The Hanoitimes - In the first five months of 2018, Vietnam rice exports have seen a significant improvement, which is expected to be extended to June, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
Vietnam's rice export volume in May reached 452,000 tons worth US$347 million, taking the total export volume in the five months through May to 2.66 million tons worth US$1.45 billion, up 40% in value and 13.9% in quantity year-on-year.
The MARD forecast a positive prospect for Vietnam's rice export, thanks to increasing demand for rice import from abroad.
In particular, Vietnam's export price was higher than that of Thailand. In 2016, the country's average export price was US$435 per ton, which increased to US$450 in 2017 and US$475 in early 2018.
The average rice export was traded at a 5-year high of US$502.5 per ton in May, up 12.8% as compared with the same period of last year, thanks to a number of rice export contracts that Vietnam has won recently, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
In the first quarter, Indonesia has opened 2 consecutive biddings for rice purchase, for which Vietnam won a contract to provide 141,000 tons of rice in January and another 300,000 tons in a second bidding in April. The delivery period is set from May to July.
Also in May, Vietnam won a bid to supply 130,000 tons of rice to the Philippines. The Philippines is currently Vietnam's top rice importer with 26.9% of the total shipments, followed by China (23.5%), according to the ministry's data.
Another positive note informed by the MoIT was a shift in rice export structure toward high quality rice and a reduction of medium and low quality rice. In 2017, the export volume of low and medium quality rice accounted for just 3.88% and 8.24% of total rice export volume, respectively.
In 2018, Vietnam set the target of exporting 6.5 million tons of rice, said Vice Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the ministry to increase total agricultural exports to US$40 billion in 2018, up from US$36.5 billion last year.