According to statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam exported 1.38 million tons of rice worth US$623 million to China in January-July, up 33% and 31% compared to the same period last year respectively. The rice shipments to the northern neighbor accounted for 41% of the country’s total. Vietnam also sells rice to other ASEAN markets. Malaysia was the second biggest rice importer in the first seven months of 2017, accounting for 7.3% of Vietnam’s total export volume. Malaysia spent US$111 million purchasing 288,700 tons of rice from Vietnam, surging twofold in volume and 78% in value from a year earlier. Ghana is a key African market for Vietnamese rice. However, this market is showing signs of slowdown.
Last year, Ghana was the second largest buyer of Vietnamese rice, making up 11.5% of Vietnam’s total shipments, as it imported 504,000 tons valued at US$249 million, up 39% in volume and 34.5% in value against 2015. However, Vietnam’s rice exports to Ghana in the first seven months of this year dipped 29% over the year-ago period. In January-August, Vietnam exported a total of 3.96 million tons of rice worth US$1.75 billion, up nearly 20% in volume and 17.5% in value year-on-year. However, the contracted export volume was 5.1 million tons, so nearly 1.2 million tons of rice was not shipped to customers. Therefore, the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has revised the 2017 rice export target from 5.2 million to 6.5 million tons for the second time this year. In July, the rice export volume was adjusted up to 5.7 million tons due to favorable market conditions.