Vietnam sees hike in rice exports to Africa

Monday, 2020-08-10 10:54:37
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In 2019, Vietnam exports rice to 35 out of 55 African countries. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO – Vietnam’s exports of rice to the African market increased sharply in the first half of 2020 and are expected to keep rising over the following months and even into next year, according to Vietnamese Trade Counsellor to Algeria Hoang Duc Nhuan, who is also in charge of trade affairs in Mali, Niger, Senegal and Gambia.

In 2019, Vietnam exported rice to 35 out of 55 African countries, with a combined turnover of approximately US$630 million, of which the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal, Mozambique, Cameroon, Gabon, Tanzania and Egypt were among the major importers.

For the markets covered by the Vietnamese trade mission in Algeria, the revenue from Senegal was US$32.6 million, while the value was US$6.3 million for the Algerian market.

This year, the outbreak of locust swarms and the COVID-19 pandemic, together with high population growth and competitive rice prices in the international market, have caused governments and people of African nations to increase their storage of foods and foodstuffs, including rice.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, Africa’s rice demand in 2020 is estimated at 15.7 million tonnes, with Senegal expecting to import 1.25 million tonnes, up 13.6% year-on-year, and Mali aiming to buy 350,000 tonnes, up 16.6%. It is forecast that the region’s rice imports will continue to rise next year.

In the first six months of 2020, Vietnam exported 41,149 tonnes of rice to Senegal, raking in US$14.58 million, a 28.5-fold increase in volume and a 19.5-fold rise in value over the same period last year.

Performing the assigned functions and tasks, the Vietnamese trade mission in Algeria has been monitoring changes in trade policies and updating the demand for rice imports and relevant regulations in the countries that it is in charge, especially regarding the aspect of payment in the context of COVID-19, in order to promptly provide information on the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT)’s website, as well as to introduce Vietnamese companies to the business opportunities and the list of rice importers in the African nations.

So far this year, the Asia-Africa Market Department under the MOIT has coordinated with Vietnam’s regional trade missions to organise virtual seminars to advertise the potential of the African-Middle East market, attracting the participation of hundreds of Vietnamese enterprises.

Since mid-July, African countries, including Mali, Niger and Senegal, have reopened their land and air borders after bringing the pandemic under control. These are the positive signals that help these nations to restore trade and investment exchanges with foreign partners, including Vietnam.