HANOI, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam exported nearly 1.4 million tons of rice worth 668 million U.S. dollars in the first three months of this year, up 9.1 percent in volume, and up 23.8 percent in value against the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Food Association on Monday.
The country, which exported roughly 5.9 million tons of rice worth nearly 2.7 billion U.S. dollars last year, mainly to China and the Philippines, plans to ship abroad 6.5 million tons of rice, including higher volumes of such high-grade rice as Japonica, fragrant rice and sticky rice, this year.
In recent years, Vietnam has increased export of high-grade rice, with Japonica accounting for 4.4 percent of its total rice export in 2017, said the association.
The country is focusing on using better rice growing, harvesting, postharvest, storage and transport practices and types so that rice will have uniform moisture contents, high weight, no foreign material, low percentage of discolored, broken and damaged kernels, no presence of insects and molds, and high protein and vitamin content.
Vietnam's paddy rice-growing area was over 7.7 million hectares in 2017, and its paddy rice output last year dropped for the first time over the past 20 years to 42.8 million tons, said its agriculture ministry.