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Farmers happy with export prospects
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said that the country’s rice exporters are speeding up production for exports to meet over one million tonnes of rice by the end of the year, anticipating possible fluctuations in the world rice market.
Race to the harvest
The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) will be likely able to export 7.7 million tonnes of this in 2012, surpassing Thailand to become the biggest rice exporter in the world.
Vietnam exported nearly 6.5 million tonnes of rice, valued at USD2.87 billion in the first ten months of the year, a new record so far, the VFA said. The figures showed an increase of 2.7% in terms of volume despite a fall of 5.85% in terms of value compared to the same period last year.
The country’s major markets included Asia with 67.5%, Africa with 24.7% and America with 4.7%.
China still remained Vietnam’s major importer, with 1.7 million tonnes while other traditional clients nations, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia remained stable.
The VFA’s chairman, Truong Thanh Phong, said, “Vietnam’s rice exports hinged on the the number of contracts from November. If the country can export 7.7 million tonnes of rice this year, it would be a 20-year record high."
The VFA’s encouragement for rice exporters to get as many contracts as possible in order to realise the target was considered a new move. Earlier, the association warned enterprises to use caution in taking rice export contracts for fear that the market may see a slump in 2013.
However, some rice exporters said that it is the right time for local companies to take action by the end of the year amid a plentiful supply. In addition, India and Thailand are expected to begin making their own contracts as the year winds to an end.
The VFA’s concerns stem from the fact that the market may not be as favourable as it is now.
Several experts forecast that the world rice market will be saturated, causing falling prices, as other major rice exporters such as Pakistan, India Myanmar and Thailand begin to harvest.
As a result, VFA has announced that this is a 'golden time' for Vietnam to boost rice exports, as it will face fierce competition with major rivals in coming months.
According to MARD, Vietnam may produce from 42.4 - 42.8 million tonnes of rice this year, up one million tonnes compared to last year.