|Sacks of rice are loaded at Sai Gon Port. Viet Nam exported 4.24 million tonnes of rice in the first eight months of this year.– VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS) — The State should control the flow of rice exports through Viet Nam's border gates to ensure enough supply for export processing, experts said.
The Department of Plantation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said provinces in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region expected a harvest of 8.3 million tonnes of commercial rice for the entire year, including 7.2 million tonnes from winter-spring and summer-autumn crops and 1.1 million tonnes from autumn-winter and winter crops.
The ministry reported that Viet Nam exported 4.24 million tonnes of rice in the first eight months of this year. In the coming months, exporters must deliver 1.77 million tonnes of rice under export contracts, and supply for export processing should come from their stockpile as well as purchases from farmers, the ministry said.
However, the department noted that numerous enterprises were finding it difficult to purchase commercial rice from farmers for export processing because of scant supply from the farmers.
The department said the enterprises could buy more rice from farmers in the future if rice exports flowing through border gates were placed under State control. To date, there are no exact figures on the volume of rice exports passing through border gates.
A rice expert said the nation has so far harvested seven million tonnes of rice while the total volume of rice exports reached 4.24 million tonnes in the first eight months of the year. This means the domestic market received two million tonnes of rice from farmers, excluding the inventory of enterprises.
Neither the enterprises nor the state offices have detailed information on the exports, added the expert.
Huynh The Nang, general director of the Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2), said the company has proposed to the Government and the Ministry of Industry and Trade that domestic rice exporters were resorting to the sale of the staple through border gates during hard times, but control over exports passing through border gates was needed to ensure supply for export processing enterprises.
According to the Viet Nam Food Association, Vietnamese rice producers aim to export 650,000 tonnes of rice in September. In the last quarter of 2014, they hope to export 1.4 million tonnes of rice, bringing the country's annual rice export volume to 6.3 million tonnes.
The VFA said the average export price of Viet Nam's rice in the first eight months of this year had a year-on-year increase of US$2.95 per tonne to $431.38.
In August, Viet Nam exported 627,100 tonnes of rice worth $270.35 million. The nation's largest customer was the Philippines, followed by African countries, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. — VNS