Vietnam's rice exports to fall short of target due to weak demand

By VnExpress   October 28, 2016 | 08:40 pm PT
The country may end the year with just more than 5 million tons in shipments.

Vietnam may not achieve its already revised target for rice exports this year due to weak demand from international markets, local media reported Friday.

In summer, the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) said rice exports would reach 5.65 million tons, down from the original target of 6 million tons. But even the lowered target may be a little too high now.

Nguyen Van Don, director of Viet Hung Company Limited in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, told VietnamPlus that many rice exporters may not fulfill their business plans this year as there is an excess of supply globally.

China, a major buyer of Vietnamese rice, has already used up the official import quota this year. It is unlikely that the Philippines will buy more in the final two months of the year.

The Philippines is set to call for bids for an additional 250,000 tons of rice, but bidders may have to wait until late November to know information about the tender. Deliveries will be likely scheduled for early 2017, according to Don.

Firms in the Philippines have registered to purchase more than 300,000 tons of rice from Vietnamese companies, higher than the 293,000 tons that the Philippine government had asked them to buy from Vietnam.

Huynh The Nang, chairman of VFA, said apart from the modest demand from China and the Philippines, prospects for rice exports of Vietnam remain unclear for the rest of this year.

The country may just ship a little more than 5 million tons of rice for the whole year, Nang said. Exports via border trade are not included.

Vietnam’s rice exports in the first 10 months were estimated at 4.2 million tons, down 21.2 percent from the year-ago period. In terms of value, it was a 16.9 percent drop, to about $1.9 billion.

China imported 1.35 million tons worth $613.8 million, down 23 percent in quantity and 13.9 percent in value. Declines could also be seen in other markets including the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S.

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