With improved quality and reasonable prices, Vietnamese rice has been competing well with Thai rice in the Hong Kong market.
Pham Van Bay, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), said Vietnamese rice exports to Hong Kong have been increasing rapidly.
He said in the first nine months of this year, Vietnam shipped a total 110,000 tonnes of rice to this market.
Even Thai rice exporters admitted that they had lost this market to Vietnam, Bay said, adding that Hong Kong has become Vietnam’s 11th largest export market by value.
He said domestic farmers and businesses had recently switched to jasmine rice to increase their export quality.
“Vietnamese rice may be of lower quality than Thai rice, but it can still meet customers’ demand,” he said.
“Moreover, we can win customers thanks to our more competitive prices.”
He said Thai jasmine rice was sold at more than $1,000 a tonme, while Vietnamese jasmine rice only cost more than $700 a tonne.
Bay said the quality gap between Vietnamese and Thai rice had been gradually narrowed, and so had the price difference.
According to VFA, besides Hong Kong, Vietnamese jasmine rice has also entered Singapore, China and other important markets.
Pham Quang Dieu, director of market researcher Agromonitor Co., said jasmine rice had become more important to Vietnam’s rice exports in the past few years.
In 2008, only 2.2 per cent of total rice exports was jasmine rice but the figure has risen to 4.5 per cent recently, he said.