Salt import quotas tipped to rise
HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Industry and Trade will grant import quotas for salt this month under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's proposals.
|A farmer in Nam Dinh Province harvests salt. Import quotas on salt are to be revised this month. — VNA/VNS Photo An Dang
This month, the ministry would license traders to import 53,000 tonnes of salt, including 51,000 tonnes of industrial salt and 2,000 tonnes of pure salt, out of the import quotas at 102,000 tonnes of salt throughout 2012, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said.
This year, the ministry would allocate an import volume of 100,000 tonnes of industrial salt out of the 102,000-tonne salt import quota to enterprises who use the industrial salt to produce chemical products, Bien said.
Meanwhile, import quotas of 2,000 tonnes of pure salt would be allocated to enterprises to make medicine and health care products.
The two ministries had asked enterprises to import the salt for production, not for trading, he said. The Ministry of Industry and Trade also requires importers to produce monthly and quarterly reports on how much salt they import.
The 102,000-tonne quota for salt imports this year was in line with the country's World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments, said Bien, adding that Viet Nam only needed to import high-quality salt for use by some processing industries.
Dao Quang Tuyen, director of Viet Tri Chemical Joint Stock Company, said since early this year, the company must purchase 17,000 tonnes of salt for its production with an import tax rate of 50 per cent because the company was not yet allocated this year's salt import quotas.
Under the existing regulations, the import tax rate for salt under import quotas was 10 per cent.
The company needed 25,000 tonnes of industrial salt for a production line of 20,000 tonnes of chemical products, Tuyen said. It expected to be allocated a 10,000-tonne salt import quota for its production by this year end and reserve by the end of the first quarter next year.
Together with allocation of salt import quotas for local traders, the Industry and Trade Ministry would supervise imports of salt to ensure it was used for production, not for local sales.
According the Ministry Agriculture and Rural Development, this year the country's total salt supply would reach 1.52 million tonnes, including locally-produced salt, stockpiled salt and imported salt. Meanwhile, salt consumption was estimated to stand at around 1.45 million tonnes. As a result, salt supply would exceed demand by 70,000 tonnes.
This year, around 2,000 tonnes of salt would be used by the health care sector and 51,000 tonnes would be needed for production of chemicals.
Under the country's commitment to the WTO, Viet Nam is allowed to import 191,000 tonnes of salt under a tariff quota that can increase by a maximum of 5 per cent per year. — VNS