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Vietnam cuts 2016 rice export forecast to 4.75 mln tons: newspaper

Monday, August 15, 2016, 11:24 GMT+7

HANOI, Aug 15 - Vietnam's rice exports could fall 27 percent in 2016 from last year to 4.75 million tonnes, the lowest since 2008, due to less overseas demand and rising supplies from Thailand, a local newspaper said on Monday.

It cited the Vietnam Food Association as revising down its forecast for the second time this year, from 5.7 million tonnes as projected in June.

A lack of demand from key markets in Asia and Africa, along with Thailand's sales from state stockpiles would drive the fall, the Vietnam Economic Times newspaper quoted an official at the Ho Chi Minh City-based association.

Officials at the association could not be reached for comments.

"Buyers will pay attention to Vietnamese rice only if prices fall significantly, while the adjustment of the annual export forecast does not raise any interest," said a trader at a foreign firm in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam's 5-percent broken summer-autumn rice eased to $350-$353 a tonne on Monday, free-on-board basis, from $355 last week, but overall demand remained week, traders said.

The association now projects rice exports in the second half of 2016 at 2.1 million tonnes, after first-half shipments have dropped 2 percent in the year-ago period to 2.65 million tonnes, the newspaper said.

The projected annual volume excludes sales across the land border to top buyer China, the report said. Vietnam is the world's third-largest rice exporter after India and Thailand.

Thailand's military junta has sold more than 5 million tonnes of rice in a series of auctions since taking power in a coup in May 2014. It plans to clear the stockpiles, now totalling around 9 million tonnes, by the end of 2017.



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