Vietnam's rice exports to African nations have been on the rise (Illustrative photo: congthuong.vn)
The Asia-African Market Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade has joined hands with trade offices to arrange webinars introducing potential of the African and Middle East markets, which drew hundreds of Vietnamese firms.
African countries, especially those in the western region, have high demand for rice because local production cannot meet demand, especially during years with natural hazards, crop failure, political instability and diseases.
Algeria, in particular, relies entirely on rice imports, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in the country.
The surge in its rice consumption is attributed to the increase of Asian migrants in the country, particularly Chinese workers. Algeria purchased about 100,000 tonnes of rice per year, equivalent to 1 percent of the country's food consumption.
Vietnam shipped in excess of 16,390 tonnes of rice to the African country in 2019, fetching 6.28 million USD, a leap of 20.8 percent in value from the previous year. The figure hit 14.58 million USD in the first six months of 2020, accounting for 58 percent of Vietnam's total export value to Algeria.
Similarly, Senegal imports up to 800,000 tonnes of rice a year, primarily broken rice.
Vietnam's rice exports to Senegal witnessed a sharp increase to 96,665 tonnes in 2019, earning 32.62 million USD, rising 13.1-fold in volume and 10.2-fold in value.
The country shipped rice worth 26.47 million USD in the first seven months of 2020, a year-on-year surge of 77.2 percent.
This year, Senegal is projected to import 1.25 million tonnes of the grain.
In both markets, Vietnamese rice faces tough competition from products of India, Thailand, Pakistan, Uruguay and China, among others.
The Vietnam Trade Office is keeping a close eye on adjustments in trade policies and rice import demand in the region, as well as import and payment regulations, especially in the context of COVID-19, to promptly inform businesses./.