HCM CITY — Rice exports fell in both volume and value terms in the first half of this year, the Viet Nam Food Association has said.
|Rice being loaded at Dong Thap Foods Co. Exporters shipped 3.4 million tonnes of rice for a free-on-board value of $1.5 billion, a reduction of 15.1 per cent in value and 12.7 per cent in quantity. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
Exporters shipped 3.4 million tonnes for a free-on-board (FOB) value of US$1.5 billion, a reduction of 15.1 per cent in value and 12.7 per cent in quantity.
Speaking at a meeting held in HCM City yesterday to review rice exports in the first half and draw up plans for the second, Pham Van Bay, the VFA's deputy chairman, said the average price was $458.9 per tonne, a year-on-year decrease of $13.03.
China was the largest buyer, followed by Africa and the Philippines, he said.
High-grade rice accounted for nearly half of the shipments – a 52.6 per cent increase – as Viet Nam took advantage of the higher prices of Thai rice to boost its own exports, he said.
India's resumption of export and the entry of Myanmar into the low-grade variety market shrunk the market share of Vietnamese low-grade rice, since they both offered low prices.
VFA chairman Truong Thanh Phong said since export of low-grade rice was set to become harder, authorities should persuade farmers to reduce cropping of these varieties.
Bay said both the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the US Department of Agriculture had forecast global output to outstrip demand this year.
"With the fierce competition that would bring, prices are unlikely to harden during the rest of the year," he said.
India would continue to sell at low prices to reduce its large stockpile, he said.
Because of its higher prices, Thailand had accumulated a large inventory, and there would be pressure on the country to liquidate it, he said.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien, said if Thailand slashes prices to boost exports, it would be a big hurdle for Viet Nam's rice exports.
He urged the association to keep a close eye on global developments and its members informed.
He urged exporters to promote the Vietnamese rice brand in the global market.
Delegates at the meeting agreed that China would continue to be a key export market for the rest of this year, but warned that there would be payment risks attached to that market.
They hailed the setting up of a trade promotion centre in China, saying it would help resolve issues related to export.
South Korea and Japan were promising markets for Vietnamese rice, Le Tuan, director of the Vinh Long Import-Export Joint Stock Company, said.
But they set the quality bar very high, he said.
So, to find new markets for Vietnamese rice, enterprises should work with farmers to produce rice that meet the two nations requirements, he added.
Viet Nam targets exports of 2.3 million tonnes in the third quarter, including 800,000 tonnes this month. — VNS