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Low-grade rice exports likely to fall this year

Update: June, 14/2012 - 11:05


Bags of rice being loaded for export at Dong Thap Food Co. Viet Nam's rice exports are predicted to drop this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HCM CITY — Viet Nam's rice exports may drop by 1 million tonnes compared to last year if the world rice market continues to face difficulties, according to forecasts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The country's rice exports may fall to 6.2 million tonnes from the 7.2 million tonnes of last year.

The ministry said the country's traditional markets including the Philippines and Indonesia have reduced their rice imports from Viet Nam, despite increases in rice demand from Asia and Africa, including China, Malaysia, Senegal and the Ivory Coast.

According to the Viet Nam Food Association (VFA), so far this year Vietnamese companies have signed contracts for exports of 5 million tonnes of rice by the end of the year, and 2.7 million tonnes of that amount have been shipped to buyers.

The remaining 2.3 million tonnes will be shipped later this year.

By the end of June, a total of 3.3 million tonnes of rice will be delivered to buyers.

Truong Thanh Phong, VFA chairman and general director of the Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2), said that in June Mekong farmers would harvest 400,000 ha of the over 1.5 million ha under the summer – autumn rice crop.

Some 8.6 million tonnes of paddy, including over 5 million tonnes of commercial paddy (equivalent to 2.5 million tonnes of rice for export), are expected to be harvested in this summer – autumn crop.

With some 680,000 ha under rice cultivation, this year's autumn – winter crop, which is scheduled to be harvested in November, is expected to bring in an additional 3.3 million tonnes of paddy.

In all, some 11.7 million tonnes of paddy will be harvested in the coming summer – autumn and autumn – winter crops, and an additional 3.5 million tonnes of rice will be available for export in 2012.

Phong said it would be easy to sell off the high-quality rice under the autumn – winter crop but rather difficult to find buyers for lower-quality rice of the summer – autumn crop.

The latter has been facing harsh competition from low-quality rice from India and Myanmar.

Under such a situation, VFA has sent an official dispatch to the ministries of Finance, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Industry and Trade, asking the ministries to announce the production costs of summer – autumn crop 2012, and to extend the bank loans provided to VFA members for purchasing 1 million tonnes of rice in reserves.

VFA has also asked the ministries to issue policies on consumption of rice under the summer – autumn crop that will be harvested mostly in July and August. — VNS

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