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May 2024

Rice pact in the offing as global prices soar

The governments of Vietnam and the Philippines will soon sign a pact on rice trade to ensure food security, Vietnamese authorities said on Thursday.

The deal comes amid soaring rice prices in the Philippines, buoying inflation at a time of rising fuel prices, although the government says local supply of the grain is ample.

News of the deal came in a statement released after Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met on the sidelines of an ASEAN summit in Indonesia, but there were no further details.

“Just having that as an assurance will stabilise the situation, not only for the Philippines, but for all of us in the region,” Marcos told Chinh, according to a statement issued by his office.

Vietnam was the world’s third-largest rice exporter last year after India and Thailand, and the Philippines is its largest buyer, filling nearly 90% of its import needs.

Marcos, who is also Philippine agriculture secretary, welcomed the neighbouring nation’s offer of a five-year supply deal.

This week the Philippines began enforcing price ceilings for rice, to protect consumers against what it called widespread price manipulation by traders in league with industry cartels.

Global rice prices surged to 15-year highs after India, which accounts for more than 40% of global trade, ordered a halt in July to its largest category of exports, in a bid to calm domestic prices. QR Code

Published Date: September 8, 2023

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