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Vietnam is considering suspending its rice exports, to ensure a good supply at the national level, in the context of the spread of the coronavirus in the country. A decision that could have a major impact on the international market.
Will Vietnam suspend rice exports to Southeast Asia and Africa to preserve its domestic market? There is a succession of contradictory information. Hanoi authorities initially denied any idea of an embargo, but customs has cut red tape for exporters at ports. The Vietnamese Prime Minister finally gave himself until Saturday to decide. He will have in his hands a report on the state of rice stocks in the country. Rice production in Vietnam is indeed in deficit compared to last year, due to the drought.
Less rice in Vietnam and Thailand, storage against coronavirus
A drought that should also cause a much smaller secondary harvest in Thailand, the second largest exporter in the world. This bad news has already boosted rice prices by 10% from these two countries in one month. The coronavirus adds additional stress on supplies, the Vietnamese starting to store rice.
Disorganization in India
If Vietnam, the world’s third largest exporter, decides on an embargo, ” it would be the spark “Which could lead to a further surge in world prices, said a Swiss trader joined by Rfi. ” The order was already in recent days to load the maximum of rice on the boats, in view of the difficulties of India to transport its goods to the ports ” This first world exporter of rice is disorganized by the pandemic. The danger would be that this country and Thailand would stop their exports in turn.
African importers expecting
For now, moderate this trader, there is ” no panic purchases in Africa, there would even be a small drop in imports since the onset of the coronavirus on the continent, importers are expecting ”
China has the ability to prevent soaring prices
” We are not in the situation of 2008added Patricio Mendez del Villar, CIRAD economist. China was outside the world market at the time. This time it can play the referees by selling part of its reserves », Historically high (118 million tonnes). China has also become the world’s leading importer of rice. It therefore has no interest in prices soaring.