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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Rice price hits 18-month low

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HCMC – The export price of Vietnam’s 5% broken rice has fallen to US$385 per ton, down US$100 per ton against the same period last year and the lowest since February 2020, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

Similarly, export prices of India’s 5% broken rice have dropped to US$352-356 per ton, down US$29-31 per ton from early July due to low demand from the global market.

Some rice exporters in Can Tho, Tien Giang and An Giang provinces said the complicated Covid-19 situation has forced many rice mills in the Mekong Delta, which is the country’s biggest rice production region, to close down. 

A leader of Trung An Hi-Tech Farming Joint Stock Company said the company received orders to export rice to South Korea in mid-August. However, it had to request the partners to delay shipments after the southern localities decided to tighten social distancing measures. 

Truong Minh Tam, acting director of the Tan Phat Import Export Commercial One Member Company Limited, which has a rice mill in Lap Vo District, Dong Thap Province, said the company has signed contracts to export 20,000 tons of rice and needs a large number of laborers to fulfill the orders.

However, the company’s workforce has shrunk by half due to stringent social distancing measures.

Moreover, logistics costs have increased by some VND200 per kilogram of rice, equivalent to nearly 2% of rice prices.

Tam said the company is trying to fulfill existing orders but is hesitating to receive new ones due to the shortage of human resources and increasing production costs, let alone difficulties in transportation. 

Le Minh Hoan, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the ministry has established a special team led by a deputy minister to monitor the harvest, trade and consumption of farm produce, including rice, in the South.

The ministry is also working with the localities to help rice traders ride out difficulties. 

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