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Vietnam likely to pass Thailand in rice exports   2012-02-09 - VOV

Thailand fell behind Vietnam in rice exports in January when it only shipped nearly 387,750 tonnes, about 13,000 tonnes less than Vietnam, according to its English newspaper The Nation.

The exported volume represented a decrease of 57.96 percent compared to January 2011’s figure – a record low in more than a decade, said The Nation.

The newspaper quoted the Vietnam Food Association as saying that Vietnam exported some 400,000 tonnes last month, leading to increased confidence that it will ship 7 million tonnes abroad this year.

Some foreign traders say that Vietnam is likely to overtake Thailand this year, as its traders have offered competitive prices. Thailand, the world’s biggest rice exporter, set a target of exporting 9.5 million tonnes this year, but buyers believe that only around 6.5-7 million tonnes are delivered.

At present, Thai HomMali (jasmine) rice has lost an opportunity for export due to its high price and low quality, while clients choose to buy fragrant rice from Vietnam and Cambodia.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA), said that Thailand’s rice exports show a downward trend as its price is higher than that of its competitors. In addition, some Thai people are worried that their Government will encounter difficulties in handing the volume of stockpiled rice which is estimated to reach 10 million tonnes this year.

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