Positive signs promise good year for rice export
Updated : Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:49 AM (GMT+0700)

Manyrice export contracts continuing from 2017 and Indonesia’s import order at theyear’s beginning amid limited rice supply are positive signs for Vietnam’s riceexports.

Rice bags are loaded onto a barge for shipment - Photo: VNA

According to the VietnamFood Association (VFA), more than 5.7 million tonnes of rice was shipped abroadin 2017, surpassing last year’s target. There remain some 630,000 tonnes ofrice under contracts signed last year to be shipped in 2018.

While the remaining unsoldrice volume is small, about 100,000 tonnes, the winter-spring harvest seasonhas yet to reach its peak, leading to limited domestic supply. This is a reasonbehind Vietnam’s bid to sell only 141,000 tonnes of rice to Indonesia recently.

Nguyen Ngoc Nam, ActingDirector General of the Vietnam Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2) – one ofthe two Vietnamese firms winning the bid for rice export to Indonesia thistime, said at the outset of 2018, Indonesia suddenly invited tenders for500,000 tonnes of rice and requested rice be delivered in February.

Eight companies fromVietnam, Thailand, India and Pakistan won rice supply bids but with smallvolumes, 346,000 tonnes in total. This result showed the unsold inventory ofsome rice exporting countries is not abundant, he added.

Global rice demand isforecast to soar in 2018, and China will remain the biggest rice importer.While Indonesia resumed rice imports after a two-year halt, the Philippines isalso predicted to buy more rice. These rosy signs are expected to give a boostto rice exporters, including Vietnam, according to the VFA.

The US Department ofAgriculture forecast Vietnam’s rice export volume will rise by 400,000 tonnesfrom 2017 to more than 6 million tonnes this year, mainly thanks to higherdemand in Southeast Asia.

In January, the country shipped524,000 tonnes of rice worth 249 million USD abroad, up 56.5 percent in volumeand 74.2 percent in value from a year earlier, the Ministry of Agriculture andRural Development reported.


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