|Rice is transported for export at Thanh Binh Agricultural Market in Dong Thap Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HANOI (VNS) — Viet Nam exported 330,501 tonnes of rice in February, earning US$147.08 million, up 7.57 per cent in volume and 15.3 per cent in value.
According to the Viet Nam Food Association (VFA), the average price of rice rose by $29.89 per tonne, with the FOB (free on board) price standing at $445.03 per tonne.
The results pushed the country's total rice export volume in the first two months of this year to 637, 756 tonnes, worth $274.62 million, it said.
However, the figures represented a drop of 13.53 per cent in volume and $14.2 per tonne in price, added the association.
The VFA also forecast that March's export volume will be between 500,000 tonnes and 550,000 tonnes.
As much as 49 per cent of Viet Nam's total rice exports were shipped to the Philippines, while China and the African countries consumed 28.3 per cent and 7.94 percent of the total respectively.
Meanwhile, the domestic price of rice was stable but rather high in February. It is likely to fall in the coming months, after all rice exports destined for the Philippines are shipped and the harvest peaks, the association predicted.
Experts said that in the first quarter of this year, Viet Nam faced fierce competition from Thailand and might suffer great damage if that country dumps its rice on the world market.
However, cross-border trade with China could help Viet Nam ensure its sales and keep the domestic prices stable, they said.
According to the Department for Cultivation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the 2013-14 winter-spring crop, the Mekong Delta region has a total rice field area of 1.6 million hectares with an estimated output of nearly 11 million tonnes, with 4.27 million tonnes ready for export.
In March and April, the region is likely to harvest about 7.5 million tonnes of rice, the department said.
According to VFA, price stabilisation measures should be applied to avoid a fall in the domestic prices of rice, as it's been forecast that the global prices will fall sharply when Thailand sells its rice inventory. — VNS