The Philippines expects to receive 400,000 metric tons of rice from Vietnam which reaffirmed its commitment to resume rice exports to Southeast Asian countries.
The Department of Agriculture said Vietnam, the biggest net rice exporter in the world, offered to help maintain adequate food supply in the region in coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
“We welcome the decision by Vietnam to resume its rice export policy and taking into account the difficulties faced by various stakeholders during this crisis,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
According to a letter furnished by the Finance Department, Vietnam Industry and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh gave assurance for the delivery of contracted volume.
Tran said that on April 28, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the resumption of rice exports to the Philippines and other ASEAN countries starting May 1, 2020.
“I hope the new decision by our Prime Minister will contribute to the joint efforts by ASEAN member states in maintaining adequate food supply to ASEAN Community to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen ASEAN’s internal unity,” Tran said in the letter to the DOF.
“We need to keep the regional market open for trade and ensure the sustainability of the supply chain among ASEAN member-states, especially for food and other essential goods,” Dar said.
Data from the Bureau of Plant Industry showed that from Jan. 1 to May 1, the Philippines imported 666,480 MT of rice from Vietnam, of which 218,300 MT had been delivered, leaving a balance of 448,180 MT.
The bureau issues the sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance for rice imports.
It said that since January 2020, the agency issued SPSICs covering 2.7 million MT, of which 729,000 MT had arrived, with 1.189 million MT to be delivered in May and the rest in succeeding months.
Dar said the Philippine International Trading Corp. also opened the government-to-government rice importation for the supply of 300,000 MT of rice, which would serve as buffer stock during the lean months.
The PITC sent communications to Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Cambodia.