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Reference Date: 23-December-2013


  1. Despite localized floods the overall 2013/14 winter/spring planting expected to be up

  2. 2013 rice production estimated to reach record level. Lower rice exports in 2013

  3. Domestic prices of rice remain generally stable at low levels

Despite storms and localized floods the overall 2013/14 winter/spring plantings expected to be up

Planting of the 2013/14, almost entirely irrigated winter/spring paddy crop accounting for some 46 percent of the annual paddy production normally begins in mid-November and continues until early April. Generally favourable rains since early November, particularly over large parts of Red River Delta in the North and Mekong River Delta in the South, major rice growing areas, improved soil moisture allowing farmers to start planting early. A preliminary official estimate indicates that as of mid-November 1.47 million hectares have been sowed under winter/spring paddy, some 6 percent above the good level in 2012.

Subsequent storms/typhoons and heavy rains from October to mid-November, resulted in localized flooding and landslides, affecting the northern and central parts of the country. However, the overall effect on national rice production is expected to be minimal since the path of the storms and floods largely avoided the main rice growing areas.

2013 rice production estimated to reach record level

Harvesting of the 2013 10th Month paddy rice, accounting for some 22 percent of the annual production, is currently underway, while that of summer/autumn and winter/spring seasons were completed earlier in the year Based on the recent estimates from General Statistic Office of Viet Nam (GSO), the 2013 aggregate rice production (in paddy terms) is set at a record level of 44.1 million tonnes, slightly above the 2012 bumper harvest. While the winter/spring harvest was estimated similar to the previous year’s record level, the summer/autumn and 10th Month crop, are projected to increase to 14.3 million tonnes (up by some 3 percent) and 9.6 million tonnes (up by 1 percent), respectively, compared to the same seasons last year. The increase is mainly due larger planted areas as delayed rains over parts of the country and localized flooding, prevented a potentially larger crop this year. There has been a steady increase in rice production in Viet Nam over the past eight years.

The 2013 maize output is estimated at 4.9 million tonnes, slightly above the record crop in 2012.

Lower rice exports in 2013

Despite the expectation of a record production in 2013 and high level of carryover stocks, the 2013 rice exports are forecast at 6.9 million tonnes, some 11 percent below the record level in 2012. The projected decrease is mainly attributed to the slow pace of exports recorded to date. According to the General Statistics Office (GSO) rice exports between January and October 2013 reached 5.9 million tonnes, 14 percent below the level during the same period in 2012. For 2014, FAO anticipates rice exports to recover somewhat and reach 7.2 million tonnes.

Cereal imports of the country consist mostly of wheat and maize. During 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) they are forecast at 1.9 and 1.6 million tonnes, respectively. Overall, total cereal imports are forecast at 4 million tonnes, some 9 percent higher than the year before, but 11 percent below the previous five year average.

Domestic prices of rice remain generally stable at low levels

Domestic prices for rice, the main staple food in the country, which had decreased between November 2012 and July 2013, have strengthened moderately in October and November, despite the recent completion of summer/autumn and the ongoing 10th Month harvests, projected at record levels. The price increase is mainly attributed to the relatively strong export demand in recent months, in particular from China and the Philippines and localized crop damages, caused by Typhoon Wutip on 1 October in central and northern parts of the country, coupled with seasonal floods in the main growing region of the Mekong River Delta that disrupted milling activities. However, rice prices in November remained significantly below their levels a year earlier.

According to the GSO the overall consumer price index (year-on-year) in November 2013 stood at 5.78 percent.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Main Food-related Policy Measures (From 1 Jan 2008 to 11 Oct 2011)
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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