Ample room ahead for Vietnamese rice to gain entry to UK market: Trade Office

There remain plenty of opportunities for Vietnamese rice to expand its market share in the UK amid India, the largest rice exporter, suspending the export of rice to the market, said Nguyen Canh Cuong, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in the UK.

The trade official assessed that the consumption demand for rice in the UK is vast due to a community of more than 5.5 million people of Asian descent, and being a nation that does not grow its own rice.

Ample room ahead for Vietnamese rice to gain entry to UK market
Ample room ahead for Vietnamese rice to gain entry to the UK market. (Nguồn: Reuters)

Vietnamese rice exports to the UK recorded spectacular growth last year with nearly 3,400 tonnes, worth more than 3.7 million USD, representing a rise of 24.5 per cent in volume and 34 per cent in value compared to 2021.

However, Vietnam currently accounts for only 0.6 per cent of the UK's rice import market, duly ranking 14th among rice exporting countries to this market.

India’s recent rice curb is anticipated to cause a shortage of supply source of about 75,000 tonnes of rice in the UK ahead in the second half of this year, which in turn will create further opportunities for rice exporters, including Vietnam.

The current time, therefore, represents a prime opportunity for Vietnamese rice to move to increase its market share in the UK, primarily due to the tax incentives under the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), Cuong noted.

Sharing this perspective, Nguyen Hai Nam, Chairman of EUTEK Group - the exclusive distributor of Ong Cua ST25 fragrant rice in the UK, revealed that there is ample room for Vietnamese long-grain rice in the demanding market amid the Indian rice export ban and preferential tariffs set out under the terms of the UKVFTA.

Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong, Product Development Manager of Longdan Group, one of the largest importers of Vietnamese goods in the UK, stated that the demand for importing rice in the UK has increased sharply since the beginning of the year. Indeed, Longdan's imports of Vietnamese rice have inched up 40 per cent against the same period from last year.

Furthermore, Cuong analyzed that with India’s ban on rice export, British rice importers will instead turn to purchasing Vietnamese and Thai rice, therefore helping Vietnam rise to a higher position in the list of customers by British rice importers, which had previously established longstanding partnerships with both Indian and Thai suppliers.

Cuong stated that if local rice exporters actively deployed marketing strategies in the UK market in a professional manner, then Vietnamese rice exporters will undoubtedly increase their market share in the highly lucrative market.

He therefore advised exporters to take advantage of the golden opportunity to request that rice distributors in the UK use the Vietnamese rice brand, instead of the distributors’ brand, which will help to raise awareness among British consumers about Vietnamese rice moving forward.

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(Source: VOV)