Vietnamese rice has more opportunities to access the UK market

According to Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong, Commercial Counselor, Vietnam Trade Office in the UK, Vietnamese rice has a great opportunity to expand its market share in the UK when India – the largest rice exporter to this market – stops exporting rice. rice exports.

Commercial Counselor Nguyen Canh Cuong said, with a community of more than 5.5 million people of Asian descent, the demand for rice in the UK is very large while the UK does not grow rice at all, all consumption needs must be imported. . In 2021, the UK imported nearly 652,000 tons of rice, worth nearly $575 million. In 2022, rice imports increased 4.1% to more than 678,000 tons, while import value increased 7% to more than 603 million USD.

Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong said that although Vietnam’s rice exports to the UK have grown well in recent years, Vietnam only holds a modest market share in this potential market.

Vietnam’s rice exports to the UK recorded a spectacular growth in 2022, reaching nearly 3,400 tons, worth more than $ 3.7 million, up 24.5% in volume and 34% in value compared to 2021. However, Vietnam currently accounts for only 0.6% of the UK’s rice import market, ranking 14th among rice exporting countries to this market.

Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong said that India – the largest rice exporter in the UK, accounting for nearly 27% of the country’s total rice imports – suddenly stops exporting will create a supply shortage of about 75,000 tons of rice. in the UK in the second half of 2023.

The Trade Counselor said that the sudden decrease in rice supply from India created an advantage for other exporters, including Vietnam. He said that the current time is a good opportunity for Vietnamese rice to increase its market share in the UK, especially with the competitive advantage in tax under the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).

Mr. Nguyen Hai Nam, Chairman of EUTEK Group, the exclusive distributor of ST25 Ong Cua rice in the UK, also said that Vietnam’s long-grain rice has a great opportunity in the UK market in the context of the country’s rice export ban. India will create a supply shortage and push up rice prices. Mr. Nguyen Hai Nam said that the UK is a great potential market for Vietnamese rice, one of the items exempted from tax under UKVFTA.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong, Product Development Manager, Longdan Group, one of the largest importers of Vietnamese goods in the UK, said that the demand for importing and consuming rice in the UK has increased sharply since the beginning of the year. now. She cited Longdan’s imports of Vietnamese rice from the beginning of the year up to now by 40% over the same period last year.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong said that, although it has not had an immediate impact on the market, India’s rice export ban in the future is likely to greatly affect the supply in the UK, thus promoting rice consumption. from other countries, including Vietnam.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong said that Vietnam’s rice exports to the UK have good prospects when the market share of Indian rice will shift to other exporters such as Vietnam and Thailand, in which Vietnamese rice is being preferred by consumers. due to its competitive price and quality compared to Thai rice.

Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong shared, with the ban, British rice importers will switch to buying Vietnamese and Thai rice, indicating that this is an opportunity for Vietnam to rise to a higher position in the list of customers. of British rice importers, which previously had only longstanding partnerships with Indian and Thai suppliers.

Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong said that if actively marketing professionally in the UK market, including promoting on local media in English, Vietnamese rice exporters will certainly increase their market share. part in the UK, including the market segment of restaurants serving Asian tourists, which account for a large number of the tens of millions of tourists to the UK each year.

The Trade Counselor recommended that, at the current favorable time, in the context of supply disruptions and Vietnamese rice with good quality and competitive advantages thanks to UKVFTA, exporters need to take advantage of the golden opportunity to demand demand that rice distributors in the UK use the Vietnamese rice brand, instead of the distributor’s brand, which helps to raise awareness among British consumers about Vietnamese rice.

Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong said that, for many years, despite being a major rice exporter in the world, Vietnamese rice exported to the UK as well as many other countries is often sold under the brand name of distributors, causing consumers to users do not recognize the origin of rice from Vietnam.

Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong said that branding is a long-term solution for Vietnamese rice to maintain market share in the UK once the quality of Vietnamese rice has conquered consumers.

Mr. Nguyen Hai Nam shared that it is not only necessary to build a Vietnamese rice brand, but also need the State’s management to ensure product quality in accordance with the brand.

Mr. Nguyen Hai Nam gives an example of the ST25 Soc Trang rice brand, bred by engineer Ho Quang Cua, which has been exported to many European countries but with uneven quality because Vietnamese businesses only buy varieties of rice. this and produced by different processes.

According to Mr. Nguyen Hai Nam, this has affected the ST25 rice brand in the world market, saying that there must be quality standards and unified production processes for specialty rice with national brands.

On the other hand, if enterprises export the same ST25 rice variety with different production processes, it is necessary to build a separate brand for their products, helping consumers distinguish products of different manufacturers. .

Counselor Nguyen Canh Cuong said that, with the requirements of product quality and sustainable agricultural production in the UK as well as in Europe, Vietnamese manufacturers need to mass apply Global GAP standards, saying that The State, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and rice-growing localities need to support farmers in technology as well as funding to expand the application of Global GAP, creating confidence in product quality, management capacity, etc. Product management and risk management of Vietnam’s rice industry, which is the basis for importers and distributors in the UK and Europe to increase rice imports from Vietnam.

Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong also recommended that, in order to take advantage of this new export opportunity, the State should support businesses and farmers by providing credit to businesses that purchase and control rice exports.

In the context of a supply shortage, if they can offer to sign long-term contracts with importers, Vietnamese businesses will create confidence in their British partners about Vietnam’s stable rice supply ability. , creating the basis for building long-term customer relationships.

Mr. Nguyen Hai Nam said that Vietnamese rice exporters need to actively participate in fairs in the UK because this is a great opportunity to find customers. Mr. Nguyen Hai Nam said that every year, the UK has 3 big fairs, bringing together thousands of businesses, distributors, wholesale and retail buyers, including a Specialty Food Fair that will be held in London on on September 12, with the presence of large purchasing enterprises in the UK market.

Mr. Nguyen Hai Nam said that attending this fair will be a good opportunity for Vietnamese rice exporters to find import partners in 2024.

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