Vietnam has exported 6.735 million tonnes of rice in the past 11 months, earning US$3.29 billion.
These figures were released at a meeting held by the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) in the southern province of Tien Giang on December 5.
VFA Deputy Chairman Pham Van Bay said Thai and Vietnamese rice prices are listed at US$550-600 per tonne while it is being traded at US$440-450 per tonne in India and Pakistan. The large gap in export prices has caused importers to shift to the lower priced markets.
Vietnamese rice cannot compete against Indian and Pakistani rice, but it can replace Thai rice in the high quality segment of the market.
However, according to the VFA, Thailand will boost rice exports through official contracts to sell out its rice in stock, which will consequently have a negative impact on Vietnam.
In addition, Indonesia, one of Vietnam’s two main importers, has reached the quota limit for 2011 and will only import a small amount until next February. The country will normally resume its imports in August. Malaysia has also signed contracts with Vietnam but it will not buy more rice until next February.
Rice prices on the domestic market are falling but Vietnamese rice is still expected to be sold at US$50 higher than that from India and Pakistan thank to its higher quality.