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Vietnam’s rice exports remain 6.5mt last year

Vietnam’s rice exports remain 6.5mt last year

HANOI: Viet Nam’s rice exports this year excluding border trade are expected to remain at last year’s 6.5 million tonnes, according to the Viet Nam Food Association.
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Last year Viet Nam’s rice exports fetched US$2.68 billion, a decrease of 3.94 per cent in value despite a marginal increase in volumes as prices dropped. — Photo baocongthuong
Speaking at a review meeting in HCM City yesterday, Huynh Minh Hue, the association’s general secretary, said last year exports fetched US$2.68 billion, a decrease of 3.94 per cent in value despite a marginal increase in volumes as prices dropped. Asian countries were the main buyers, accounting for 74.5 per cent of the exports, followed by Africa (13.77 per cent), and the US (6.72 per cent), he said.
Last year exports of 5 per cent broken white rice increased sharply due to high demand from Cuba, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China, he said, adding that exports of fragrant rice also went up significantly thanks to competitive prices and meeting quality demands.
“In general, countries that previously mainly imported low- and medium-grade rice have shifted to high-quality rice.”
He quoted the US Department of Agriculture as saying that the global rice output in 2015/16 declined by 1.9 per cent to 469.3 million tonnes, a second straight year of decline.
El Nino was a major factor, causing smaller crops in many rice production countries.
Global consumption will meanwhile rise by 0.5 per cent to 484.6 million tonnes, making it the third consecutive year when consumption will exceed production, leading to a depletion of stockpiles.
Huynh The Nang, the association chairman, said stockpiles at Vietnamese rice enterprises at the end of last year were around 400,000 tonnes, much lower than the average of 700,000 tonnes in the same period in previous years.
“In general, rice consumption this year will be better.”
Hue said this year the association would focus on boosting exports to near and traditional markets in Asia, including China and Southeast Asia, and increasing exports of fragrant rice to Hong Kong and Singapore.
It would strive to expand its fragrant rice market share in Africa and gradually recover the market for white rice, he said.