CANTHO – Vietnam has reassured markets about its ability to meet export demands in 2023 amid rising concerns over potential rice shortages.
Recent data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that the country’s rice production remains robust, offering at least 7.5 million tons of rice in its export capacity.
With the projected rice cultivation area of 7.1 million hectares and an expected average yield of 6.07 tons per hectare, the total paddy rice output is estimated to reach 43.1 million tons this year – a 452,000-ton increase versus 2022, said Tran Duy Dong, head of the Import-Export Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade. He was speaking during a conference on rice export management in Can Tho City held today, August 4.
Despite a slight year-on-year dip of 0.8% in harvested rice paddy fields by the end of July 2023, equivalent to 3.7 million hectares, the overall yield has increased by 0.8% to 657 kilograms per hectare. Hence, Vietnam harvested 24.1 million tons of rice from January to July.
“From this moment onwards, Vietnam will have an ample rice supply for domestic demand and overseas exports, provided that no unexpected adverse weather conditions occur,” said Dong.
Vietnam’s export capacity for 2023 is projected to be 7.5 million tons, with around 4.83 million tons already exported in the first seven months of the year. This leaves an anticipated 2.66 million tons available for export during the remaining months of 2023.
“Those figures exclude the rice imported from Cambodia for export,” he stressed.
Vietnam had bought at least 1.2 million tons of rice from Cambodia by the end of July, a source told The Saigon Times.
Meanwhile, the nation also imported 370,000 tons of rice from India in the first five months of the year, according to India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
If those sources of rice are included, Vietnam’s rice export capacity may surge to nine million tons.
In a recent development, India’s ban on rice exports has led to a surge in both domestic and export rice prices in Vietnam. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice prices rose from US$535 to US$602 per ton within two weeks of India’s export ban, while Jasmine rice prices increased from US$625 to over US$690 per ton. And those figures are still rising on a daily basis.