Friday, September 30, 2016

30th September,2016 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Vietnam’s rice exports plummet 16 percent in first nine months

By Bui Hong Nhung   September 29, 2016 | 07:13 pm GMT+7
A girl dries unhusked rice on a road in front of her home. Photo by REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Falling demand in key markets and increased competition have eaten into rice sales.

Vietnam’s rice exports collapsed 16.4 percent on-year to hit 3.76 million tons over the first nine months of 2016, data from the Ministry of Agriculture revealed.Export value also went down by 12.5 percent on-year to $1.69 million.After seeing signs of a recovery in August, the volume of Vietnamese rice exports fell 5.4 percent in September to hit 396,000 tons.The main reason appears to be China, which tightened the management of rice imports through northern borders to prevent smuggled rice from entering its market.Ministry official Hoang Trung said that China has switched to other rice suppliers such as India, Thailand and Cambodia, who offer lower prices.China remained Vietnam’s largest rice importer, buying 1.18 million tons of Vietnamese rice over the first eight months of this year, but that was down 21.4 percent against last year.Vietnam's rice export volume also dropped in the Philippines (down 36.4 percent), Malaysia (down 43.3 percent) and Singapore (down 35.7 percent).

The Ministry of Agriculture said that the bid Vietnam won to export 150,000 tons of rice to Phillipines has had little impact on the domestic rice market, and inventories remain high.The country has about 1.3 million tons of stockpiled rice, of which one million tons has been designated for existing contracts. The remaining 300,000 tons is not enough to fulfill the contract between Vietnam and the Philippines, so traders are reluctant to buy more rice, said Huynh The Nang, chairman of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).The gloomy picture has forced the VFA to lower the forecast export volume for 2016 to 5.65 million tons from 6.5 million tons.If this is accurate, it will be the first time Vietnam has exported less than six million tons of rice in the last eight years.

Illegal Viet Rice Floods Cambodia Market

By David Van Vichet Cambodia, Economics/Business, Headline
Outstanding in their field
Government ignores plight of farmers, millers in free market fallacy 

An estimated of 800,000 tonnes of low-quality Vietnamese milled rice has been imported illegally into Cambodia since 2015, flooding the domestic market with cheap rice driving small domestic millers out of business because they have been unable to compete.After being a net exporter of milled rice, Cambodia became a net importer   2015 with these massive imports from Vietnam, which amounted to almost 50 percent of annual domestic consumption.
In early 2016, disenchanted millers and exporters formed an adhoc team to lobby the former Minister of Commerce to submit a plea to the Prime Minister seeking Government intervention into an impending crisis hitting the industry.  That effort has had little success. The recent Sen Kra Ob harvest season has been catastrophic due to the collapse in global prices.
As the usual foreign buyers of paddy did not show up, combined with tightening liquidity at commercial banks and weak financial health of Cambodia’s millers, the Sen Kra Ob harvest season was almost totally unsellable as the offer price was too low. This has created an endemic financial situation for farmers who are already heavily indebted with very high interest rates short term loans.
Farmers have faced extreme difficulty to sell their paddy as prices have dropped dramatically. Millers are confronting working capital issues to procure paddy since National Bank of Cambodia instructed banks to restrict lending from the fourth quarter of 2015 to try to combat possible lending bubbles. Commercial banks also started to cut all further loans to the rice millers since then, creating a massive crisis for the industry.
Rice industry operators expect that the worst is yet to come as the major harvest of jasmine is due in October, November and December as there will be higher tonnages at stake while millers will remain unable to access affordable and realistic loans for working capital.  Foreign buyers of paddy such as Vietnam may not be active in buying this major crop as they have started to plant their own variety of Jasmine rice, selling at a much lower price globally. 
The millers and the Ministry of Commerce reached out to PM Hun Sen, who summoned a high-level inter-ministerial meeting at the CDC, under the chairmanship of former DPM Keat Chhon on how to best to design a set of policy measures to improve industry competitiveness.
The current distress suffered by farmers and millers alike serves to confirm that a sense of urgency is needed to come up with pragmatic policy measures so as to allow the rice industry to become competitive, survive and thrive.
The government may need to bring all the stakeholders together to gain a full understanding of the problems, not only domestically but also how the regional and global competitive forces can impact local reality.  Thus many pertinent questions beg to be answered by key players, both the government and the private sector.
First, price floor policy should be set at US$218 per tonne. Despite demonstrating goodwill in an attempt to disburse an emergency fund of US$27 million to the millers, the Rural Development Banks has ruled that loan recipients must procure paddy at a determined level in order to “artificially” help farmers.
How can such a policy work given that the global price is trending downward each day and that Cambodian farmers are already hardly competitive overseas given high costs of financing, logistics and utilities? How can a price floor, which is a welfare transfer to the farmers, incentivize millers to buy paddy given that it impacts their profitability?
Second, the Rural Development Bank issued a policy proposal to apply 8 percent interest on working capital for millers, considered as “emergency loans.” Does 8 percent make a difference given that our neighboring competitors have access to  2.5 percent?
Is there a way to provide the same level playing field than our competitors so that our farmers and millers can also have access to 2.5 percent interest rates or interest rates that are lower than 5 percent? Could the government study this possibility since our neighbors can do it? Why not us, given than we can also have access cheap concession soft loans at below 1 percent interest rates from either China or Japan? This is not a subsidy as the bank such as the RDB would still have a positive spread of 3 percent if it lends it back at 4 percent.
The government may have overlooked the fact that farmers cannot survive without the millers and as such millers are the Achilles Heel of the rice industry. The government encouraged investment in rice processing without adequate accompanying economic policy measures to promote the industry. Millers to this day have not been listened to when they are the ones who have taken the most risks in investing in fixed assets and competing in the global markets.

