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Additional 4,300 tons of fragrant rice registered for export to EU in first half of Sep

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CAN THO – Following the shipment of 3,000 tons of rice to the European Union (EU) by Trung An Hi-Tech Agriculture JSC in late August, six more enterprises registered to sell a total of 4,300 tons of fragrant rice to the EU market between September 4 and 17.

Le Thanh Tung, deputy head of the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, told The Saigon Times today, September 21, that from January to August, Vietnam exported over 15,800 tons of rice valued at some US$8.5 million to the EU.

Meanwhile, in the first half of September, six rice exporters applied for a certification to ship their fragrant rice to the European countries, Tung noted, adding that fragrant rice exports to the EU market are forecast to continue rising from now until the end of the year despite the impact of Covid-19.

Each year, Vietnam ships some 6-7 million tons of rice to over 30 countries and territories, according to Tung. In 2019, the country exported over 6.3 million tons of rice worth over US$2.8 billion, while, over 4.6 million tons of rice valued at US$2.3 billion were shipped to foreign markets between January and August, up 10.4% in value from the same period last year.

Fragrant rice varieties, including OM 5451, OM 4900, Jasmine 85, ST20, RVT and VD 20, which are subject to preferential tax policies when shipped to the EU market, account for up to 46% of the country’s total exports each year.

Vietnam’s rice exports to the EU in 2019 reached 50,000 tons, valued at 28.5 million euros, while the EU market imported a total of 2.3 million tons of rice worth 1.4 billion euros, indicating that Vietnam’s exports to the market remained modest, Tung said.

Under the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), Vietnam is allowed to ship 80,000 tons of rice yearly, with 20,000 tons of unhusked rice, 30,000 tons of husked rice and the rest for fragrant rice.

The EU will soon introduce import taxes on Vietnamese rice to 0% after three or five years, while EU’s two major rice suppliers, which are Cambodia and Myanmar, are subject to the taxes of 150 euros per ton this year and 125 euros per ton in 2021, respectively, smoothing the path for the rise in Vietnam’s rice exports to the EU market.

Le Van Thiet, deputy head of the Plant Protection Department, said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on September 22 would collaborate with the An Giang government and the Loc Troi Group to hold a ceremony to export rice to the EU market.

Pham Thai Binh, general director of Trung An Hi-Tech Agriculture JSC, said that the firm had earlier signed a contract to sell rice to three customers in Germany at a total volume of 3,000 tons.

Two fragrant rice varieties shipped by the firm to the German market were ST 20 and Jasmine, with ST 20 rice priced at US$1,000 per ton and the latter priced at over US$600 per ton, much higher than the prices set before the EVFTA came into effect on August 1.

By Trung Chanh

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