Vietnam's 2011 output of unhusked grain rice expected to remain in line with this year's record estimate of 42 million tonnes, says government minister

LOS ANGELES , December 19, 2011 () – According to Deputy Agriculture Minister Bui Ba Bong, Vietnam’s output of unhusked grain rice in 2011 is expected to remain in line with this year’s record estimate of 42 million tonnes, The Business Standard reported on Dec. 18.

If Vietnam’s rice output stays in line with the year’s record estimate of 42 million tonnes, it could potentially help provide some supply reassurance in the face of forecasts stating that Thailand’s rice exports during 2012 are expected to fall 50% to 5 million tonnes.

Bong declined to comment about Vietnam’s 2012 rice export target, as it would be set by the trade ministry.

Bong’s comments contradict those provided by Director Nguyen Tri Ngoc of the ministry’s crops department. Ngoc reported that Vietnam’s rice export next year could potentially decrease to 6.5 million tonnes, down from a record high of 7.2 million tonnes in 2010, after a delay in planting the winter-spring crop due to flooding caused Vietnam to reduce its estimated paddy output next year by 1.2% to 41 million tonnes.

Vietnam, which is the world’s second-largest rice producer behind Thailand, has seen its annual average rice yield rise for the past two decades. Currently, Vietnam produces 5.3 tonnes of rice per hectare, which is the highest average rice yield among countries located in Southeast Asia. In 1990, Vietnam’s average annual rice yield was 3 tonnes per hectare.

Based on figures supplied by the Vietnam Food Association, as of Dec. 15, Vietnam’s rice exports totaled 6.89 million tonnes of rice. This is a 6% increase from the previous year, and higher than the record shipment of 6.83 million tonnes during al of 2010.

The primary source of this article is The Business Standard, Mumbai, India, on Dec. 18, 2011.

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