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Viet Nam, Thailand join forces in rice export

Workers pile bags of rice on a freighter at the Sai Gon Port. Viet Nam and Thailand are expected to co-ordinate in shipping rice to the Middle East in the near future.

Viet Nam and Thailand have agreed to join hands to strengthen rice exports and stabilise rice prices on international markets, said Rachane Potjanasutorn, head of the Foreign Trade Department under the Thailand’s Trade Ministry.

The bilateral co-operation would include support by Thailand to improve the quality of Vietnamese rice in aspects of harvesting, storing, selling and transportation, he said.

Thailand will send a delegation including business representatives to Viet Nam in June to draw up a specific plan.

The two nations will discuss creating and applying a general marketing strategy on a trial basis, which could later be applied by the world’s top five exporters, including Thailand, Viet Nam, China, Pakistan and India.

Rachane said that co-operation between Viet Nam and Thailand would be a foundation for co-ordination among regional rice exporters, adding that Viet Nam and Thailand would co-operate in the near future in shipping rice to the Middle East.

Rice exporters often reduce prices to compete with one another, Rachane noted, but a common marketing strategy among exporters would allow rice to be exported at a more stable price and quality, with more uniform standards of harvesting, storage, selling and transportation.

Thailand, the world’s number one rice exporter, is projected to export 7.5 million tonnes of rice this year, 200,000 tonnes higher than the previous year, while Viet Nam is expected to ship 5 million tonnes.

Contracts have been signed to export over two million tonnes of rice to the Philippines, the Middle East and new markets like Japan, South America, and Africa, the Viet Nam Food Association reported.

The association said rice prices remained stable at US$263 per tonne for 5 per cent broken rice, $258 for 10 per cent broken, $248 for 15 per cent broken, and $243 for 25 per cent broken.

Vietnamnews - (19/04/2006)

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