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August 24,2008

Vietnam to ship 3.6 million tonnes of rice by September
Rice businesses can achieve the target of exporting 3.6 million tonnes of rice by the end of September with assistance from commercial banks, reported state news agency VNA.

The State Bank of Vietnam said commercial banks have provided businesses with a total of 13.3 trillion dong to buy paddy from farmers.

Thanks to the loans, businesses presently buy around 20,000 tonnes of paddya day at the price of 4,700 -5,300 dong per kilo, up 300-400 dong.

According to the Vietnam Food Association, its members expect to buy up to640,000 tonnes of commercial paddy from farmers in August.

The country expects a total yield of 37 million tonnes of paddy for this year, one million tonnes higher than 2007, with bumper crops in both thenorth and south.

Domestic businesses have signed contracts to export 3.5 million tonnes ofrice in the first nine months of the year.

By mid-August, the country shipped abroad close to 2.86 million tonnes ofrice.

Rice is Vietnam 's fifth largest foreign currency earner, accounting for 20 percent of the total export turnover of the agro-forestry-seafood group.

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