Vietnam, the world’s second-largest rice exporter in 2011, shipped 5.82 million metric tons this year through Sept. 27, beating rival Thailand, which is buying the grain from local farmers at above market prices.
Shipments last month through Sept. 27 were 719,619 tons, the Vietnam Food Association said in a statement on its website. Thai rice exports tumbled 45 percent to 4.88 million tons for the year through Sept. 24, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Sales declined after the government implemented its stockpiling program to boost farmer incomes, increasing costs for exporters, according to the group.
Vietnam exported a record 7.11 million tons in 2011, according to the food association. The country will match or exceed last year’s exports in 2012, Cao Duc Phat, agriculture minister, said last month.
Thailand is targeting exports of about 8.5 million tons this year, surpassing an estimated 8 million tons from India and 7 million tons by Vietnam, according to the Commerce Ministry.