Finance Ministry aims to suspend ordinary rice exports

Friday, Apr 10, 2020 12:23

A corner of rice storage of Song Hau Food Company in the southern city of Can Tho. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

The Ministry of Finance wants the Government to suspend exports of ordinary rice to ensure national reserves are full.

The ministry suggested suspending exports until June 15, with sticky rice, organic rice and fragrant rice still exported as usual.

The proposal was recently sent to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), which is drafting a rice export management plan. The plan will be sent to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for approval soon.

The finance ministry said the suspension of ordinary rice exports aimed to ensure national food security and reserve targets in 2020 as Viet Nam was coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is also greatly affecting many countries over the world.

The target of national rice reserve for 2020 assigned by the PM includes the purchase of 190,000 tonnes of ordinary rice and 80,000 tonnes of ordinary unhusked rice, which was expected to be complete on April 8.

However, as demand for rice exports is increasing, many Vietnamese businesses, who have won contracts to supply rice for the national reserves, have extended the contract signing period or not conducted contract negotiations.

Therefore, the finance ministry asked the MoIT to ask the Government to suspend the export of ordinary rice until June 15. After the national reserve is full as targeted, exports could continue.

The MoIT wants the Government to continue exporting rice as many Vietnamese rice exporters have said demand and prices are up, allowing them to earn more from exports. But in the view of the finance ministry, the cessation of exports is needed to ensure national food security first, especially when the country is dealing with the outbreak of COVD-19 virus.

The finance ministry also assigned the General Department of Customs to monitor exports of sticky rice, parboiled rice, organic rice and fragrant rice strictly, while supervising the suspension of ordinary rice export until June 15.

“After June 15, ordinary rice can be exported normally, the General Department of Customs will base on exports quantity announced by the MoIT to supervise customs procedures as prescribed,” the ministry said.

Regarding support solutions, the finance ministry proposed the PM to assign the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to direct Viet Nam Northern Food Corporation (Vinafood 1) and its member companies to sign contracts for selling rice immediately after winning bids to supply the national reserve.

The ministry also requested people's committees of cities and provinces ask local rice production and trading enterprises to declare prices according to regulations and intensify inspection and examination of price declarations. — VNS

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