Vietnam to reduce rice exports in 2011
The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has estimated that the country
would export a total of 6 million tonnes of rice this year, 750,000
tonnes less than last year.
The association planned to
ship the largest volume accounting for 61.29 percent to Asian countries
and 29 percent of the total to African countries.
monitor rice export activities carefully to maintain an export price
similar to that of last year, said Truong Thanh Phong, VFA chairman.
Bui Ba Bong, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said
that this year, besides high-quality rice, exporters would focus on
processing medium-quality rice for the African market where there was
little demand for the more expensive variety. Meanwhile, VFA members
would purchase 1 million tonnes of both the winter-spring and
summer-autumn crops in a bid to stabilise the price.
global demand for rice expected to rise, 2011 is likely to be a good
year for Vietnamese rice exports although an opening up of the grain
market in line with trade commitments will pose new challenges to
According to the association, world rice demand
will rise from 29 million tonnes last year to 31 million tonnes this
year, with many countries announcing plans to increase their imports.
Phong said the success of last year was a positive factor that would
encourage exports this year, but warned that there would also be
difficulties for rice exporters as Vietnam had to open up its
market to foreign traders under WTO commitments this year.
Foreign traders would be allowed to trade Vietnamese rice without
entering into a joint venture with a domestic company, he said.
The change would benefit rice farmers but would be a challenge for exporters, he added.
To deal with the challenge, the Government issued Decree 109 to improve
the competitiveness of the rice export industry so it could compete
with foreign rivals.
Phong said only 30 out of 264 existing rice exporters met the regulations of the decree.
A glaring weakness in Vietnamese firms was their small size and limited funds compared to their foreign counterparts, he said.
It threw up the possibility that many Vietnamese exporters would be
forced to turn into local suppliers for foreign partners, he added.
"Meanwhile, if they want to compete with foreign rivals, they must
improve stock and processing technology, equipment, agricultural
investment and co-operation with farmers," he said. Last year, Vietnam
exported 6.75 million tonnes of rice worth 3.23 billion USD, a record
high export volume, according to the VFA.
In 2010, the
average export price of Vietnamese rice increased by 22 USD per tonne to
511 USD for 5 percent broken rice. For 25 percent broken rice, the
price was 491 USD./.