Mr. Tran Van Sau, a farmer in Dong Binh Commune in Thoi Lai District in Can Tho City, said that after three months of cultivation, some households have begun to harvest the early summer-autumn rice crop. However, rice yield merely reached around 500-600 kilograms per 1,000 square meters, a decrease of 100-200 kilograms of rice per 1,000 square meters compared to the previous crop. It is worrisome that rice price at the beginning of the summer-autumn rice crop is not so high.
Fresh regular paddy was bought at VND4,200-VND4,300 per kilogram and fresh long-grain paddy was bought at VND4,500-VND4,600 per kilogram, down VND800 per kilogram upwards in comparison with the same period last year. With such prices, farmers merely gained a profit of around VND500,000-VND900,000 per 1,000 square meters.
In other provinces in the Mekong Delta, farmers also saw higher costs in this rice crop as hot heat forced them to increase the times to pump water into their paddy fields as well as the amount of fertilizers and plant protection drugs. Meanwhile, the highest productivity of regular rice variety only reached 500-600 kilogram per 1,000 square meters and the highest rice price was VND4,300 per kilogram. As a result, farmers merely earned a profit of VND500,000 per 1,000 square meters. Some farmers were able to break even or even suffered losses.
Rice exports drop 20 percent in value
Export of rice was also gloomy. In May this year, rice exporters shipped around 739,000 tons of rice, worth US$314 million, raising total amount of rice exported in the first five months of this year to more than 2.8 million tons, worth more than $1.2 billion, down 4 percent in volume and 20 percent in value over the same period last year.
The market is forecast to continue to be subdued because of poor demand in Asia. Meanwhile, the price of rice in the Mekong Delta will be unlikely to recover in the near future as the region is about to enter peak harvest.