Speaking to the media in HCM City yesterday, Pham Van Bay, VFA deputy chairman, said businesses had so far exported 5.87 million tonnes of rice for a free-on-board (FOB) value of US$2.81 billion.
This represented an increase of 9.13 per cent in volume and 23.71 per cent in value year-on-year.
The average FOB price in the period had been $479 a tonne, $56.48 up year-on-year.
Asian and African countries had been the main buyers of Vietnamese rice, accounting for 62.59 per cent and 26.03 per cent of the country's exports, respectively.
Enterprises had signed contracts to export 6.85 million tonnes of rice this year, meaning almost another million tonnes had to be shipped in the last quarter.
Global demand was expected to remain stable until the first quarter of next year.
With rice crops hit by natural disasters and stocks shrinking, the Philippines is set to import more rice, and Vietnamese rice is its first choice.
Indonesia will also import more rice.
But with Vietnamese rice prices being high, African importers can switch to cheaper rice from India and Pakistan.
Though the new Thai Government will surely implement its promise to increase rice prices to 15,000 baht ($500) a tonne, the increase will follow a roadmap, so rice prices will not shoot up immediately.
With prices likely to keep rising, exporters should only sign deals when they have the grain in hand to avoid risks.
In the domestic market, the average price of unhusked rice in the first nine months was VND6,114 a kilogramme. With production costs for the summer- autumn crop being around VND3,760, farmers have earned big profits.
Bay dismissed concerns there could be a shortage in the domestic market this year, saying supply would be adequate, especially in HCM City.
Two food companies that had signed up for the city's price stabilisation programme had stockpiled rice while the VFA had ordered its members in the city to ensure enough supply.
Besides, two rice warehouses belonging to the Viet Nam Southern Food Corporation in Long An and Tien Giang Provinces were prepared to open their door in case of sudden changes in the market.
Since the floods in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta had not caused too much damage to the rice crop, the yield would not fall much.
But the production costs could be high because farmers had to pump out water.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has licensed only 125 out of 252 firms that used to export rice under a decree that would come into effect in the current month.
The rest have failed to qualify based on criteria like size.
According to Government figures, Viet Nam is expected to harvest some 41.6 million tonnes of paddy, 1.5 million tonnes more than last year.
Exports for the full year are expected to be around 14 million tonnes of unhusked rice, or around 7 million tonnes of rice. VNS