Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – An estimated 524,000 tonnes of rice was exported in January, bringing home 249 million USD, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The figures represented rises of 56.5 percent in volume and 74.2 percent in value as compared with the same month in 2017.

A sudden rise in rice export price from 390-395 USD per tonne to 420-430 USD per tonne was attributed to the growing export value of rice in the month.

Rice exporters said the price hike is due to prospects of deals with the Philippines and Indonesia as the two Southeast Asian countries, which are Vietnam’s traditional rice importers, have plans to import a large volume of rice.

The Ministry of Trade of Indonesia has recently approved the import of 500,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand and Vietnam to fix the insufficient rice supply and price hike in the domestic market. The Indonesia Logistics Bureau (BULOG) said that the country only had 950,000 tonnes in stockpile.

Earlier, the National Food Authority of the Philippines also agreed to import 250,000 tonnes of rice and planned to open rice purchase bidding right in January. The country’s rice stock is enough for use in only three days while the minimum amount must satisfy demand for 15 days.

The country shipped abroad about 5.89 million tonnes of rice worth 2.66 billion USD in 2017, a year-on-year increases of 22.4 percent in quality and 23.2 percent in value, the ministry said.

Vietnamese rice is now exported to over 130 markets. However, experts are still calling for quality to be improved, to enhance competitiveness.

In October, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced its rice export strategy for the 2017 to 2020 period, which aims to decrease export volume but increase value.

Accordingly, the country’s average rice export volume was set at 4.5 to 5 million tonnes per year to 2020, at an average value of 2.2 to 2.3 billion USD.

Between 2021 and 2030, Vietnam plans to export 4 million tonnes per year on average, worth around 2.3 USD to 2.5 billion USD. -VNA