Rice exports to fall as firms wait for better prices

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Vietnam will ship 700,000 tons of rice in June to reach an export total of 3.36 million tons in the first half of the year, according to the Vietnam Food Association.

The first-half export volume would be 300,000 tons lower than the same period last year, the association said.

It blamed the fall on a price mismatch between local exporters and their customers. It said the customers were offering lower prices while the rice demand has been forecast to increase slightly later this year. Exporters were therefore choosing to wait instead of selling their stocks right away.

The country exported 712,000 tons of rice worth US$300 million last month, a 43.63 percent drop in value from April, while it was a sharp increase in volume, the association said.

It said Vietnam's exported 2.7 million tons of rice worth $1.22 billion in the first five months of the year, and that its members have so far signed contracts to ship 4.55 million tons.

Asian and African markets respectively accounted for 70 and 17.24 percent of the country's export volume in the first five months, the association said.

The country has reserved seven million tons of rice for export this year, it added.

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