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Rice Article: Vietnam  

Global markets will continue heating up rice exports in 2004
Vietnam News, June 23, 2004

HA NOI — Global demand for rice is expected to remain strong for the next six months, boosting the fortunes of Vietnamese exporters, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Major rice markets such as China and Indonesia, and several Latin American countries, are also expected to switch to importing Asian rice instead of the more expensive US-grown rice, the ministry said.

Although China’s rice yields have increased, it still cannot produce enough rice to meet its domestic consumption of 250,000-300,000 tonnes per day, the trade ministry said.

In the first four months of this year, China had already imported 37,000 tonnes more rice than it did in the whole of 2003.

Iraq will also have to import roughly one million tonnes of rice annually, according to a US Department of Agriculture forecast.

As the world’s major rice importers have also increased their stockpiles, rice prices are expected to increase. Last year, prices rose by 10 per cent in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Despite the high global demand, the trade ministry has forecast a drop in rice exports for 2004-05: US exports are expected to drop by 16 per cent; India’s by 50 per cent.

The trade ministry expects Viet Nam will be able to export 50,000-100,000 tonnes of rice to Turkey each year if the country adopts a suitable marketing strategy.

Turkey favours Vietnamese rice grown in the northern provinces of Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, but to successfully export to Turkey, the ministry said, Viet Nam should agree to import urea fertiliser, pesticides and flour from Turkey.

The ministry said that as the Turkish economy was in good shape and businesses from both countries now had a better working relationship, it was the right to try and expand trade.

Viet Nam last year exported 15,000 tonnes of rice to Turkey, just 3 per cent of the country’s annual rice imports of 100,000-500,000 tonnes.

Turkey imports rice from Egypt, the US, Thailand, Italy, China and Viet Nam. — VNS

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