Vietnamese rice exporters aim to export at least 7.5 million tonnes of rice in 2013, but less than last year, according to Trương Thanh Phong, President of the Việt Nam Food Association (VFA).
At a conference in Hồ Chí Minh City on January 7, VFA forecast a tougher world rice market, especially for Asia , in 2013, due to high supply and low demand.
The US Department of Agriculture predicts that the global trade of rice will amount to 36.115 million tonnes this year, 6.22 percent less than 2012.
VFA predict that fewer contracts in the first quarter of 2013 will make it a difficult year for Vietnamese exporters.
Besides, the harvest of the Winter-Spring crop is expected in February, one month earlier than normal.
Furthermore, Việt Nam’s traditional markets, including the Philippines and Indonesia, are increasing their own production and creating market pressure.
According to Phong, Asia will consume the most rice of Việt Nam in 2013, with 71 percent, followed by Africa, with 21-23 percent.
VFA predicts Việt Nam will produce 7.6 million tonnes of commodity rice this year. In the first quarter, Vietnamese rice exporters are likely to ship abroad 1.4 million tonnes.
Despite the foreseen difficulties this year, Nguyễn Văn Tiến, Director of the An Giang import-export company, said if Vietnamese rice exporters can guarantee a quality product, there will be opportunities for them in new markets like Japan.
VFA suggested that the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) should step up trade promotion, especially in African countries.
It recommended that the MoIT strengthen negotiations with China , the largest importer of Vietnamese rice in 2012.