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World’s second largest rice exporter Vietnam witnessed a 20.06 percent surge in its exports so far this year, said Vietnam Food Association.

20 May 2011

HANOI (Commodity Online) : World’s second largest rice exporter Vietnam witnessed a 20.06 percent surge in its exports so far this year, said Vietnam Food Association.

Vietnam exported 2.87 million tons of rice worth $1.36 billion till May 19, said the association said in its weekly report.

That reflects deals Vietnam signed earlier this year with the Philippines, Indonesia and several African countries. However, rice prices in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia may ease in coming weeks as demand has now slowed and supply is rising.

Its figures suggested rice export prices had averaged $474 a ton so far this year, up 2.6% from $462 in the same period last year.

Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cuba and the Philippines topped the list of rice buyers during the first four months of this year, the Vietnam Customs department said in a statement on Thursday.

The food association's report said Mekong Delta farmers had completed harvesting the winter-spring rice crop, with output of 10.36 million tons of paddy.

That is in line with industry forecasts of 10.4 million tons, up slightly from 10.27 million tons reaped last year.

Farmers in the Delta, Vietnam's food basket, have so far planted 1.07 million hectares (2.64 million acres) of the summer-autumn crop, 66.4% of their target for the crop, the report said, citing data from provincial agricultural departments.

The harvest is due to start in June in some areas and peaks from July, when paddy prices are expected to fall unless Vietnam secures major export orders, traders said this week.

Vietnam has revised up by a quarter its rice export forecast for this year to a record high of 7.1 million to 7.4 million tons because of the rise in shipments in the first quarter, the Agriculture Ministry said in early April.

But the U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Vietnam forecast on May 11 that Vietnam's rice exports in the 2010/2011 marketing year would drop to 6.2 million tons from the record 6.73 million in 2009/2010.

The food association has also forecast rice exports this year would ease, to 6.5 million tons from 6.83 million tons, based on government statistic


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