HA NOI — The Viet Nam Food Association (VFA), believes that the country's rice yield of roughly 8.8 million tonnes this year will be sold out, thanks to an optimistic market.
|Bags of rice ready to be exported at Luong Thuc Food Co. Vietnamese rice exporters from July 1 to 17 shipped 259,400 tonnes of rice worth US$112.687 million. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Binh
According to Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times), VFA chairman Nguyen Hung Linh said that according to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the country this year estimated production of approximately 8.8 million tonnes of rice.
VFA has plans to export around 6.2 to 6.5 million tonnes of rice, besides around another 2 million tonnes of unofficial cross border exports to China, Linh said.
The amount of unofficial cross border rice exports cannot be checked so VFA has not listed that in its export plans.
According to VFA's statistics, Vietnamese rice exporters from July 1 to 17 shipped 259,400 tonnes of rice worth of US$112.687 million. Asia was the largest rice exporting destination for Viet Nam's rice so far in July with roughly 197,128 tonnes, or 76 per cent of Viet Nam's rice exports. The Americas followed, accounting for roughly 40,747 tonnes, or 16 per cent of rice exports.
With the result, Viet Nam exported 3.26 million tonnes of rice worth $1.408 billion by July 17. Average rice exports so far this year stand at roughly $432 per tonne (FOB), up roughly 1 per cent per tonne from around $429 per tonne recorded over the same time last year.
To date this year, domestic rice exporters have signed contracts to sell 5.3 million tonnes of rice, of which more than 3.2 million tonnes have been delivered. They are now boosting rice purchase from farmers to deliver the remaining 2.1 million tonnes, which has helped push up paddy prices in the domestic market.
The price of paddy in the country's rice granary of Mekong Delta region in the past week increased to VND5,550-5,650 per kilo from VND5,400-5,500 in early July.
A decision made by the Thai government to stop excessive sales, has also led to a rise in not only Thai rice prices but also global rice prices.
Viet Nam's rice prices are no exception to this. The export price of Viet Nam's 5 per cent broken white rice has increased to around $445 per tonne this week, up roughly 6 per cent from around $420 per tonne in the beginning of July 2014, and roughly 8.5 per cent from around $410 per tonne in June 2014.
For the rest of the five months this year, domestic rice exporters will have to win contracts for the export of more than 1 million tonnes of rice to meet the annual target of selling 6.2 to 6.5 million tonnes.
Indonesian news portal Tempo reported that according to the Bureau of Logistics (Bulog), Indonesia's state-owned company that deals with food distribution and price control, Indonesia has recently finalised an import contract for around 50,000 tonnes of rice with Viet Nam.
Bulog fixed the contract at around 6,000 rupiah per kilo, or around 300 billion rupiah ($25.8 million), Bulog Director Sutarto Alimoeso was quoted by Tempo as saying.
Experts said that traditional importers are resuming negotiations to buy Vietnamese rice but are concerned about fierce competition from Thai rice. If Vietnamese rice prices are higher than that of Thailand, the importers will buy Thai rice, they said.
They are also concerned about a rise in a small volume of unofficial cross-border rice exports to China without export contracts, which can cause a little instability in Viet Nam's rice exports.
To manage rice exports better, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh asked VFA to closely supervise and adjust rice exports, especially those via Chinese borders without export contracts.
Anh has also urged relevant ministries and bodies including MARD, Finance, General Department of Customs and Border Guard Force to issue unique policies to co-ordinate better with VFA in managing unofficial cross border rice exports.
Anh also called on rice exporters to target sustainable growth through the development of potential and high value markets. — VNS