Vietnamese rice exports totalled more than 928,000 tonnes in August, a year-on-year surge of more than 33 per cent, according to Truong Thanh Phong, chair of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).
Speaking at a meeting in HCM City yesterday, Phong said the figure was the highest level ever recorded for Vietnamese rice exports.
“It was up in August by more than 22 per cent against July,” he said.
The record volume brought Vietnam a free-on-board (FOB) export value of nearly $399 million, up 23 per cent compared to July and 18 per cent rise against August last year.
In the first eight months of the year, total rice exports reached 5.1 million tonnes, a drop of 4 per cent compared with the same period last month.
The export volume was worth more than $2.2 billion, a year-on-year decline of 10 per cent.
According to the VFA, export volume and value this year fell slightly due to the slowdown in export activities during the first quarter.
However, the VFA said prices significantly increased in August, especially from the middle of the month. The average price for the entire month was $443 per tonne.
“The price has risen by $40-45 per tonne compared with the beginning of August because of the limited supply after the harvest of the summer-autumn crop,” the VFA said.
The price of Vietnamese rice is now higher than that of rice from India and Pakistan.
With such figures, the target to export 7 million tonnes will likely be met, and if favourable conditions continue, Vietnamese companies will continue to increase their rice exports, according to Phong.
There will not be any prohibitions for rice exports, as there have been in the past, when the country wanted to build up rice reserves.
The VFA said that global market has remained quiet, and new factors were not strong enough to create a big change in global and domestic rice markets.
“Vietnamese rice exports will be stable in the next two months thanks to many contracts. However, it will then slow down due to high prices, lower competitiveness and limited supply,” the VFA said.
In September, rice export value is expected to be 800,000 tonnes, according to the VFA.
In August, Vietnamese exporters continued to receive many orders from importers, mostly from China and Africa. Contracts from Africa alone called for more than 400,000 tonnes of rice.
The main import markets in the first eight months remained the same: mainland China, Africa, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cuba. Of these partners, China surprisingly became the biggest importer, with import value of 1.4 million tonnes in eight months.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that during this period export value and volume to China saw year-on-year surges of 4.4 times and 5.2 times, respectively.
Orders from China began to increase at the beginning of the year, and continue to do so. There is no sign of stoppage, either, according to the ministry.
Explaining China’s surge in imports, the VFA explained that rice prices in China were now higher than those of Vietnamese rice.
Nguyen Dinh Bich, an expert from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that the price of rice in China had increased by 7-19 per cent compared to prices last year.