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Rice export target within reach, despite challenges

Update: September, 01/2012 - 09:21

HA NOI — Rice exports were up to expectations despite many difficulties in the world rice market, said experts.

The Viet Nam Food Association (VFA) expected Viet Nam to export 2.82 million tonnes of rice in the remaining months of this year. As a result, the country will ship abroad over 7 million tonnes of rice this year.

However, the association also said the world rice market would continue its instability and even have unexpected developments.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said the association should work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and provinces should review the quality and output of rice to meet demands of the market.

For Asian markets, especially China, rice exporting enterprises should be more active and professional to enter the markets and develop trading, Bien said.

The VFA should continue to be an export promotion centre, to limit risks in payment and create close co-operation among enterprises of Viet Nam and China by opening a representative office in China, he said.

The trade ministry would continue to seek new export markets for Vietnamese rice to reach the national target, he said.

Viet Nam had difficulty in exporting low-grade rice so many local rice exporters have changed to exporting high-grade rice, though Viet Nam did not have advantages in the commodity.

The association recently organised a trade fair for 50 Vietnamese rice exporters in Guangzhou Province, China, to introduce Vietnamese high-grade rice to the Chinese market. At the trade fair, Vietnamese enterprises signed contracts to export 1.5 million tonnes of high-grade rice to China.

Pham Van Bay, VFA deputy chairman, said opening a representative office in China would help enterprises of the two countries get information about the financial ability of Chinese firms and the market demand of China.

Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea still had a high demand for Vietnamese rice, Bay said.

According to the agriculture ministry, Viet Nam exported 5.5 million tonnes of rice in the first eight months of this year, earning US$2.48 billion. The exports saw a year-on-year increase of 0.5 per cent in volume but a year-on-year reduction of 8.5 per cent in value.

During the first eight months, China was the largest export market for Vietnamese rice. Vietnamese rice exports to China increased 5.2 times in volume and 4.4 times in value compared with the same period last year. — VNS

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