Another gloomy year forecast for Vietnam’s rice exports

By VnExpress   January 23, 2017 | 07:47 am PT
Another gloomy year forecast for Vietnam’s rice exports
A worker takes a break atop sacks of rice piled inside a warehouse of National Food Authority (NFA) in Taguig city, south of Manila, August 25, 2015. Photo by Reuters/Romeo Ranoco/File Photo
Massive global supplies don't bode well for the country's rice shipments in 2017.

Vietnam’s rice exports are expected to experience another difficult year and may just reach 5 million tons in 2017, slightly up from 4.9 million tons in 2016.

Last year was one of the most difficult years ever for the country’s rice exports with shipments falling more than 25 percent year-on-year.

Exports are expected to face more hurdles this year due to abundant global supplies and a gloomy export outlook, VietnamPlus reported on Monday, citing officials from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).

Global rice production during 2016/2017 is forecast at 480 million tons, up 1.6 percent year-on-year, Secretary General of the VFA Huynh Minh Hue told a conference, citing international reports.

The U.S. Agriculture Department has said in its 2017 outlook report that the world’s rice stocks will hit a 15-year high of more than 120 million tons, sufficient for 92 days of global consumption.

Besides, the global rice trade in 2017 is expected to decrease by 2 percent from 41.3 million tons to 40.5 million, according to the department.

Vietnam's traditional customers such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have gradually reduced their dependence on imports by successfully boosting domestic supplies to ensure food security. Last year, shipments to these markets only accounted for 10 percent of total exports, down significantly from 2-3 million tons in the years before 2016.

Meanwhile, it will be hard for Vietnam to increase exports to China, the country's biggest buyer, as the latter has issued several food safety rules for imported rice.

China slashed its imports from Vietnam by 20 percent in 2016, but still accounted for nearly 35 percent of Vietnam's shipments last year.

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Philippines keeps door open for Vietnamese rice

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