Ensuring harmonious interests in rice export

Thursday, 2020-04-16 18:22:31
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Rice exports from the beginning of the year have so far recorded strong growth in both volume and value. (Illustrative image)
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NDO - The Prime Minister has agreed with the Ministry of Industry and Trade's proposal on the resumption of rice exports in April with a volume of 400,000 tonnes after the PM’s request regarding suspending the signing of new export contracts in March. This is good news for rice exporters and farmers, particularly those in the Mekong Delta region.

Rice exports from the beginning of the year have so far recorded strong growth in both volume and value. In particular, sale prices of rice have been higher than the same period in 2019, even at peak harvest season with high supply.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam's rice export reached 1.7 million tonnes in the first three months of 2020 with a total value of US$774 million, up 19.9% in terms of volume and 27.8% in terms of value compared to the same period in 2019.

Export prices of rice also increased sharply over the corresponding period in 2019. Several times, the price of 5% broken rice was traded at US$428 – US$432 per tonne and 25% broken rice was sold at US$413 – US$417 per tonne while the price of jasmine rice hit US$528 – US$532 per tonne.

However, it is worth mentioning that the export of rice has been limited to only 400,000 tonnes in April. When enterprises learned that the General Department of Vietnam Customs had launched online registration for rice export declaration at 0:00 on April 12, the quota was already exhausted, so they cannot export further rice.

There are enterprises that have tens of thousands of tonnes of rice stored at ports that cannot be exported, leading to increasing costs regarding storage, containers, and others.

Therefore, enterprises have proposed that in the coming month, the Government and the Ministry of Industry and Trade should allocate quotas to localities on which local enterprises will register what export volume.

The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has asked enterprises to contribute their comments on the customs declaration and rice inventory so that the VFA can send the data to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the General Department of Vietnam Customs in order to design measures to remove difficulties for enterprises.

It can be seen that the resumption of rice exports combined with the monthly quota has ensured the harmonious interests of many stakeholders in the rice production and export chain, on the basis of balancing the domestic supply.

The move will help exporters continue to implement high-value orders, accordingly, the purchasing price of rice in the domestic market will also rise, helping farmers increase profits and have the best conditions to re-invest in production while minimising disruption to the rice production chain.

The move is also expected to ensure national food security in the context of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic not showing signs of decline on a global scale.

However, openness and transparency in rice export registration must be guaranteed to ensure the fair interests of enterprises while creating a healthy business environment for the commodity, particularly as the export of rice will be accompanied by quotas in May and possibly over the following months.