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Vietnam Today

2018 rice exports expected at 6 million tonnes

Released at: 11:10, 06/02/2018

2018 rice exports expected at 6 million tonnes

Photo from vov.vn

Exports hit 5.7 million tonnes worth $2.54 billion in 2017.

by Van Long

Vietnam’s rice exports are expected to increase by 400,000 tonnes this year compared to last year and reach 6 million tonnes due to increased demand in Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines, with China to be the country’s largest export market, Vietnam News reports.

The newspaper quoted the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) as saying in a January report that countries in Southeast Asia will import a large amount of rice from Vietnam, helping boost the country’s turnover this year.

Indonesia will import rice from Vietnam and Thailand once again this year to increase its reserves, as its rice price has been rising and is now almost double the floor price.

The National Food Board of the Philippines, meanwhile, approved up to 250,000 tonnes of rice imports to offset declining inventories caused by unfavorable weather last year.

These developments are encouraging for Vietnam’s rice exports, the VFA said, with the export price of 5 per cent broken rice rising to $400 per tonne from $390.

The domestic rice price also increased, to between to $267 to $293 per tonne as at the end of January, having increased between $13 and $15 per tonne since December.

According to VFA data, Vietnam exported 5.7 million tonnes of rice in 2017 worth $2.54 billion.

As mentioned in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s 2018 world rice production forecast, issued in late 2017, the main factor behind this year’s rice trade expansion is increased output from Vietnam, Pakistan, and Myanmar, three of the world’s top six rice exporting countries.

The USDA report said that although global rice output in 2017 fell 20 per cent against 2016, as a result of weak outlook for grain products, long, heavy rainfall and spring floods, and other unfavorable weather conditions, there should be positive signs from traditional rice import markets in Southeast Asia in early 2018.

In Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, whose rice crops were heavily affected by inclement weather, demand for rice imports will also increase this year. Rising import demand is supported by increased purchasing power in Africa and the Middle East, while China continues to be a leading importer of rice from neighboring regions.

As such, Vietnam will witness an increase in revenue from rice exports to several large markets.

According to the Department of Crop Production at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in early January the Mekong Delta’s rice producers harvested 860,000 ha of rice, with an average yield of 5.3 tonnes per ha.

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