VOV.VN - The enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has been considered one of the driving forces for greater presence of Vietnamese rice in the EU market, according to insiders.
Statistics released by the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that Vietnam exported 53,910 tonnes of rice worth US$38.07 million during the past 11-month period of 2021, representing a rise of 0.8% in volume and 21.6% in value against the same period from 2020.
These results prove that local businesses have effectively taken advantage of the EVFTA amid complicated developments linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and high sea freight rates to the European market.
Nguyen Thi Hoang Thuy, Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor in Sweden and the Nordic market, revealed that since the enforcement of the EVFTA, rice exports to the EU have enjoyed impressive growth, with export turnover reaching roughly US$1.6 million during the past nine months of last year, up 41% compared to the same period from 2020.
Notably, local rice export prices to the market surged by 20.3% to an average of US$781 per tonne.
Among the leading rice exporters to Sweden this year, only Vietnam, the United States, and Norway have witnessed positive growth. This increase can largely be attributed to the impact of the EVFTA, which has led to Vietnamese rice products enjoying competitive advantages within the fastidious market.
Despite the EU making up a small proportion of total Vietnamese rice exports, this can be considered as a potential market for high-value rice varieties.
During the reviewed period, the country shipped 37,390 tonnes of fragrant rice worth US$26.82 million to the EU, marking an annual rise of 9.3% in volume and 28.4% in value. The market shares of Vietnamese fragrant rice to the EU also witnessed an increase of 70% in the reviewed period.
Most notably, some of the country’s specialty rice varieties, such as ST24 and ST25, have been exported to markets in the EU bloc for the first time.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the pandemic and high sea freight rates are likely to restrain growth of Vietnamese rice exports to the EU this year.
Moreover, the EU has pledged to provide an annual rice quota of 80,000 tonnes to the nation with a tax rate of 0%, and completely liberalise trade in broken rice under the EVFTA, a factor which will serve to help local firms boost exports to this market in the future.