China changes policy, buys Vietnam’s rice
Previously, China imported rice in small quantities from Vietnam, but the country has recently increased imports from Vietnam and accepted higher prices.
The General Department of Customs (GDC) reported that the total amount of rice exported to China in the first three months of the year reached 162,000 tons, accounting for 11 percent of total exports.
The average price that Chinese buyers paid for Vietnamese rice was VND12.7 million per ton, up by VND1.7 million than that of the last year.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s average export price in the first three months of the year was VND10.7 million per ton. As such, the export price to China was VND2.7 million per ton higher than the price at which Vietnam sold to other countries.
China is buying Vietnam’s rice at a price much higher than the Philippines, which is Vietnam’s number 1 rice buyer.
Dan Tri newspaper cited statistics from GDC as reporting that in the last three months, the Philippines imported more than 500,000 tons of rice at VND9.9 million per ton only.
|Vietnam, after half a month of interruption, has resumed rice export. However, the exports will be implemented under strict control to ensure domestic food security. Only 400,000 tons of rice will be exported in April, and the same amount is predicted for May.|
Vietnam, after half a month of interruption, has resumed rice export. However, the exports will be implemented under strict control to ensure domestic food security. Only 400,000 tons of rice will be exported in April, and the same amount is predicted for May.
While the government takes cautious steps in exporting rice, experts believe that Vietnam will not lack rice and it is necessary to let exports return to normal. If only small amounts of rice are exported, Vietnam will see rice abundance and the prices will fall. If so, both enterprises and farmers will suffer.
Duong Van Chin, a respected rice expert, former director of the Mekong Delta Rice Institute, thinks Vietnam should speed up rice export to be able to sell rice at good prices.
He said it would be better to export 5 million tons of rice by the end of May, because the winter-spring crop is the major crop in Mekong Delta, the rice granary of the country. Later, the government should allow export of 1.5 million tons more of summer-autumn crop rice, and that will be enough for this year.
“As the world prices are high, it would be better to allow enterprises to export rice in large quantities, which would bring benefits to both exporters and farmers,” Chin said. “High profits will help encourage farmers maintain their rice production, which is an important factor to ensure domestic food security."
According to Reuters, India, the biggest exporter, has resumed its exports after three weeks of interruption. Thai 5 percent broken rice price has dropped to $530-538 per ton from $550-580 per ton.
As a market economy, Vietnam has to open its markets to foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) but the opening may lend a hand to FIEs to control the home market.
Confronted with food security risks as Covid-19 spreads, the Prime Minister decided on March 25, 2020 to suspend rice export and then regulate it using quotas.