Fresh demand from the Philippines expected to boost Vietnam's rice exports
Vietnam is planning to bid for a 250,000 ton rice contract to the Philippines, said the Vietnam Food Association.
Vietnamese rice exporters are likely to submit offers at more competetive prices ranging from $360 to $365 per ton than their Thai rivals.
Experts said Vietnam looks set to win the contract for delivery of 250,000 tons, mostly 25 percent broken rice, to the Philippines.
There is no specific information on when the shipments are due to arrive.
The Philippines’s National Food Authority (NFA) plans to import 1 million tons of the staple grain in 2017 to fill stockpiles.
The NFA, which ensures the country's food security, said it is also looking to buy up to 750,000 tons of well-milled long-grain white rice through government-to-government deals to build up stocks.
Countries with existing supply agreements with the Philippines such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are qualified to submit offers.
Vietnamese rice exporters said the fresh demand from the Philippines could boost export prices, which have been under pressure from weak market demand since the second half of this year.
Over the January-August period, Vietnam’s rice exports fell 16.6 percent on-year to 3.37 million tons, according to data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Thin demand and rising supplies have also driven down Vietnam’s export prices.
Vietnam's rice exports in the same period were down nearly 13.1 percent from a year ago at $1.51 billion, according to the ministry.
China remains Vietnam’s biggest customer for the staple grain, accounting for 36 percent of Vietnam's exports over the first eight months of the year.
However, China's purchases of Vietnamese rice were down about 21.6 percent from a year ago in July at 1.04 million tons.
The Philippines, one of the world’s biggest rice buyers, imports about 1 million tons or more of the staple grain each year to bolster stockpiles that can be severely depleted by adverse weather conditions and natural calamities.
The Philippines is hit by 20 typhoons on average each year, mostly during the second half of the year.