Vietnam lifts restrictions on grain exports from North America and Europe

Vietnam lifts restrictions on grain exports from North America and Europe

September 1, 2023

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Dive Brief:

  • Vietnam will lift restrictions on grain exports from countries where creeping thistle is found, a move expected to allow U.S., Canada and Europe more direct access to the market.
  • A revised quarantine pest list without creeping thistle will go into effect Sept. 29, according to Cereals Canada. The move, which follows advocacy efforts from Canada’s government and agriculture industry, will allow the country to resume bulk wheat shipments for the first time since 2018, according to the trade group.
  • Creeping thistle, also known as Canada thistle, is a fast-growing, dense weed that can significantly reduce crop yield by stealing nutrients and sunlight from other plants. It also can shrink grazing lands for livestock.

Dive Insight:

Phytosanitary restrictions announced in 2018 put agricultural exporters at risk of commercial penalties if cargo was found to contain creeping thistle. As a result, direct trade into Vietnam declined — particularly from Canada.

Canada’s wheat exports to Vietnam fell to just over 20,000 metric tons in 2021, compared to 200,000 metric tons annually prior to the restriction.

“With this positive development, we look forward to the resumption of regular cereals trade between Canada and Vietnam,” Cereals Canada CEO Dean Dias said in a statement.

Eased imports will allow traders to import directly from Canada and Russia, which were previously among top suppliers to Vietnam. While Australia remains the largest wheat supplier to Vietnam, U.S. trade has expanded in recent years after wheat tariffs were lifted in 2021.

“This should be good news for U.S. and Canadian shippers,” a grains trader based in Singapore told S&P Global Commodity Insights. “But the U.S. has been exporting [wheat] more frequently to Vietnam before this, so perhaps it will be more bullish for bulk demand of Canadian wheat.”

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