First batch of Vietnamese rice exported to UK under UKVFTA

The first 60 tonnes of jasmin rice shipped to the UK under the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) hit the shelves in London on January 26.

The top-quality fragrant rice was imported by the Long Dan Limited Company in the UK from the Vietnam National Seed Group (Vinaseed), and the rice is now sold at GBP15.5 (US$21.28) per kilogramme at the firm's supermarket chain.

Since Vietnamese high-quality rice enjoys zero tariff in the UK market under the trade pact, which took effect on December 31, 2021, it will gain competitive edge over rivals, including those from Thailand.

According to the Vietnamese trade counsellor in the UK Nguyen Canh Cuong, rice shipments to the European country this year will sharply rise against 2020.

He said more UK firms will purchase Vietnamese rice under the UKVFTA, relishing an exciting prospect that Vietnamese rice will expand its market share in the UK this year.

In 2019, the UK, the world’s 9th largest rice importer, splashed out US$531 million buying 671,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice. However, Vietnamese rice only accounted for 0.24% of the UK’s total rice import. Top rice exporters to the UK included India (22% of market share), Pakistan (18%), Spain (11%), Italy (10.9%), and Thailand (9.2%).

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