The Philippines will be importing 400,000 metric tons (MT) of rice from Vietnam as a part of a bilateral trade agreement between the two countries based on a letter received by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar. This is a resumption of the contracted rice exportation which was halted in March to ensure Vietnam’s adequate rice supply.

The letter dated May 4 sent by Vietnam Industry and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh to DA states that Vietnam will resume its rice exportation to the country and other ASEAN countries from May 1 onwards. “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,” the minister writes.

Though the DA assured that the country’s rice supply is enough until June, Secretary Dar thankfully welcomed the “the decision by Vietnam to resume its rice export policy and taking into account the difficulties faced by various stakeholders during this crisis.” 

DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry approved 2.7 million MT rice imports for this year. Starting January, the Philippine has already received 729,00 MT of imported rice, with 218,300 MT from Vietnam. The country is expecting to receive the remaining 1.1189 million MT this month and the following months. The Philippines remains the world’s top rice buyer

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