|Ministry of Industry and Trade proposes resuming rice exports (Photo: thuongtruong.com.vn)
In the ministry’s report sent to the PM, it suggested exporting 800,000 tonnes of rice in April and May. In the last week of April, based on the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and reports of relevant ministries and sectors, the Prime Minister will consider rice exports in May.
The ministry has also proposed to apply monthly quota for rice exports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report was made after the ministry received feedback from a number of enterprises about the Government’s decision to suspend rice exports on March 24.
The suspension is to implement the conclusion made by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a national online meeting on food security in the context of COVID-19 pandemic held in early March, during which he affirmed that food security must be ensured in every situation.
According to the MoIT report, in the context of the pandemic, drought and saltwater intrusion, Vietnam is estimated to produce 43.5 million tonnes of paddy this year, including 20.2 tonnes from the winter-spring crop. Of which, the output of the Mekong Delta is estimated at 10.8 million tonnes.
Regarding consumption and storage, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) forecasts domestic demand this year to reach 29.96 million tonnes of paddy, including national reserves.
Specifically, the domestic consumption is 14.26 million tonnes of paddy, while the paddy volume for processing food products is 7.5 million tonnes. Meanwhile, there are 3.4 million tonnes to supply the livestock sector, one million tonnes used as seed and 3.8 million tonnes for national reserves. Thus, the remaining paddy for export is about 13.5 million tonnes, equivalent to 6.5 - 6.7 million tonnes of rice.
According to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), as of March 27, VFA-member enterprises have not yet shipped a total of 1.6 million tonnes of rice under signed export contracts. Of which, they need to have delivery of 1.4 million tonnes from now until May 31, said the MoIT. Meanwhile, VFA member enterprises have a total of 1.65 million tonnes in stock.
To ensure domestic consumption, the 20 largest rice exporters must sign contracts with at least one supermarket system to supply 5% of their inventory when required.