Mekong deluge delays rice buying

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013 08:27

Viet Nam has sought more time to buy 1 million tonnes of rice for temporary reserves due to heavy rains holding up the harvest.—Photo

HCM CITY — The Viet Nam Food Association has sought more time to buy 1 million tonnes of rice for the temporary reserve, saying heavy rains in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta have prevented farmers from harvesting.

The Government had set a deadline on July 31, and the association wants two more weeks.

The programme began on June 15, and food companies have managed to buy only 60-70 per cent of their allotted quotas.

They said they cannot find enough paddy to buy since the delta harvest has been prevented by the rains.

According to the Cultivation Department, around 700,000ha out of the 1.68 million hectares of summer-autumn rice are yet to be harvested.

Rice prices in the domestic market have risen significantly in recent days.

Currently traders buy paddy at VND5,600-5,700 per kilo for long-grain varieties and VND5,300-5,400 for IR50404, up around VND500 from a month ago.

Rice export prices have also gone up recently, the VFA said, adding that exporters have been selling 5 per cent broken rice at US$405 a tonne.

The VFA has also raised the floor price for 25 per cent broken rice by $10 a tonne to $375.

As of July 18 businesses had exported 3.73 million tonnes for a free-on-board value of $1.6 billion.

In a recent meeting, VFA chairman Truong Thanh Phong assured that the export situation would improve in the coming months, and advised firms not to be in a rush to sell, thus undercutting each other.

With advantages like competitive prices and fresh rice, Viet Nam has the opportunity to increase exports, he added. — VNS

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