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22 August 2009

Vietnam’s rice exports seen hitting record in 2009

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Rice exports from Vietnam, the second-largest shipper, may rise to a record 6 million metric tons in 2009 aided by lower prices, narrowing the gap with bigger rival Thailand, reported, quoting US forecasts.

The price of Vietnam’s 5 percent broken-grain variety fell to about $398 per ton this month, $163 a ton cheaper than Thailand’s competing grade, the US Agriculture Department said. That compares with Vietnam’s price in April of $460 a ton, which was $112 less than Thailand’s, it said.

Global rice prices surged to a record last year amid rising demand and temporary trade curbs by some growers including Vietnam, which wanted to safeguard local supplies. Do Huu Hao, a deputy minister of trade and industry, forecast this month that Vietnam may ship 7 million tons after a “good harvest.”

“Vietnam’s price quotes are well below Thailand’s price quotes, making Vietnam a very competitive supplier,” Nathan Childs and Katherine Baldwin of the US Agriculture Department wrote in an August 13 report.

The lower prices may push Vietnam’s exports this year 29 percent higher than the level in 2008 and surpass 2005’s record 5.2 million tons. Thailand will probably ship 8.5 million tons this year, down 15 percent from 2008 and the lowest level in three years, the US forecast.


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