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Farmers, traders in paddy price war

Update: March, 23/2012 - 10:10

CAN THO — Large volumes of paddy harvested from the winter-spring crop remain unsold as traders and farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta haggle over prices.

Dried IR 50404 paddy was priced at VND5,100-5,200 per kilogramme yesterday, VND100 lower than on Tuesday, but traders were reluctant to buy.

Nguyen Van Tan, a farmer in Thanh Hung Commune in Kien Giang Province's Giong Rieng District, said his family has had to stockpile dried paddy since traders were trying to force prices down.

"Though we need money to pay for inputs for the last winter-spring crop, we cannot sell paddy at such low prices proposed by traders.

"We had to get some high-interest loans instead."

Nguyen Van Cong of Thot Not District, Can Tho, said traders offered to pay VND5,500 per kilogramme of high-quality paddy in which he had invested VND3,200 to VND3,500.

In An Giang high-quality paddy (meant for export) was sold for VND5,600-5,650 per kilo.

Tran Van Sau, a trader from An Giang's Chau Phu District, said he bought some 20 tonnes of paddy but sold only two tonnes.

"We are waiting for exporters to purchase our rice before further purchase of winter-spring paddy from farmers."

Deputy director of the An Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Doan Ngoc Pha said farmers had stockpiled large volumes of winter-spring paddy and were waiting for higher prices.

According to the Viet Nam Food Association (VFA), rice export prices went up by US$10-15 per tonne this week while paddy prices increased by around VND150 per kilogramme.

After six days of implementing a plan to buy the grain for a rice reserve, VFA members have bought 130,000 tonnes out of 1 million tonnes to be bought by April 30.

Pham Van Quynh, director of the Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, lamented that it was difficult for farmers to sell their paddy after a harvest because the grain had to go through so many "intermediaries" before reaching the exporters. — VNS

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