Though the prices of Vietnamese 5-per cent broken white rice fell US$20 per tonne in a week, most local rice exporters said the decline would make sales easier.
According to the Việt Nam Food Association, since March 29, the rice export price has dropped sharply by $20 per tonne after reaching the highest price in the past nine years.
Currently, the asking price of 5 per cent broken white rice was at US$498-502 per tonne, the price of 25 per cent broken white rice was $473-477 per tonne and 100 per cent broken white rice was at $428-432 per tonne.
The association also said prices of 5 per cent broken white rice from Thailand stood at $490-494 per tonne while that from India was at $408-412 per tonne.
The news wire service Reuters reported that Thailand’s rice price has fallen to its lowest level in the past four months due to the decline in domestic prices and exchange rates when the Thai baht has weakened by 3.5 per cent compared to the previous year since the beginning of March 2021, while the prices in India have been adjusted to reflect the decline in the Indian rupee.
Phan Văn Có, director of Vrice Co Ltd, said: “The reduction in selling prices for Vietnamese exporters will help sell local rice in the export market.”
Có said recently, Vietnamese rice prices were always higher than competitors’ such as Thailand and India, which made it difficult to compete because some importers were turning to India to buy 5 per cent broken white rice at lower prices though they were still buying fragrant rice from Việt Nam.
Có said that Indian rice was cheap and had stable quality while transporting costs from India to Africa was also cheaper than from Việt Nam, adding the lower prices also made major rice importing countries such as China, the Philippines, and Indonesia buy Indian rice for their reserves.
Vietnamese 5-per cent broken rice was now too expensive compared to the international market, each tonne of the rice was about $100 higher than Indian rice, plus with the higher transportation costs, it was difficult to compete.
Nguyễn Văn Thành, director of Phước Thành IV Company, said: “Though the asking prices of local rice decreased, it is still high compared to the current prices and much higher than in the last year.”
Thành also said the reduction will help Vietnamese rice compete better amid expensive freight.
When prices of 5-per cent broken rice fell, exporters said they would keep the prices high-end rice such as Đài Thơm, Jasmine and ST 24, stable.
Phạm Thái Bình, general director of Trung An High-Tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company, said: “Trung An’s orders still maintain a high price from $600 to nearly $1,000 per tonne.”
Bình said as his business has a good grasp of the market tastes, the products still win customers’ hearts and are sold at good prices.
Vrice’s director Phan Văn Có, stated since 2020, the prices of fragrant rice exported to markets in the EU has not changed, saying: “We have long-term business with our partners, in addition, Vietnamese rice has found a stable customer segment for many years, so exports are good.”
Like Vrice, Phước Thành IV Company currently exports fragrant Dai 8, OM 5451 rice products to countries in Asia and the Middle East with relatively good prices, of which, Đài fragrant 8 rice is purchased by partners at $545-550 per tonne.
Director Thành of the firm said they could sell their high-quality products at good prices as his enterprise has created a habit for foreign consumers to use quality rice products originating in Việt Nam. Thành estimated a more exciting export market for Việt Nam from April as there would be more customers than in the first quarter.
According to the latest statistics by the General Department of Customs, in the first 15 days of March, the country exported 203,320 tonnes of rice with the turnover at more than $111 million. Accumulated from the beginning of the year to March 15, the rice export volume reached 858,605 tonnes with turnover of more than $470 million. The average value of rice export in the first months of 2021 reached $548 per tonne, higher than the same period last year. The price was $464 in the same term last year. The main rice export markets of Việt Nam were the Philippines, mainland China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. — VNS