Vietnam rice exports shrink to seven-month low in July

By Bui Hong Nhung   August 12, 2016 | 12:52 am PT
Rice export volume collapsed by 118 percent on-year.

Data from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) showed rice exports in July fell to their lowest point in 2016 at 270,000 tons, down 118 percent against the same month last year.

Export value also dived 95 percent to $122 million.

The VFA explained that the slowdown started in April when orders from big markets like China, Indonesia and Philippines dried up. Other importers have shifted their attention to Thai products, which are of medium quality but competitively priced.

Lam Anh Tuan, head of Thinh Phat Food Company, said that the global rice market is facing a gloomy picture with Thailand ready to sell off its massive inventory, causing rice traders to take a cautious approach before making a deal.

However, some traders say they’ve heard of information that the Philippines and Indonesia are making plans to increase their imports. If this is true, Vietnam could benefit as the average export price of Vietnamese rice is lower than its rivals.

On the global market, five-percent broken rice from Vietnam is traded at $370-380 per ton, while Thailand and other countries set the price at $400 or more.

Vietnam exported nearly three million tons of rice over the first seven months for $1.27 billion, down 12.7 percent in volume and seven percent in value from a year ago.

The VFA predicts that the country will export a total of 5.7 million tons in 2016, falling by 14 percent on-year following the worst drought and salinity to hit the Mekong Delta in a century, which accounts for 50 percent of Vietnam’s rice exports every year.

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