Vietnam’s 2012 rice exports will decline by a quarter from last year to 5.4 million tonnes, the Agriculture Ministry said, basing its forecast on lower first-quarter sales, but added that final volumes could be higher thanks to regional buying demand
The amount was lower than last month’s full-year export forecast of 6.1 million tonnes, which in turn was nearly 14 percent less than last year’s record exports of 7.2 million tonnes.
Rice exports in the first quarter of the year fell 32 percent to 1.31 million tonnes compared to the same period in 2011, the ministry cited customs data as showing.
Agriculture minister Cao Duc Phat, however, had said on March 15 that Vietnam aimed to match last year’s shipments.
A rise of recent import orders from China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Malaysia would help increase Vietnam’s rice export volume in coming months, the ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday.
Vietnam’s rice exports to China could climb six-fold this year to 2 million tonnes, a Vietnamese industry official was quoted by state media in late March as saying.
In a particular deal, China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation has bought 22,000 tonnes of Vietnamese 5 percent broken rice from a European trading firm and has sent a ship to take the grain, traders said.