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NEWS UPDATES 6 September 2010

Rice reserves adequate in Vietnam

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Despite an increase in rice exports in the past two months, Viet Nam still has an adequate reserve of rice for export until the year-end.

In August, Viet Nam exported 813,000 tonnes of rice, attaining a turnover of US$320 million, much higher than 460,000 tonnes exported in August last year.

The figures were released at a recent meeting held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in HCM City last week.

MIT Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Bien said at the meeting that at this current rate, Viet Nam would not face any shortages of rice for export.

However, the sharp increase in rice prices on the world market had affected rice prices in the local market, Bien told representatives of provincial authorities from the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta and the Viet Nam Food Association (VFA).

The MIT said in August of this year, rice prices rose by US$50 per tonne on the world market. Viet Nam has signed contracts to export 6.2 million tonnes of rice this year and as of August 25, more than 4.75 million tonnes of rice had been shipped to overseas markets, an increase of 8.9 per cent compared with the same period last year.

The country earned more than $2 billion from exporting rice in the first eight months of 2010. The volume of exported rice from Viet Nam in September could be as high as the figure in August. According to MARD, the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta produces 21.3 million tonnes of paddy annually, and by the end of August this year, 16.2 million tonnes of paddy had been harvested.

The remaining 5.1 million tonnes of paddy or 3 million tonnes of rice will be harvested between September 2010 and January 2011.

MARD said some 1.8 million tonnes of rice will be reserved for local consumption and the remaining 1.2 million tonnes of rice will be available for export.

The next winter-spring crop will be harvested in early February.

Meanwhile, VFA has set floor prices of about $450 per tonne of 5 per cent broken rice and $410 per tonne of 25 per cent broken rice.

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