Vietnam sets rice-export target at 6 mln tons

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Rice shipments from Vietnam, the world's second-biggest exporter, may total about six million tons this year, according to Deputy Agriculture Minister Diep Kinh Tan, who said that the target may be revised.

The government "will see how the weather will be at the winter-spring crop, then will make suitable changes to the export target," Tan said in a telephone interview from Hanoi on Tuesday.

Vietnam shipped 6.72 million tons of rice from the beginning of the year to December 29, the Vietnam Food Association reported on its website. Annual exports surpassed the previous record high of 6.05 million tons set in 2009.

"We could probably set a higher target for the year given the volume we exported last year," Tan said. "However, due to possible droughts resulting from climate change, we think it's better to be more cautious for now."

Vietnam's rice production in 2010 may have climbed 2.7 percent to 40 million tons on improved yields and a bigger cultivated area, the government's statistics agency said last week.

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