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Unused rice exports mount at northern border crossings

Update: April, 17/2015 - 17:16
Rice exports mount in Lao Cai border province. — Photo

LAO CAI (VNS) — Thousands of tonnes of rice is currently stocked up in trailers queued up at the border gates with China in the Lao Cai Province.

The drivers are awaiting customs clearance from the Chinese side, which had slowed the imports of rice as of April 1.

The online Nong nghiep Viet Nam (Vietnamese Agriculture) newspaper quoted a woman named Tran Thi L, who is a resident of the Pho Moi border area, and works as a rice broker between Chinese buyers and Vietnamese sellers, as saying that some rice-carrying trucks had been waiting for more than a week and were forced to turn around and leave, depositing their cargo in the border warehouses that were being rented out.

A report by the Lao Cai Provincial Department of Trade and Investment said that since earlier this month, as little as 7,500 tonnes had been exported, compared with a total of 75,310 tonnes during the first three months of this year.

The Nong nghiep Viet Nam newspaper had interviewed an officer at the Bat Xat Customs Bureau, who preferred to remain anonymous, and said the Chinese side had sent two documents to the provincial customs office to explain the pullback in foreign trade activity.

One of the reasons proffered by the Chinese side was that they were currently carrying out an air force exercise along the border and the closure of subsidiary border crossings for Vietnamese goods was aimed at preventing any stray bullets from being fired across the border.

The other revealed that the Chinese had launched a campaign to crack down on smuggling along the border and also solicited the Vietnamese's coordination.

According to the customs officer, the low river water level had also crippled the movement of ferry boats between the two banks of the river that serve as a border between the two countries and had also contributed to sluggish trade in the border area. — VNS

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