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Mekong deluge delays rice buying in Vietnam
Publication Date : 30-07-2013
The Vietnam Food Association has sought more time to buy 1 million tonnes of rice for the temporary reserve, saying heavy rains in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta have prevented farmers from harvesting.
The government had set a deadline on July 31, and the association wants two more weeks.
The programme began on June 15, and food companies have managed to buy only 60-70 per cent of their allotted quotas.
They said they cannot find enough paddy to buy since the delta harvest has been prevented by the rains.
According to the Cultivation Department, around 700,000 out of the 1.68 million hectares of summer-autumn rice are yet to be harvested.
Rice prices in the domestic market have risen significantly in recent days.
Currently traders buy paddy at 5,600-5,700 dong (US$0.26-0.27) per kilo for long-grain varieties and 5,300-5,400 dong for IR50404, up around 500 dong from a month ago.
Rice export prices have also gone up recently, the VFA said, adding that exporters have been selling 5 per cent broken rice at US$405 a tonne.
The VFA has also raised the floor price for 25 per cent broken rice by US$10 a tonne to US$375.
As of July 18 businesses had exported 3.73 million tonnes for a free-on-board value of US$1.6 billion.
In a recent meeting, VFA chairman Truong Thanh Phong assured that the export situation would improve in the coming months, and advised firms not to be in a rush to sell, thus undercutting each other.
With advantages like competitive prices and fresh rice, Vietnam has the opportunity to increase exports, he added.