Argentina ready to fill Vietnam's wheat supply gap: export chamber

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina could export up to 2 million tonnes of wheat to Vietnam per year, replacing shipments from Russia which were suspended because of the presence of thistle seed, Argentina’s export company chamber said on Wednesday.

“Vietnam has recognized that Argentina can be certified free of these pests, which brought Russian wheat into question,” Gustavo Idigoras, head of the Argentine agro-industrial export chamber CIARA-CEC, told Reuters.

The chamber represents companies such as Cargill and Bunge.

“We understand that the talks between Russia and Vietnam are going to go on for a long time,” said Idigoras, who explained that Argentina is in a position to increase the 800,000 tonnes of wheat it currently sends to Vietnam per year to 2 million tonnes.

In mid-October Vietnam asked Russia to suspend the issuance of wheat export certificates because it found thistle seed in Russian cereal shipments.

Global wheat exporter Argentina’s harvest in the current 2019/20 season is estimated at 19.5 million tons, according to the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange.

Reporting by Maximilian Heath, Hugh Bronstein; editing by Grant McCool