Bird flu epidemic and diseases in farm animals including blue-ear and foot-and-mouth in pigs and cattle have been put under control in most localities nationwide during the last two weeks.
Workers transfer rice for export in Cai Lay District in the southern province of Tien Giang. Rice exporters are facing difficulties in negotiating contracts due to high domestic prices. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HA NOI — Rice exporters are facing difficulties negotiating export prices due to domestic rice price increases, said the Viet Nam Food Association.
The association said this increase had made farmers happy but brought concerns to exporters. The exporters would have more difficulty in confirming export contracts because they could not compete with rival countries.
Over the last two weeks, rice prices have risen by VND500-1,000 per kilo to VND4,100-4,400 for low-quality rice, VND4,800 per kilo for medium-quality rice, and VND5,500 per kilo for high-quality rice.
Increasing demand from China was a reason for the increase in domestic rice prices, the association said.
If prices remain as they currently are, exporters would face losses based on the export contracts already signed, it said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said exporters had created the problem for themselves as they had not correctly forecast market movements and some had deliberately under-cut rival companies with unrealistically low prices to win export contracts.
The ministry said the exporters needed to unite to keep rice export prices at a high level to ensure the best interest of both exporters and farmers.
Enterprises are continuing to purchase rice from farmers, according to a Government programme to stockpile an million-tonne temporary rice reserve. Forty-eight VFA member-enterprises have so far purchased 550,000 tonne.
Exporters have signed contracts until the year-end to export 6.2 million tonnes of rice, the association said. Last month, they signed contracts to export 178,000 tonnes to Bangladesh. They expected this month to sign contracts for 220,000 tonnes of rice.
Vietnamese exporters would also deliver by the end of this year 51,300 tonnes of rice according to already-signed contracts with the Philippines.
In the first seven months of this year, the country exported a total of 4.1 million tonnes of rice, earning US$2.01 billion. This marked a year-on-year decline of 2.5 per cent in volume but a year-on-year increase of 3.4 per cent in value.
A bright spot
Tien Giang Food Co exported more than 150,000 tonnes of rice from January to August 16, earning a total turnover of US$41 million and meeting 60 per cent of this year's target.
Nguyen Quoc Truc, deputy director of the company, said the average export price was more than $400 for each 5 per cent broken-rice tonne, an increase of $70 compared to the same period of last year.
Besides the traditional markets of the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh, the company has also exported rice to the US.
The company aims to meet this year's export target of 250,000 tonnes of rice, and has invested more than VND94 billion ($4.9 million) to build warehouses for rice storage and agricultural product preservation for exports.
The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bac Lieu will ensure enough rice supply for local consumption as well as fulfilment of export contracts until the end of the year, a local official has assured.
Bac Lieu is now harvesting 55,000ha of summer-autumn rice crop with an output of five tonnes per ha.
When the summer-autumn crop harvest is completed, the province will continue growing this year's third rice crop on an area of 50,000ha.
The province's rice output will exceed local consumption demand and export contract commitments from now until the end of the year, local officials said.
They warned farmers not to stock rice because current prices are high, explaining they could fluctuate when the Delta provinces entered peak harvest period for the summer-autumn crop at the end of this month. — VNS