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Apr 29, 2020 / 21:50

Vietnam resumes normal rice export in May

From May 1, the country’s rice exports will be resumed as normal without quota.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed to remove rice export quota to fully resume rice shipments from May 1 following a request by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

 Photo: Zing

At a meeting on April 28, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said many countries have ceased export of the grain due to Covid-19 and natural disasters to prevent food shortages. Even though Vietnam sets a target of exporting six million tons of rice in 2020, but “we have to conduct rice export cautiously to see the performance of  winter-spring and summer-autumn crops,” he said.

PM Phuc has assigned the MoIT to collaborate with Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Finance and the General Department of Vietnam Customs to monitor the situation of production, consumption, reserve and export, as well as ensure the interests of farmers and businesses. 

The Ministry of Finance is responsible for clearing constraints to accelerate the stockpiling of national rice reserves.

The prime minister also said relevant government bodies need to improve their coordination for smooth rice export and prevent reoccurance of irregularities.

According to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam could export about 3.2 million tons after the winter-spring crop is harvested. The paddy output in the summer-autumn crop is estimated at 11 million tons, of which 8.7 million tons would be harvested in the Mekong Delta. The volume of rice exports in the summer-autumn crop is estimated at 2.3-2.4 million tons and Vietnam is expected to ship 1.3 million tons of rice in May and the first half of June.

In late March, the prime minister ordered the temporary suspension of rice export and customs authorities were asked to stop clearance for rice shipments, aiming to ensure domestic supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong River Delta, which is the country’s rice basket.

The halt of export followed a request by the trade ministry to apply monthly quota for rice exports during the pandemic. 

That sudden halt has caused heavy losses to exporters who had already signed contracts and rice at ports ready for shipping.

In early April, the prime minister approved a rice export quota of 400,000 tons in April and the same amount in May.