According to the Vietnam Food Association, the country exported more than 7 tons of rice last year, worth more than US$3.5 billion, the highest in several years.
It is forecast that this year Vietnamese rice exporters will face fierce competition from the global market, in particular from India which may offer very low rates during the first six months of the year.
Each year, Vietnam usually receives huge contracts with other countries, like Indonesia and Bangladesh. However, this year contracts have been scarce. In the first quarter of this year, firms have only signed contracts to export 1.1 million tons of rice, lower than in the same period last year.
For Vietnamese exporters to overcome the deficit in the low-quality rice market, VFA is encouraging them to focus on high-quality rice to beat competition.
Vietnam plans to export 6.5-7 tons of rice in 2012.