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Vietnam sees steady 2008 rice exports, prices up
21 | 12 | 2007
Vietnamese rice exports should remain steady next year, while prices will rise on high demand and tight supply, according to industry reports.

An Industry and Trade Ministry report seen by Reuters on Wednesday forecast rice exports at 4.5 million tonnes next year, from 4.53 million tonnes estimated this year and 5.1 million tonnes shipped in 2006.

The ministry's forecast is lower that a projection in September by the Agriculture Ministry, which anticipated exports to reach 4.8 million tonnes in 2008 on 1.4 percent higher output of 36.5 million tonnes of paddy.

Vietnam is the world's second largest rice exporter and its buyers include Indonesia, the Philippines, Cuba, Malaysia, African countries, Russia, Iraq and Iran as well as China. A separate report forecast that prices would rise 6 percent next year, after surging 16 percent in 2007. The Vietnam Food Association forecast that 25-percent broken rice would firm 6.7 percent to $320 a tonne next year, free-on-board, from $300 quoted on Nov. 12 when shipments neared the government's annual target of 4.4 million tonnes.

The 5-percent broken grade would gain 6.3 percent to at least $340 a tonne in 2008, from $320 quoted on Nov. 12. Prices have risen 16 percent this year, or an average $41 a tonne, to $295 a tonne, the association said.

Chicago Board of Trade rough rice futures soared to an all-time high of $14.25 per hundredweight on Monday, supported by outlooks for a smaller supply globally due to harsh weather in Asia this growing season and good export demand.

Higher fuel prices would push production costs to 1,800 dong (11 U.S. cent) per kg of the winter-spring paddy from February when the harvest starts, from an average 1,600 dong this year.

Paddy prices would rise to 3,600-3,700 dong per kg, from an average 3,200 dong this year, the food association report said.


Source: agroviet.gov.vn
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