Vietnam Rice Varieties For Export
In its report published in May 2021, the US Department of Agriculture has seen Vietnam to remain the world’s second largest rice exporter in 2021 with 6.4 million tons, with an increase of 233,000 tons compared to last year’s total export volume. Based on the USDA data, Vietnam comes after India and is ahead of Thailand as the world’s largest rice exporters.
Countries that turn to Vietnam for rice supply
Several countries across the globe look into Vietnam’s rice products for importation. These include China, Philippines, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and the European Union, who are expected to increase their rice imports in the next 5 years.
Early this year, Vietnam has already exported over 1.9 million tons for the US alone, amounting to US$1.01 billion, or an average of US$534 per ton.
Current policies affecting Vietnam’s rice exports
Vietnam has been undergoing economic liberalization for the past few decades, but it is still heavily influenced by socialism. This means that while there are some aspects of free market activity in name only such as price fixing and distributional planning at a macro level with input from markets determined through directing policy objectives (directive), other parts remain centrally planned like production targets or pricing quotas which suggests rather than dictates set output levels based on demand conditions without regard to what people want.
However, since joining WTO membership many reforms have been made including freeing up land use rights so farmers can lease their own property if they don’t already hold title deeds, thus removing industrial subsidies.
Along with a single free-trade agreement and continuing relations under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Vietnamese government has created a policy to maintain both domestic food security and promote rice exports.
Forty-five percent of all exported goods are made by state-owned trading enterprises like VFA, which buys up crops from small farmers in order to keep prices stable for consumers during harvest season when demand is high but supply low because they worry about potential crop failure due to lack of efficiency at farming techniques used today.
Vietnam rice varieties for export
With modern farming methods and new strains of rice, farmers are able to produce a better rice product. There are more than 1600 varieties grown in the Mekong Delta; one unique variety is called floating rice because its stems float on water when flooded fields were originally used for growing this crop centuries ago.
The most common Vietnam rice varieties being sold for export today are:
Vietnam 504 Rice
The 504 rice is a short-term variety that has good pest resistance and high yield. As the name suggests, it’s mainly grown in the Mekong Delta region which makes it perfect for those who need quality but can’t afford expensive seeds or fertilizers.
The 504 rice always costs less than other rice varieties; governments use this variety for food supply especially during times of emergencies or food crises.
IR50404 rice is dry in texture but sweet and spongy when cooked. The amylase content in this rice variety makes it ideal to be eaten at home or on the go. The hardiness of its grain means it does not need soaking before cooking unlike other rice variants.
Vietnam 5451 Rice
Vietnam’s White Rice 5% Broken is known as the “King of Rice” and more commonly known as “5451 rice”. It can be traced back to the variety IR50404 (or IR504). The rice was developed by the International Rice Institute in 1992, then cultivated on Mekong Delta fields since that time.
5451 rice has shown superior features such as high productivity—especially short-term harvest season; good adaptability throughout lots of farming terrain including a wide range pesticides resistance which enables it to thrive under different types conditions over many years due its ability with adaptation – all these reasons have pushed up output while at same time making price more affordable to consumers.
Vietnam Japonica Rice
The Vietnam Japonica rice, also known as “sinica” rice, is a short-grain variety of Japanese rice. While cultivated in different Asian countries such as China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, it is also grown in Vietnam’s Dong Thap and An Giang provinces and is sold for export.
This rice variety is round, hard, and thick. It is stickier compared to other rice varieties due to high levels of amylopectin, alongside sugar and protein.
Vietnam Jasmine Rice
Vietnam Jasmine Rice is a high-quality fragrant rice variant. Its kernels are big, long, and white. This variant is grown in the Mekong delta and is known for being flexible but not gummy, comes with a light aroma, and is preferred in various countries such as Malaysia, USA, Europe, Japan, and Ghana.
This fragrant rice is grown mostly in the southern parts of Vietnam, although it is also grown in other neighbouring countries in Indochina. When cooked, the grains cling and are a little sticky, although it has less amylopectin.
Jasmine rice is harvested by cutting and threshing its long stalks. The rice is then left in hulled form, then de-hulled to produce brown rice or milled to produce white rice.
Vietnam DT8 Rice
Another export-quality rice variant in Vietnam is the DT8 rice. It is a light fragrant rice that is newly grown in the country. It has a slightly sweet flavour and is grown in the different parts of the Mekong delta.
As an export-quality rice variety, the DT8 is supplied mostly to China and other African countries. It is also closely studied by the Vietnam Plant Seed Group (Vinaseed), and has become the most widely-cultivated rice variety not only in the Mekong delta, but in the South-Central Coast and Central Highlands farms as well.
DT8 is a preferred export rice because of its relatively short growth time, and also because it gives full yield. The DT8 price per metric tonne is higher than the 5451 rice variety.
Vietnam rice at present
Vietnamese rice traders and farmers are now more focused on improving the quality of fragrant rice, which has resulted in a shift towards exporting these higher-value products.
The Vietnam Food Association noted this trend with the Philippines being one such example where exports increased significantly after they began focusing on bettering their aromatic strain (VFA 2018).