Monday, June 4, 2012

Vietnam wins Philippines rice deal

Ha Noi (Viet Nam News/ANN) - Vietnam has been selected to supply 100,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines because its price is much lower than its competitor Thailand, according to Vietnam News Agency However, the Philippines National Food Authority was still awaiting for government approval to finalise the deal. Shipments were expected to arrive before the lean months from July. In the first quarter of this year, Vietnamese businesses signed commercial contracts to ship 500,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines this year. The 100,000 tonnes was part of 120,000 tonnes allotted to the authority, while private traders and farmer groups will import the other 380,000 tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam shipped 3 million tonnes of rice in the past five months to earn US$1.4 billion. During this period, rice exports to China increased fourfold in volume and value, making it Vietnam's largest rice consumer. The ministry said it expected 6.25 million tonnes of rice to be shipped abroad this year, 16 per cent more than its previous 5.4 million tonnes. To meet the target, the ministry has urged local rice businesses to expand their outlets instead of focusing on traditional markets. Africa, for example, had offered substantial growth, with major markets such as the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal consuming large amounts of Vietnamese medium-grade rice, it said. To better streamline the country's rice export, the ministry also recommended restricting the number of domestic rice businesses who qualified to export to less than 100. According to the ministry, the country exported 7 million tonnes of rice yearly, with more than 200 businesses taking part in the activity. This had caused unhealthy internal competition which had a negative impact on the country's export rice quality and price.