Vietnam’s rice exports to decline sharply this year

Viet Nam hopes to export 1.6 million tonnes rice in the four remaining months of the year, raising exports for the year to 4.9 million tonnes, said the Viet Nam Food Association. According to a report the VFA tabled at a meeting held in southern An Giang Province late last week, exports of 3.3 million tonnes in the first eight months of the year fetched US$1.43 billion and represented a year-on-year reduction of 13.5 per cent in volume and 10 per cent in value. More than a million tonnes worth of contracts are on hand as are 1.2 million tonnes of inventory. Business executives attending the meeting said their inventories were at high prices while global prices have declined, threatening to cause difficulties for them. For instance, 5 per cent broken rice from Thailand usually sells at above $400 per tonne, but currently stands at $370. Pakistani rice prices have fallen the most — to around $330. It is unlikely for domestic prices to go up in a short time despite the contracts to export large volumes, the executives said. Lam Anh Tuan, director of Thinh Phat Co., Ltd, said rice exports this year would be below expectations.

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