Vietnam exported over 3.5 million tons of rice in the first six months of this year, earning 1.58 billion U.S. dollars, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on its website on Monday. The figures posted year-on-year decrease of 6.8 percent in volume and 9.8 percent in value due to the global declining price and narrower import market, said the ministry. The average rice export price remained low in the first five months, reaching 445 U.S. dollars per ton, a year-on-year decrease of 7.7 percent. China maintained the country\'s biggest rice importer, importing over 1.13 million tons of Vietnamese rice in the first five months, worth 472.4 million U.S dollars, up 27.8 percent in volume and 24.1 percent in value. Thus, China accounted 36.4 percent of the country\'s total rice export value, followed by the Philippines (7.3 percent), Malaysia (6.6 percent) and Singapore (5.2 percent). However, Vietnam expected to export more rice in July and August, thanks to increasing demand from traditional markets, like Indonesia and the Philippines, forecast the Vietnam Food Association.