Vietnam pockets 2.5 billion USD from rice exports in nine months hinh anh 1Vietnam exports nearly 5 million tonnes of rice in the first nine months of 2018 (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam shipped nearly 5 million tonnes of rice abroad in the first nine months of this year, earning 2.5 billion USD, up 8.5 percent in volume and 23.2 percent in value year-on-year, statistics show.

China remained the largest importer of Vietnamese rice, accounting for 23.2 percent of the total, according to the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The price of the grain during January-August was averaged at 504 USD per tonne, a year-on-year rise of 14.6 percent. Markets posting surges in the price included Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Analysts predicted that the domestic rice market would thrive in the fourth quarter of this year thanks to increasing demand from such importers as the Philippines, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Nigeria and Egypt.

Egypt has recently agreed to import 1 million tonnes of white rice from Vietnam in the next three to four months after it reduced some the area for the cultivation of the grain due to a lack of water.

Typhoon Mangkhut, which hit the Philippines in mid-September, caused a loss of around 250,000 tonnes of rice in the country, thus leading to a year-on-year increase of 15-20 percent in its rice price. Therefore, the Philippine Government is expected to soon buy in via both G2G and B2B contracts to supplement for the national stockpile and stabilise domestic rice price.

The RoK has also declared to import additional 350,000 tonnes of rice for domestic reserves and international assistance.

In Nigeria, floods damaged 21,000 hectares of rice, which can produce 168,000 tonnes of rice, also resulting in a spike in domestic rice price. Although its government has banned rice imports since the beginning of this year, it may soon buy in due to limited domestic supply.

According to Nguyen Quoc Toan, acting Director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority, there is a competition in price with Thailand and India, as their domestic currencies’ weakening against the US dollar has caused a fall in local rice prices.

In addition, China’s permission of 19 Indian companies’ exports and its signing of a contract on the purchase of 10,000 tonnes of rice with Thailand also make the export of Vietnamese rice to China tougher, Toan added.-VNA