Vietnamese companies won contracts to export over two million tonnes of rice in the first four months of this year, worth nearly US$1 billion, according to a report released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on April 25.
In April alone, rice exports were 700,000 tonnes, worth US$345 million. The average price of export rice in the first quarter was US$493 per tonne, a slight decrease against the same period last year, the report said.
Traditional importers of Vietnamese rice, including Africa, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, were once again interested in buying rice from Vietnam.
Exports of agricultural, forestry and seafood products in April reached US$2.1 billion, and touched nearly US$8 billion in the last four months.
These positive signs were attributed to the shrinking stockpile of rice in many countries, an increasing demand and late delivery by some other major rice exporters, the report said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh approved the ASEAN +3 Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) agreement, on April 25, which the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will implement.
Under the APTERR agreement, member countries agreed to provide 787,000 tonnes of rice to enhance quick response capacity of ASEAN +3, when supply and production are affected by natural disasters.
Under the agreement, Vietnam and Myanmar will each contribute 14,000 tonnes, Thailand 15,000 tonnes, Indonesia and the Philippines 12,000 tonnes each, Malaysia 6,000 tonnes, Singapore 5,000 tonnes, and Brunei, Laos and Cambodia 3,000 tonnes each. China, Japan and South Korea will provide 300,000 tonnes, 250,000 tonnes and 150,000 tonnes respectively.
Minister Ninh also agreed that Vietnam would take part in the rice emergency stock coordinated by APTERR. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Finance have been assigned the task of proposing the form and level of emergency assistance offered for the Prime Minister's final approval.
The APTERR agreement is important for price stability in ASEAN+3 countries.