Vietnam first half rice exports set to fall 8 pct

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The Vietnam Food Association has said the country will export 3.3 million tons of rice in the first six months of this year, about 8 percent less than the same period last year.

Global rice demand is expected to fall in the second quarter as prices rise, the association said at a conference in the Mekong Delta province of Can Tho Thursday.

Rice stockpiles in African countries are also huge, lowering the demand for rice imports, the association said.

Still Vietnamese rice has a price advantage over Thailand, Pakistan and South American countries, it said.

As Brazil has a bad crop and China is hit by drought, they will need to import more rice, the association noted.

Vietnam exported nearly 2 million tons of rice worth more than 923 million in the first four months, with the Asian market accounting for 75.3 percent. Export prices increased by US$59.53 to $466.95 per ton on average.

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