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Vietnam plans to export more parboiled rice

12-15-2011 18:52 BJT

HANOI, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam plans to increase export of parboiled rice by a third next year to 400,000 tons, over this year's estimated 300,000 tons, reported Vietnam News Agency on Thursday, quoting the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) president Truong Thanh Phong as saying.

Phong said production of parboiled rice would not only increase the diversity and quality of Vietnamese rice but also help farmers make the most of the summer-autumn wet rice crop.

According to VFA, Vietnam's parboiled rice export this year would meet 10 percent of annual global demand.

Parboiled rice refers to paddy boiled in the husk and is favored by many people for its nutritional value. In some countries, especially in areas with people with high incomes, parboiled rice is increasingly replacing white rice.

Phong said parboiled rice fetches a 50-60 U.S. dollars higher export price per ton than 5 percent broken white rice.

Parboiled rice from Vietnam, the world's second largest rice exporter after Thailand, was exported to countries in East Europe, Africa and Asia at 570 U.S. dollars per ton on average, said Nguyen Ngoc Trung, general director of Vinh Phat Investment Corporation.

Experts said that the quality of Vietnamese parboiled rice is quite high, which gives it a competitive advantage over regional rivals such as India and Pakistan.

The Vietnam Southern Food Corporation will complete construction of three more plants to parboil rice for exports. They will be operational next year, producing 300,000 tons a year, while the rest of the export target will be made up by private producers, reported VFA.

The country started exporting parboiled rice in 2010, shipping more than 10,000 tons. But despite the fact that this kind of rice fetches a higher price, Vietnamese producers are hesitant about investing in this field.

An executive from a Mekong Delta-based rice firm attributed this to the higher amount of investment required than for processing white rice.

But grabbing market share from top exporter Thailand and others was the main challenge for Vietnamese producers, the executive said.

The summer-autumn crop in Vietnam is usually harvested during the storm season, and if the country captures at least 30 percent of the international market share, farmers will be less worried about their harvest, said VFA.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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