The Government recently approved the resumption of rice exports, but capped them at around 400,000 tonnes for April with an eye on national food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sticky rice is not a daily consumption item and so the ministry should not include sticky rice in the 400,000-tonne quota, the provincial Department of Industry and Trade said.
On April 12, the General Department of Customs began accepting online customs declarations from rice exporters, but many of them were left disappointed since the quota of 400,000 tonnes was reached within just three hours. Many firms with rice consignments stuck at ports were unable to submit customs declaration forms.
Nguyen Quang Hoa, Director of Long An-based Duong Vu Co. Ltd, one of the country’s largest sticky rice exporters, said his company bought over 200,000 tonnes a year and was on the verge of bankruptcy because it was unable to export.
Currently, the company has an inventory of 30,000 tonnes, of which 13,000 tonnes were loaded into containers on March 20 and technical steps were completed for loading on ships. It has been unable to submit customs declaration forms.
“If we cannot export, besides paying compensation to customers, we do not know what to do with the rice,” Hoa said.
Long An has around 65,000ha under sticky rice and is the largest producer among Mekong Delta provinces, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.