Thursday, April 23, 2009

10,000 tonnes more rice for Timor-Leste

Vietnam Frees Part of Blocked Rice Cargo

Source: Reuters


Hanoi, April 22 - Vietnam has allowed a rice export company to load 53,500 tonnes for East Timor and Africa blocked by the authorities since late February, a trading company official said on Wednesday.

The Vietnam Food Association has in total halted the shipment of 120,000 tonnes of rice, including 43,500 tonnes bound for Africa, citing violations of export rules, in a move the shipper has said could lead to serious delays and trade disputes.

"We now have permission to ship all the 53,500 tonnes and loading is under way," the official at Kien Giang Trade and Tourism Co (KTC) in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang said.

The cargo included about 10,000 tonnes bound for East Timor, KTC said in a letter sent to the Vietnam Food Association seen by Reuters.

The association had blocked the shipment because it said 10,000 tonnes was destined for Malaysia, one of Vietnam's main rice markets for which Vinafood 2, the country's top rice exporter, is the only authorised supplier.

The head of Vinafood 2 is also chairman of the Vietnam Food Association, the industry body charged with overseeing rice exports.

KTC said its contract with a Singaporean buyer was on a free-on-board basis, so the exporter's responsibility for the cargo ended after it was loaded onto the ship.

It was not immediately clear when KTC would load the remaining 66,500 tonnes, but KTC director Nguyen Hung Linh has said the firm would start loading from July.