Domestic rice prices reach new peak

By Thi Ha   November 1, 2023 | 07:03 pm PT
Domestic rice prices reach new peak
Packs of rice seen at a shop in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Thi Ha
Vietnam’s domestic rice prices have surged to a new record amid rising export demand while authorities ensure there is no supply shortage for consumers.

Rice seller Thanh in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District said that he has recently sourced price the popular Dai Thom rice from manufacturers at VND21,000 ($0.85) per kilogram, up 5% from last month and 16% year-on-year to a new record.

Other types rose 7% from a month ago, he added.

In Go Vap District, rice shop owner Hoa said prices had risen 12% from last month for certain brands.

"Manufacturers say that prices will continue to rise as they have already placed orders at farmers who demanded higher prices," he said.

Supermarkets are also selling at prices 5-10% higher year-on-year.

WinMart has raised prices on most of its rice, while Central Retail said that it has yet to adjust retail prices, to support consumers, even though suppliers have raised prices by 10%. Saigon Co.op is considering raising prices.

Businesses that use a lot of rice are feeling the heat. Hoang Oanh, owner of a rice noodles manufacturer in HCMC, said that she had to reduce production to minimize risks of losses as rice prices have surged recently.

Dinh Ngoc Tam, deputy CEO of rice exporter Co May, attributed the price rise to surging global demand.

As India’s ban on some rice variety exports remains, the world is seeing a 40% drop in supply from the country, while other countries such as Indonesia, China and the Philippines still have high demands.

Indonesian businesses are willing to buy from Vietnamese exporters at up to $650 per ton, a record high, according to data from exporters.

There is no concern about domestic supply, but as traders are competing and paying more to ensure they can fulfil export orders, prices are rising, Tam said.

Other industry insiders say that Chinese importers are buying more to ensure supply for their Lunar New Year holiday next year, which pushed up prices.

Nguyen Nhu Cuong, head of the Department of Horticulture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that there was no concern about a shortage in the domestic rice market.

The rice crop area has increased by 30,000 hectares year-on-year, he added.

In the first season of next year, yield is set to rise from 2022 to reach 20 million tons of paddy as farmers’ techniques are improved, he said.

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