According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam exported an estimated 4.88 million tonnes of rice this year worth US$2.2 billion, down 25.8 per cent in volume and 21.2 per cent in value year-on-year. The decline in rice export is attributed to the prolonged El Nino phenomenon in the central and Central Highlands, saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta and flooding in the north, central and Central Highlands. Rice production this year decreased in both cultivation area and output, particularly in the south.
In December alone, 399,000 tonnes of rice worth $181 million were shipped abroad. China remains the largest rice importer of Viet Nam with market share of 35.9 per cent. In the past 11 months, Viet Nam shipped 1.61 million tonnes worth $722.2 million to China, down 20.5 per cent in volume and 11.7 per cent in value from 2015. Ghana is Viet Nam’s second largest rice importer with an 11.1 per cent market share. Markets that saw strong drops in Vietnamese rice imports were the Philippines (down 65 per cent), Malaysia (48 per cent), the United States (33 per cent) and Singapore (30.7 per cent), as well as Indonesia (22 per cent), the Ivory Coast (21.5 per cent) and Hong Kong (19 per cent).