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Export Value of Rice in Laos Declined in 2018
Laos China Chamber of Commerce
Lao rice exports are expected to decline in 2018 after rice production falls below the target. According to data from the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Lao government hoped to generate at least USD 45.56 million in rice exports by 2018, but in the first 10 months of this year, the total value of rice exports was only USD 23.8 million.
In 2017, Lao rice exports generated about USD 36.6 million, with Vietnam, Thailand and China as its main focus.
The Lao government informed members of parliament last month that the parliament had approved a rice production target of 4.2 million tons in 2018 and hoped to reach 3.6 million tons or 86% of the set target by the end of the year.
According to officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos, due to the sudden large-scale floods in the rainy season in Laos, the output of rice in 16 provinces is low. About 101,000 hectares of rice are affected by floods, accounting for about 12% of 817,800 hectares under cultivation. About 66,000 hectares of rice crops are expected to be destroyed by floods.
In order to ensure food security and increase income from rice exports, producers should improve their quality and meet international standards. Though as a potentially huge market for Lao rice, China has strict requirements on the quality of imports. In order to increase exports to China, the Lao government encourages local companies to register with China’s State General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
Laos and China have reached an agreement on the requirements of rice export to ensure the superior quality of rice and the safety of China’s agricultural production, forestry and ecology. Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and China’s State General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine signed the “Protocol on Inspection and Quarantine Requirements for Lao Rice Exporting to China” in 2015. Enterprises interested in selling rice to China need to be registered in Laos and must be approved by China.
Lao’s rice exported to China reached USD 14.2 million in 2016, decreasing to USD 5.6 million in 2017 and about USD 5 million in 2018.