Vietnam PM says to fully resume rice exports from May

FILE PHOTO: Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks during the closing ceremony of the 35th ASEAN Summit and related summits in Bangkok, Thailand, November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tuesday agreed to fully resume the country’s rice exports from May, the government said.

“From May 1, rice export activities will be resumed as normal,” Phuc said in a statement on the government’s website.

Phuc’s decision came after a proposal from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to remove a quota on rice exports to fully resume the country’s shipments of the grain from May.

The Southeast Asian country, the world’s third-largest rice exporter, banned rice exports in March and limited shipments for April to 500,000 tonnes to make sure the country has sufficient food during the coronavirus pandemic.

The statement said Vietnam has 6.5 million to 6.7 million tonnes of rice left for export this year, after setting aside a portion for domestic consumption and stockpiles.

Reporting by Khanh Vu, editing by Louise Heavens