BANGKOK -- High and shaky prices amid the global economic downturn have been threatening Thai rice export to China, according to Chinese importers.
China is one of the major importers of Thai Hom Mali or jasmine rice, while the Thai rice exports to China sharply dropped by 80.96 percent in January, the website by The Nation newspaper reported Monday.
Luo Hong, deputy manager of the firm, said the higher prices might discourage Chinese consumers to buy the Thai rice.
Moreover, consumers might opt to buy cheaper rice from other countries such as Vietnam, Luo added.
Vietnamese rice is currently quoted at about US$200-300 per tone. Thai Hom Mali rice is quoted at US$889 a tone, while Pathum Thani rice is quoted at US$725 per tone.
Apart from the influence of Thai rice's high price, the imports fall this year is also due to the price instability, said Xiong Gao, general manager of Chinese importer Chendgu Jinxiong Trading.
"Thai rice prices are fluctuating due to inconsistency in many government price guarantees. This has destroyed importers' confidence in the reliability of imports of Thai rice," he said, adding that the Thai government needs to ensure the price stability to reassure importers. chinadaily.com.cn
Vietnam exports 2.7 mn tonnes of rice by end of May
HANOI (Xinhua): Vietnam exported 473,850 tonnes of rice in the first 22 days of May, raising the number of rice export since the beginning of this year to 2.7 million tonnes so far, Vietnamese newspaper the New Hanoi reported on Friday.
It earned 198 million U.S. dollars from rice export in May, raising the total revenue from rice export of the country since the beginning of this year to 1.1 billion U.S. dollars so far, according to Vietnamese Food Association (VFA).
Rice companies have had contracts to export about four million tonnes of rice, accounting for 88 percent of the whole-year target of between 4.5 and 5 million tonnes, the local newspaper reported.
Rice production of the Mekong Delta region is forecast to be higher than the target of this year, said VFA.
VFA is considering the possibility of exporting an additional 200,000 tonnes of rice, the newspaper said.
Vietnam bids for rice export contracts to the Philippines
Experts say the world’s second largest rice exporter has a high possibility of winning the bid as it offers competitive prices compared to other countries in the region. However, the amount of rice remains unknown.
The Philippines has assigned its businesses to import an additional 500,000 tonnes from now until the end of this year.
Early this year, the Philippines signed contracts to purchase 1.5 million tonnes of rice from Vietnam at an average price of US$480-490/tonne.
Vietnam to build one more rice depot
The VND152-billion project covering more than 27,000m2 in Tan Duong Commune, Lai Vung district, will be capable of storing 45,000 tonnes of food.
High yields, low quality mean double trouble for rice farmers
VFA’s chairman, Truong Thanh Phong, said though the association has advised farmers about this, many of them still chose to plant IR 50404 for their summer-autumn crop. The crop typically starts in May and ends in August-September.
The IR 50404 variety is easy to plant and high-yielding but produces low-quality rice of the cheapest kind with a usual broken grain rate of 15-25 percent. High-quality rice has a 5-15 percent broken rate after processing.
Phong said the Philippines and Malaysia have almost imported all their requirement of low-quality rice and would mainly buy high-quality rice during the rest of this year.
He also said rice companies would have to export 2.3 million tons of rice in the second half considering the expected harvest but it would be difficult since most of it would be low-quality.
In related news, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade, VFA and other relevant agencies to draft regulations for rice exports requiring rice firms to have warehouses to store the grain and a strong financial capacity.
Earlier this month VFA said it would ask the government to increase this year’s rice export quota from 4.5-5 million tons to 5.2 million tons since exports are already closing in on that mark while two more bumper crops are expected.
Source: AgenciesVietnam, Thailand cooperate in rice production, exports
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on May 15 welcomed the signing of cooperation agreements on rice production, processing and exports between Vietnam and Thailand while receiving Thai Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai in Hanoi on May 15.
Mr Dung said that the signing of the agreements between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Thai Ministry of Commerce the same day will help bring practical benefit to both countries.
He proposed that the two ministries regularly share experiences and effectively implement their signed agreements, especially those on rice exports, trade promotion and market management.
For her part, Porntiva Nakasai briefed PM Dung on the results of her working session with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, and pledged to realise the agreements signed with the Vietnamese side.
She noted that trade ties between the two countries have grown and flourished in recent years, reaching US$6.2 billion in 2008, up 31 percent against 2007.