January rice exports hit record

Vietnam exported more than 485,000 tonnes of rice in January, the highest figure ever for a year’s first month thanks to prompt delivery, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).

Rice exporters had by the end of January registered to ship 1.5 million tonnes of rice on contracts, a year-on-year increase of 15.74 percent, the VFA said at a meeting with its member firms in Ho Chi Minh City on Feb. 10.

They also registered a high volume on contracts to export rice in the first month of this year, mainly with Malaysia and Indonesia.

VFA Chairman Truong Thanh Phong said he was optimistic about the country’s rice consumption in 2011 thanks to contracts signed with Indonesia and Bangladesh late last year, along with contracts with other countries like Cuba, Iraq and Malaysia .

He said the VFA estimates rice export will reach 1.6 million tonnes in the first quarter of this year and 2.24 million tonnes in the second quarter of 2011.

At the meeting, Phong said the VFA will ask the Government for permission to purchase and stockpile 1 million tonnes of rice from the winter-spring crop.

The stockpile will begin on March 1 and end on April 15, he added.

Source: VNA

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