Vietnam shipped abroad nearly 5.2 million tonnes of rice worth over 2.27 billion USD in the first 11 months of this year, surpassing the figure of the entire 2016 at 4.9 million tonnes, according to the Vietnam Food Association. In November, rice export volume exceeded 371,000 tonnes, down from over 437,000 tonnes in October. The drop was attributed to limited supply after harvest of the autumn-winter crop completed in the Mekong Delta, the main source of rice for export.| However, industry insiders still expect a good year in 2018 for Vietnam’s exports as the world rice market is forecast to pick up next year. According to a November report of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), world rice trade will expand by 1 percent in 2018 to reach 42.3 million tonnes, marking the third highest yearly volume in history. The USDA forecast that India and Thailand will continue to lead the world in rice export, while Vietnam’s rice exports could reach six million tonnes in 2018, an increase of 6.6 percent from this year, driven by demand in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines. The National Food Authority of the Philippines recently proposed the country import 350,000 tonnes of rice before its first rice harvest in 2018 to raise its rice reserve.