Vietnam rice exports to China drop

By Dat Nguyen   June 1, 2018 | 09:34 pm PT
Vietnam rice exports to China drop
A mother with her children working on rice field in northern Vietnam.
Export surge to other countries marks good prospects for Vietnamese rice.

Vietnam’s rice export sector is showing signs of reducing its dependence on China with other markets picking up the slack, according the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In its monthly report for May, the ministry says that rice exports to China in the first four months of this year dropped to 33.5 percent of the total from 47.5 percent last year. The value of rice imported by China during this period fell 0.9 percent year on year to $370.8 million, it said.

China still remains Vietnam’s top importer of rice.

However, while the Chinese market shrinks, other markets in Asia are increasing their intake from Vietnam. Rice imported by Indonesia during the first four months went up 333 times over the same period last year, Iraqi imports increased by over 16 times, that of Malaysia tripled, of Hong Kong increased 41.5 percent and that of Singapore,15.7 percent.

With the Philippines planning to import over 293,000 tons of Vietnamese rice in the coming months, rice export prices will stay positive, the report said.

Last year, Vietnam exported almost 5.9 million tons of rice worth $2.66 billion. This number is likely to reach 6.7 million tons this year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

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