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Rice exporters hope to sell beyond ban   2008-05-21 - VNA

The signing of rice-export contracts may continue after the June 30 deadline for them to stop, according to Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Government recently issued a decision requiring exporters to stop shipping rice to ensure national food security during a time of world rice shortfalls.

However, this has adversely affected farmers in the Mekong delta and the price of paddy had fallen from 6,000 VND to 5,000 VND per kilo. The price of export rice has also fallen by 1,500 VND to 6,500 VND per kilo.

Truong Thanh Phong, general director of the Southern Food Corporation (SFC), said that although it was scarce elsewhere in the world, Vietnam , particularly the Mekong Delta, was not short of rice.

For this year’s winter-spring crop, provinces in the delta had harvested about 9.4 million tonnes of rice. Another 1.4 million tonnes were in storage, he said.

Farmers expect to harvest an additional 1.9 million tonnes from the summer-autumn crop late this month or early June.

Phong said that with such high productivity, Vietnam could ensure national food security even if companies continued to sign rice export contracts.

An industry expert said domestic companies should be allowed to resume rice exports since more than enough was available for the local market and world demand for rice, particularly in the Philippines , Iran , Iraq and Myanmar was high.

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