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Thai rice sales will not affect Vietnamese rice exports   2009-07-27 - VietNamNet/SGTT

The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) is still optimistic about Vietnam’s rice export price, though the Thailand Ministry of Commerce has announced it will open a rice storehouse this week to sell some 600,000 tonnes.


Thai Minister of Commerce Porntiva Nakasai said that the Government of Thailand plans to export rice in small lots instead of exporting several hundred thousand tonnes at once like it did previously in an effort to prevent domestic prices from increasing further.


Moreover, the Government of Thailand has also negotiated with the Governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Iran on contracts to export rice. It is estimated that these contracts alone involve nearly one million tonnes.


The information about Thailand’s plan to sell rice in the context that Vietnam is trying to push up rice exports to use up consumer domestic merchandise rice left among farmers, estimated at two millions tonnes, has sparked concerns that this will affect Vietnam’s rice exports.


By July 15, Vietnam had sold 5.2 million tonnes of rice, of which, 3.8 million tonnes had been delivered. Vietnam still needs to sell 800,000 tonnes of rice more to consume all the rice it expects to have this year.


A member of VFA stressed that in the current market circumstances, Thailand’s rice sales will not much influence Vietnam’s plan to sell rice in the last months of the year. Thailand’s 5 percent broken rice is still 5 percent more expensive than Vietnam’s rice of the same kind. This will still be the main obstacle for Thai businesses when negotiating with partners. Vietnam’s five percent broken rice is selling at $420-430 per tonne and has become the choice of many rice import countries.


Meanwhile, a rice exporter said that though Thailand plans to export rice in small lots, its total rice reserves remain very big, at 6 million tonnes of white rice. Therefore, Thailand’s entry into the export game will make the rice supply in the world increase and rice prices decrease.

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