Vietnamese rice exporters shipped over 1.5 million tons of rice abroad by the start of the second quarter, part of contracts totaling 2 million tons.
A large part of the shipments went to the Philippines and Malaysia, the Vietnam Food Association reported Sunday.
Besides the traditional markets, domestic exporters have taken initial steps toward other potential markets such as Japan, Africa and South America.
The association reported that export prices recovered slightly since early this month after declines last month.
The price of 5-percent broken rice went up US$263 per ton from $250 early last month, at times fluctuating near $240-$242.
High quality 5-percent broken rice is favored in the Japanese market, and domestic exporters have made three successive bids, with exports now totaling 84,078 tons.
Exporters forecast a robust year for shipments to the world’s most discerning but lucrative market.
Vietnam, the world’s second biggest rice exporter after Thailand, holds a major share of the medium and low quality rice market.
It is trying hard to capture a slice of the high-quality rice market, which remains a Thai monopoly.
The association said recently Vietnamese rice prices remained low on the global market mainly because they lacked well-known trade names.
Last year the country exported 5.2 million, earning nearly US$1.4 billion despite being hit with successive typhoons and floods.
The Vietnamese government, mindful of export targets and national food security, has set the export cap of 5 million tons this year.
Thanh Nien - (17/04/2006)