Vietnam has outpaced Thailand to become the world’s biggest rice exporter in terms of volume with nearly 6.5 million tons having been shipped abroad, but the rice export value still trails Thailand’s due to the lower price.
As of end-October, Vietnam earned US$2.9 billion from exports of close to 6.5 million tons of rice compared to Thailand’s earnings of US$3.5 billion worth of 5.3 million tons as of end-September. Even the newly-emerging rice exporter India also beats Vietnam in rice export value, earning US$3 billion from 5.8 million tons, according to Vietnam Food Association (VFA).
Rice traders said Vietnam’s export price was too low compared to the rivals’ and even compared to the average export price in previous years.
In July, for example, Vietnam offered the 25%-broke rice category at around US$375 a ton, and the 5%-broke rice category at only US$410 a ton.
VFA chairman Truong Thanh Phong said as of end-September, Vietnam’s average offered price was US$433 a ton, slumping by US$35 compared to that in the year-ago period. The export price last month inched up to around US$445 a ton.
As of end-October, Vietnamese food traders had inked contracts to ship 7.65 million tons of rice, increasing 11.5% year on year. In October alone, the contracted rice volume totaled 615,000 tons, increasing 27% from the previous month.
VFA said rice shipments in the rest of the year would be some 1.1 million tons, and the total rice export this year would be around 7.7 million tons, or an increase of 200,000 tons over last year.
The Saigon Times Daily