MoIT looks into low rice bids as possible sign of competition law violations

May 31, 2024 - 15:55
Some Vietnamese rice export companies have won bids at prices lower than the export price on the world market, prompting questions about potential violations of the competition law.
Rice packed for export at a Lộc Trời Group plant. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh

HÀ NỘI — The Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked the Việt Nam Food Association to verify information about rice exporters winning bids at low prices and report back by the end of the day.

The agency said that if some Vietnamese rice export companies won bids at prices lower than the export price of Vietnamese rice on the world market, it could signal violations of the competition law.

Specifically, in Indonesia's May 21 bid to import 300,000 tonnes of 5 per cent broken white rice, some Vietnamese rice exporters have won the bid at abnormally low prices.

To protect the quality and reputation of Vietnamese rice abroad as well as consolidate the position of Việt Nam in Indonesia, a traditional rice export market for Việt Nam, the department asked the Việt Nam Food Association to work with companies that won the bids for Indonesia and report details on Friday.

An announcement from Indonesia’s State Logistics Agency (Perum Bulog) noted that Lộc Trời Group Joint Stock Company, one of Việt Nam’s largest rice exporters, has won a bid to supply 100,000 tonnes of rice to Indonesia for a total of US$55 million.

Notably, Lộc Trời had the lowest bidding prices among bidders at $563 per tonne, $16 lower than the initial price of $579 per tonne and $24 lower than the domestic rice price listed by the Việt Nam Food Association.

A representative from Lộc Trời said that all of its price bids had been carefully considered to ensure mutual benefits for exporters, farmers and the market as well as for the long-term development of Việt Nam’s agricultural products. — VNS