February 18, 2020 / 10:41 AM / 4 months ago

Vietnam rice exports seen up 6% this year to 6.75 million tonnes - food association

A farmer plants rice on a paddy field outside Hanoi July 4, 2013. Vietnam's rice exports in the first half of 2013 dropped 6.8 percent from a year earlier to an estimated 3.57 million tonnes, the Agriculture Ministry said. REUTERS/Kham/Files

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam expects to export 6.75 million tonnes of rice this year, up 6% from last year, Vietnam Food Association Vice Chairman Do Ha Nam said on Tuesday.

“Demand is seen rising this year as Vietnamese rice is more competitive in terms of prices,” Nam told Reuters, adding that the coronavirus epidemic in China had had no impact on shipments of Vietnamese rice to China.

Nam said rice exporters from Vietnam have over recent years sought to expand their markets to reduce their reliance on China, adding the Philippines was currently the largest market.

“Vietnam is producing more fragrant rice to tap new markets, such as South Korea and Africa,” Nam added.

Traders based in Ho Chi Minh City said a delegation from the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines will visit rice production sites in Vietnam in March to work on food safety issues, paving the way for more shipments.

Rice exports from Vietnam, the world’s third-largest shipper of the grain, rose 4.2% in 2019 from a year earlier to 6.37 million tonnes.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Edmund Blair and David Evans

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