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Apr 28, 2020 / 15:44

Vietnam trade ministry proposes resuming rice exports in May

Allowing rice export will maintain production and economic growth in the context the Covid-19 pandemic is under control in Vietnam.

For food security and economic growth, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and relevant agencies have requested the Prime Minister to lift the rice export quota and allow normal rice export from May 1.

 Photo: Dan Tri Newspaper

The ministry requested rice traders to keep a minimum reserve of 5% of the total amount of rice exported in the previous six months and supply to the market if they are required by the government.Also, according to the ministry, rice export should only be carried out through international border gates and the prevention of rice smuggling across the borders should be enhanced.  

The trade minsitry also requires the 20 largest rice exporters to sign an agreement with at least one supermarket system to ensure the selling of the 5% reserves when required.

The rice export quota to ensure food security in the most difficult time has fulfilled its aim, according to the ministry. Purchasing rice from Vietnam for stockpiling is no longer as urgent as in late March. Some rice exporting countries like India are expected to supply a huge amount of rice to the world market from May. 

In addition to food security, some countries such as the Philippines, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Mongolia and Laos have also requested Vietnam to soon allow normal rice export in the context of the complicated Covid-19 pandemic worldwide.

In late March, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered local rice exporters to temporarily stop signing new rice export contracts and customs authorities to stop clearance for rice export, aiming to ensure sufficient domestic supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic and salwater intrusion in the Mekong River Delta, which is the country's rice basket.

However, there has been controversy about domestic consumption and rice exports among relevant agencies that the trade ministry proposed to apply monthly quota for rice exports during the pandemic. 

Then, in April, the Prime Minister approved the trade ministry's proposal to export about 400,000 tons of rice in April and the same amount in May.