Viet Nam stops signing of new rice export contracts amid COVID-19 pandemic


On 25 March 2020, the Government of Viet Nam put a halt to the signing of new export contracts pending assurance of domestic supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was prompted by a sharp increase in prices over the past month due to a combination of factors, including a reduced 2019 rice output as well as recent stockpiling amid concerns over the pandemic exacerbating the already strong upward price pressure from a fast pace of sales earlier in the year. On 27 March, the Government announced its own plans to build up State reserves of rice to 270 000 tonnes as a precautionary measure amid the pandemic outbreak. At the end of March, the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed to resume exports and set a monthly quota of 400 000 tonnes for the April-May period but a final decision has not yet been made. Overall, the country’s 2019 aggregate rice production is estimated at 43.4 million tonnes, 8 percent below the 2018 near-average level, while concerns exist for the 2020 main winter/spring crop, harvest of which started in late March, mostly due to saltwater intrusion in the south growing areas.

Country: Vietnam