The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) believes that the country's rice yield of roughly 8.8 million tonnes this year will be sold out thanks to an optimistic market, VFA Chairman Nguyen Hung Linh was quoted by the Thoi bao Kinh te Vietnam (Vietnam Economic Times) as saying.

VFA plans to export around 6.2 to 6.5 million tonnes of rice, besides around another 2 million tonnes of unofficial cross border exports to China, Linh said.

The amount of unofficial cross border rice exports cannot be checked so VFA has not listed that in its export plans, added Linh.

Asia was the largest rice exporting destination for Vietnam's rice by July with roughly 197,128 tonnes, or 76 percent of Vietnam's rice exports. The Americas followed, accounting for roughly 40,747 tonnes, or 16 percent of rice exports.

With the result, Vietnam exported 3.26 million tonnes of rice worth 1.408 billion USD by July 17. Average rice exports so far this year stand at roughly 432 USD per tonne (FOB), up roughly 1 percent per tonne from around 429 USD per tonne recorded over the same time last year.

To date this year, domestic rice exporters have signed contracts to sell 5.3 million tonnes of rice, of which more than 3.2 million tonnes have been delivered. They are now boosting rice purchase from farmers to deliver the remaining 2.1 million tonnes, which has helped push up paddy prices in the domestic market.

For the rest of the five months this year, domestic rice exporters will have to win contracts for the export of more than 1 million tonnes of rice to meet the annual target of selling 6.2 to 6.5 million tonnes.

Experts said that traditional importers are resuming negotiations to buy Vietnamese rice but are concerned about fierce competition from Thai rice. If Vietnamese rice prices are higher than that of Thailand, the importers will buy Thai rice, they said.

They are also concerned about a rise in a small volume of unofficial cross-border rice exports to China without export contracts, which can cause a little instability in Vietnam's rice exports.

To manage rice exports better, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh asked VFA to closely supervise and adjust rice exports, especially those via Chinese borders without export contracts.

Anh has also urged relevant ministries and bodies including MARD, Finance, General Department of Customs and Border Guard Force to issue unique policies to coordinate better with VFA in managing unofficial cross border rice exports.

Anh also called on rice exporters to target sustainable growth through the development of potential and high value markets.-VNA