Ample rice supply boosts exports beyond annual target

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Vietnam may ship 7 million tons of rice this year, 17 percent higher than the annual target, as there is ample supply of the grain, an agriculture official said.

The country has harvested more than 26 million tons of paddy so far this year and is set to reap another 13 million tons in the remaining months, Nguyen Tri Ngoc, director of the Cultivation Department at the agriculture ministry, told the Vietnam Economic Times Monday.

He said there would be sufficient rice for the domestic market even if  6.5-7 million tons of rice were exported this year. Local food companies have stocked around 1.4 million tons of rice, he added.

Vietnam, the world's second largest rice exporter after Thailand, had planned to export 6 million tons of the grain this year. So far, more than 4 million tons valued at around $2 billion have been shipped, according to official figures.

Ngoc said there is no need to worry about rice supplies in Vietnam now, but the country is short on other grains used as animal feed.

Vietnam still has to import huge amounts of corn and soya bean meal, he said.

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