The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has announced that it will ask all its 80 enterprises to buy one million tons of the summer-autumn rice harvest from farmers for stockpiling, in an effort to help farmers in selling their produce.
|Farmers in the Mekong Delta harvest rice (Photo: SGGP)|
VFA chairman Truong Thanh Phong said the volume of commercial rice to be harvested now in the Mekong Delta is estimated at two million tons.
As local enterprises have problems in exporting rice, the association will ensure that farmers are able to sell all their produce, he added.
Mr. Phong said VFA will buy rice at a minimum price of VND5,000 per kilogram to ensure a profit for the rice growers.
VFA has worked with banks to offer reasonable lending interest rates to rice companies, he added.
According to the association, there were many changes in the rice export market in the first months of the year.
For instance, Philippines only imported 860,000 tons this year, even though it has been one of Vietnam’s biggest rice importers and used to import 1.5-1.6 million tons of rice from Vietnam every year.
The quantity of rice exports to other traditional importers in Africa, Arab and Middle East countries has also reduced, which previously held 35 percent of the country’s rice export market share.
Vietnam is trying but has not won any bid to export rice to Iraq.
However, local companies have pushed rice exports to other countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia and China.
Indonesia has imported around two million tons of rice, of which 1.3 million tons were imported from Vietnam from October 2010 to April 2011.
Experts say Vietnamese enterprises will have more opportunities to export rice because Vietnamese rice is currently US$5-20 per ton cheaper than Thai rice.
The country exported 3.3 million tons of rice worth US$1.5 billion by May, a year-on-year rise of 22 percent and 27 percent in terms of volume and price respectively.
The export price rose by US$19 per ton.
The country is expected to export 650,000 tons of rice in June.
By May, local enterprises signed contracts to export 4.7 million tons of rice.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the global un-husked rice produce will reach 719.8 million tons in 2011, a year-on-year increase of three percent.
The FAO also forecasts that Vietnam’s un-husked rice produce will hike by two percent to reach 40.7 million tons this year.