Bengaluru: Vietnam has begun purchasing rice from India after several decades. 

What makes anyone wonder is the fact that Vietnam is the third highest exporter of rice in the world.

The move comes as local prices have hit the roof. One should also note that the domestic supplies have been limited and the Philippines continues to buy rice from Vietnam. Due to this, a website notes, that the export prices have skyrocketed, forcing the country to look for cheaper imports. 
These high export prices have only made matters worse for importing countries.  

Another important thing to note is that the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted supply chains, a rise in unemployment, leading to an increase in chronic and acute hunger. 

Vietnam had earlier announced that it would stockpile 270,000 tonnes of rice. It must also be mentioned that the paddy output of the country fell (1.86%) to 42.69 million tonnes in 2020.  

Amidst the crisis, Vietnam has ordered shipments of 70,000 tonnes of 100% broken rice from India for the month of January and February. Industry officials informed that the shipments would be provided on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at $310 per tonne. Comparatively, Vietnam’s 5% broken rice would cost around $500-$505 per tonne.

BV Krishna Rao, Rice Exporters Association President, said, “For the first time we are exporting to Vietnam. Indian prices are very attractive. The huge price difference is making exports possible.” Nitin Gupta, the vice president of Olam India’s rice business, stated that demand from Asian and African countries are contributing to rise in export prices but hoped to stay competitive due to available stocks.

Last year, India exported a whopping 14 million tonnes of rice. And from December 2020, China also began importing rice from India after decades. As such, it is believed that if such trends continue, countries which traditionally import rice from Thailand and Vietnam might turn towards the world’s largest exporter of rice, India.