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Cablegate: Vietnam to Resume Rice Exports in July

VZCZCXRO4052
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHFK RUEHHM RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH RUEHPB
DE RUEHHI #0739 1721019
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201019Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8057
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 4882
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHZU/ASIAN PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS HANOI 000739

UNCLASSIFIED
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB/TPP AND EAP/MLS
TREASURY FOR SCHUN
USTR FOR DBISBEE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAGR ECON ETTC VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAM TO RESUME RICE EXPORTS IN JULY

REFS: A) Hanoi 394
B) Hanoi 605

1. Vietnam announced on June 18 that it would resume rice exports
from July 2008, lifting the ban that it had placed last March. The
Government of Vietnam (GVN) expects to be able to export up to one
million tons of rice from July to September, bringing 2008 totals to
3.5 million tons by October. That same day the Government of
Vietnam (GVN) announced a new contract to export 600,000 tons of
rice to the Philippines as part of a government-to-government deal.

2. On June 19, officers from the ministries of Agriculture and Rural
Development (MARD) and Industry and Trade (MOIT) confirmed to post
that the GVN would allow up to one million tons of rice to be
exported in the third quarter of 2008. Duong Phuong Thao, officer
in charge of rice exports at the Export Import Department at MOIT
explained that the Prime Minister himself has decided to lift the
ban on rice. However, the GVN has set a minimum price of $800 per
ton, which is over what some of its international competitors are
asking in the commodity markets.

3. The cap for October-December will be announced closer to October.
The GVN had imposed the original export ban on March 26,
instructing exporters not to sign new rice export deals until June
(Ref A). The export restriction aimed to enable food security and
domestic price stability but this year's harvests are exceeding
expectations, thereby lessening food security concerns. According
to GVN sources, the 2008 winter-spring crop in Vietnam's southern
provinces has exceeded the 2007 winter-spring crop by 4 percent.
Given these conditions, MARD stated in a June 2008 report that it
expected the 2008 rice crop to total 37 million tons, which is 1
million tons more than the 2007 harvest.

4. So far this year, Vietnam has exported 2.4 million tons of rice.
With one million tons of exports from July through September, it
will be on target to export 4-4.5 million tons in 2008. In 2007,
Vietnam exported 4.5 million tons.

MICHALAK

2

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