HCM CITY – Việt Nam has exported 3.87 million tonnes of rice worth US$1.66 billion in the first eight months of the year.

According to the Việt Nam Food Association this represents increases of 17.7 per cent in volume and 16.6 per cent in value year-on-year.

Asia remained the main market, accounting for 67 per cent of the shipments, as exports to mainland China, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore increased.

But exports to Hong Kong fell significantly.

Africa was the second biggest market, accounting for 15.7 per cent of the exports, with the Americas and Australia being third and fourth.

The association said high-grade white rice, fragrant rice and glutinous rice were the main export items.

Việt Nam’s 5 per cent broken white rice is currently priced higher than Thailand’s but lower than India’s due to limited supply, he said.

But the association said the price of common white rice would be reduced to compete with Thai rice to meet new demand.

Huỳnh Thế Năng, the association’s chairman, said the summer-autumn rice crop has been harvested, with output being lower than expected, and large areas of newly planted autumn-rice crop are inundated and likely to be affected.

Prices would remain high in the domestic market until the year-end due to limited supply, he added.

Market forecast

The VFA said demand for common white rice and parboiled rice would continue to increase this year mainly driven by imports by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.

Fragrant rice exports would be steady thanks to continuing demand from Africa and China and new demand from Iran and Iraq, it said.

The market for long-grained white rice, speciality rice, sticky rice, and broken rice would continue to be dominated by China, while exports of Japonica rice would continue to rise and the variety promises to become one of the country’s key exports, with its main markets being countries in Oceania and China, it said.

Exports are no longer based on demand for common white rice from traditional markets under government-to-government contracts, with enterprises actively promoting exports of speciality, high-quality, fragrant, sticky, and broken varieties, it added.

Năng said despite difficulties, rice exports would rise this year.

At a meeting it held on Wednesday the association fixed a export target of 1.8 million tonnes in the four remaining months to take the whole-year volume to 5.6 million tonnes. — VNS

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