According to statistics released by the Vietnamese Trade Office in Algeria, both the Algerian market and the African market in general have seen a high demand for rice consumption as a result of the increasing number of Asian workers based there.
This boost in rice imports can largely be attributed to issues within Africa itself which hampers local production, including inadequate rice production, natural disasters, crop failures, political instability, and the recurrence of various epidemics.
At present, Vietnamese rice is competing with rival products from India, Thailand, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uruguay, and China when exporting rice to the African market.
Last year saw the country ship nearly 16,400 tonnes of rice to Algeria, earning US$6.28 million, up 20.8% in value from 2018. In the first half of 2020 alone, the value of rice exports to this North African country skyrocketed to US$14.58 million, representing an 18-fold increase and accounting for 58% of the total export value to the market.
Meanwhile, due to prolonged droughts, Senegal’s rice production meets only 20% of local consumption, forcing it to import between 700,000 to 800,000 tonnes of rice annually, with the majority being broken rice.
In 2019 Vietnam exported more than 96,000 tonnes of rice to Senegal for US$32.6 million, up 13 times in volume and 10 times in value. In the opening seven months of 2020, Vietnamese rice exports to this market rose 18 times in value compared to the same period last year to US$26.5 million.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Senegal may import 1.25 million tonnes of rice this year.
Currently, the Vietnamese Trade Office in Algeria has updated policy changes and completed a list of rice importers from the two countries to help Vietnamese exporters when seeking business opportunities in the African markets.