africa, 7% to American markets, 4% to the Middle East and 3% to Europe. In 2030, Asian markets will represent 55% of exports and Europe 5%.

The government says it wants to focus on producing high-quality, aromatic and glutinous rice, while reducing production of low-quality grains to 15% of total production by 2025 and 10% by 2030.

“Vietnam will seek to increase rice shipments to markets where there is a high demand for quality grain and markets with which Vietnam has signed free trade agreements,” the document said.

The government also specifies that the country will strive to reduce residues of phytopharmaceuticals, including pesticides, in its rice.

The Vietnam Food Association, which represents processors and exporters in the rice sector, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“I doubt this strategy will be successful because rice production depends on supply and demand, not government decisions,” said another rice trader from Giang province in the Mekong Delta.

In the first four months of the year, Vietnamese rice exports rose 40.7 percent year-on-year to 2.9 million tons, according to local customs data.

(Khan Vu reports; French edition by Kate Enstringer)

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