Ha Noi—Viet Nam exported 400,000 tonnes of rice worth US$240 million in January, a decrease of 25.4% in quantity, but only 14.2% in value against the same period last year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported.
The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) said at the end of last year, Vietnam rice exports had fewer purchasing contracts in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year. The country’s rice exports are expected to reach over 1.1 million tonnes in the first quarter this year, 700,000 tonnes less than last year’s figures.
Vietnam’s 25 per cent broken grain rice faces tough competition from India, Myanmar and Pakistan, and may lose up to 20 per cent of its market share in Africa. In 2011, Vietnam’s low quality rice exports decreased by 61% while five percent broken grain and fragrant rice increased 5% and over 100% respectively.
This year, VFA said Vietnam’s rice exports will focus on quality, not quantity, as high quality rice will be promoted for export to new markets in Europe, Australia, and China. This year, Vietnam plans to export 6.5-7 million tonnes of rice, slightly less than the 7.1 million tonnes exported last year.–VNS