Philippines Keeps Door Open For Vietnamese Rice

The country makes up for 17-20 percent of Vietnam’s total rice shipments.

Vietnam is hoping to maintain its sizable share in the Philippines’ rice market as export contracts totaling three million tons for the next two years are now up for grabs.

The Philippines was widely expected to cut back on imports of the staple grain, but it has recently let Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam back in the bidding process. Vietnamese exporters will of course have to beat out these neighboring rivals first.

The Philippines is one of the biggest buyers of Vietnamese rice, accounting for 17-20 percent of Vietnam’s total rice shipments.

Between 2011 and 2015, Vietnam exported from 500,000 to 1.5 million tons of rice to the Philippines each year.

Vietnam’s rice shipments hit 4.9 million tons in 2016, the lowest since 2008. This year the prospects seem dismal as the world’s rice stock is forecast to hit a 15-year high of more than 120 million tons, sufficient for 92 days of global consumption, according to a report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, Thailand plans to clear its stockpiles, estimated at around 9 million tons, by the end of 2017. Laos is also finding ways to boost sales to China, Vietnam’s largest rice buyer.

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