Sacks of rice are loaded on board a ship at the Southern Food Company. In the first half of this month only, the rice export was 181, 000 tonnes worth US $ 79.87 million, lifting the shipment to date this year to 1.932 million tonnes worth $845.38 million, according to data from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).
VFA stated that the average price for rice export this month reached $441.51 per tonne, roughly down by $21 per tonne as compared to the same period last month.
However, domestic rice prices were reported to have edged up in the week through May 15, versus a week ago. In detail, in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, the prices of dried rice with husk were from VND 5, 300 -5750 per kilogram depending on the variety of rice, up by VND 50-100 per kilogram. Prices of 5% broken rice were from VND 6, 900 to 7, 000 per kilogram, up by VND 100 per kilogram; prices of 15% broken rice were from VND 7, 700 to 7, 800 per kilogram, up by VND 50 kilogram; and prices of 25% broken rice were from VND 7, 400 to 7, 500 per kilogram, up by VND 50 per kilogram.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated Vietnam’s milled rice exports to increase to about 7.2 million tonnes this year, which is up by about 8% from approximately 6.7 million tonnes last year due to higher production and increased demand of rice export from Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, China and the Philippines backed by low prices.
Adding to the above information, FAO has estimated Vietnam’s total paddy rice production at about 44.2 million tonnes (around 27.6 million tonnes of milled rice) in 2014, which is marginally higher than about 44 million tonnes (around 27.5 million tonnes of milled rice) produced in 2013. The UN agency, however, forecasts Vietnam’s paddy rice production from 2014 winter/spring crop at 20.3 million tonnes, almost similar to last year’s production, despite shifting part of the rice fields to other crops, due to higher yields, favorable weather conditions and adequate water supplies.
The country’s 2014 rice export target, however was lowered by VFA last week to 6.2 million tonnes from the earlier target of 6.5 – 7.0 million tonnes due to heavy competition from India and Thailand.