The Ministry of Industry and Trade has assured that there will be sufficient rice for export from now to the end of the year, with more than 1 million tonnes expected to be ready for export next year.

The ministry said the country expects to harvest about 3.7 million tonnes of rice during the remaining months of this year, adding that rice stockpiles are estimated at about 1.44 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, rice domestic consumption would total around 2.18 million tonnes in the last three months of the year and some 1.54 million tonnes of rice will be delivered under signed export contracts, leaving more than 1 million tonnes in stock.

The country exported around 471,000 tonnes of rice in September, bringing home 214 million USD. This fell far short of the country’s 650,000-tonne target, itself lowered from the 750,000-tonne goal previously set by the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).

In the first nine months of this year, rice export saw decreases of 14.3 percent in volume and 16.7 percent in value with 5.35 million tonnes shipped abroad worth 2.35 billion USD.

China remains Vietnam ’s largest rice importer, consuming 1.62 million tonnes or 31.4 percent of the country’s total rice export turnover.

Experts forecast that the fourth quarter will be gloomy for the country’s rice exporters, saying Vietnamese businesses are finding it hard to seek new contracts.

They pointed to India ’s heightened efforts to become the world’s top rice exporter, Thailand ’s increasing rice stockpiles and China ’s move to reduce rice imports this year.

The VFA has lowered its rice export target for 2013 to between 7 - 7.2 million tonnes from the initial 7.5 million tonnes due to low export volume and falling prices.-VNA