Vietnam calls for domestic food security after India’s rice export ban

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By Khanh Vu

HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam on Friday called on the country’s food association to ensure sufficient domestic rice supplies and food security after India’s move to curb its exports.

India, which accounts for 40% of world rice exports, on Thursday ordered a halt to its largest rice export category to reduce domestic prices.

“India’s move to curb its rice exports will affect the global rice market,” Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade said in a document sent to the Vietnam Food Association and reviewed by Reuters.

The ministry asked the association, which represents rice exporters and processors, to order its members to strictly follow the rule of maintaining rice reserves equivalent to at least 5% of their export volume in the previous six months.

The ministry, in a separate document, called on rice traders to balance between exports and domestic sales to stabilise domestic prices.

Vietnam is the world’s third-largest rice exporter, after India and Thailand. Its rice shipments in the first half of this year rose 21.3% from a year earlier to 4.24 million tonnes, according to the government’s customs data.

Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $533 per tonne on Friday, traders said, up from a range of $515-$525 on Thursday.

“Though prices have risen, exporters are not rushing to sign new contracts as they wait for prices to go up further,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Traders said they are increasing their purchases of unhusked paddy from farmers in anticipation of a surge in export orders, adding that domestic summer-autumn paddy prices on Friday rose 2%-6%.

The ministry told rice traders “to closely monitor the market conditions to have appropriate production and export plans to ensure profitability.”

(Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Sharon Singleton)

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