LONDON — The first 60 tonnes of jasmine rice shipped to the UK under the UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) hit the shelves in London on Tuesday.
The top-quality fragrant rice was imported by the Longdan Limited Company in the UK from the Vietnam National Seed Group (Vinaseed), and the rice is now sold at 15.5 GBP (US$21.28) per kilogramme at the firm's supermarket chain.
Since Vietnamese high-quality rice enjoys zero tariffs in the UK market under the trade pact, which took effect on December 31, 2021, it will gain a 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, creating a chance for Vietnamese rice to expand its market share in the UK this year.
In 2019, the UK, the world’s ninth-largest rice importer, splashed out US$531 million buying 671,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice. However, Vietnamese rice only accounted for 0.24 per cent of the UK’s total rice imports. Top rice exporters to the UK included India (22 per cent of market share), Pakistan (18 per cent), Spain (11 per cent), Italy (10.9 per cent), and Thailand (9.2 per cent). — VNS