Vietnam, the world's second-largest rice exporter, is expected to ship 6 million tons of the grain in the first nine months of this year, up 13.2 percent from a year ago, a state-run newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Vietnam and top exporter Thailand are aiming for record rice exports this year due to strong demand that will allow them to sell bumper crops at good prices, exporters said.
Vietnam is hoping for a record shipment of 7.3 million tons after the latest big order from Indonesia, involving 500,000 tons of 15 percent broken rice.
Shipments would reach 700,000 tons each in August and September, after 4.6 million tons had been exported in the first seven months of 2011, Vietnam Food Association's General Secretary Huynh Minh Hue was quoted by the Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper as saying.
"Domestic prices go up anytime when Vietnam plans a loading volume of 700,000 tons or more in a month," a trader in Ho Chi Minh City said.
Summer-autumn rice grade 2, used to process the 15 percent broken rice -- bought by Indonesia -- and 25 percent broken varieties, jumped to 8,500-8,600 dong (41.3-41.8 US cents) per kg on Tuesday in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, from 8,200-8,480 dong a week ago.
Exporters have so far this year secured deals totaling 6.2 million tons, and they were holding 1.4 million tons in stock, Hue told the Vietnam Labor Confederation-run newspaper.
"The world's rice market is evolving in a complicated way, with import demand rising and rice export prices also increasing," the newspaper cited a food association's assessment as saying.
Vietnamese rice prices have been closely following Thai rice prices, which has given Vietnam an opportunity to expand its export market, Hue said.
Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice was quoted at $513-$530 a ton, free-on-board (FOB) Saigon Port, last week, compared with $535 a ton for Thai grain of the same grade.
Indonesia's purchases of 500,000 tons of Vietnamese rice will start arriving this month, and the country is in talks with Thailand over further imports, the head of state procurement agency Bulog said last Friday.