Rice farmers eagerly await Mexican market
Rice farmers examine paddy stalks in a rice field at Mahaicony
By Ravin Singh
THE rice deal between Guyana and Mexico which is currently being hammered out is one which is eagerly being awaited by farmers who anticipate increased prices and production of their paddy. Essequibo rice farmer Prem Das speaking to the Guyana Chronicle on Wednesday

After losing the Venezuela rice market last year, Guyana, through efforts made by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, was able to secure commitments by the Mexican Government to buy some of this country’s rice.Speaking at a reception to observe Mexico’s 206th Independence Anniversary last week, Mexican Ambassador Medel said relations between Guyana and Mexico continue to be strong, especially in the area of food security. He noted that Mexican officials are working hard to ensure certification is ready in order to begin importation of local paddy.
“The Mexican food inspection authority SENASICA is working jointly with NAREI [Guyana’s National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute] to make sure phytosanitary certification is ready, in order to begin the commercialisation of Guyanese paddy,” Ambassador Medel disclosed.
Mexico, which imports some one million tonnes of rice annually, has since
signalled its intention to fast track a paddy deal with Guyana, even as the prime minister continues to seek other markets for local producers.
Against this backdrop, farmers have expressed their anticipation in accessing these markets which will lead to benefits for them and by extension, Guyana.
One such person is Prem Das, a rice farmer from Essequibo, who explained that when Guyana had the Venezuelan markets, farmers had seen a significant increase in prices and it benefited farmers tremendously. He noted that at one point, they had been able to sell a bag of paddy for $5000 to $5500. After losing the market however, he said that prices dropped, and at this point in time farmers are being offered about $2300 or thereabout for a bag of paddy.

“So of course, any market Guyana is able to access, farmers would more than welcome it, because this means better prices for the paddy and eventually an increase in production. Once farmers can get a market to serve in the long term, they would be more than happy,” the farmer said.
He further explained that at the end of the day, farmers look at the prices they are being offered and once they get a solid market to take this rice, in this case the Mexican market, it means farmers will get better prices than what is being offered now.Therefore, he said, once good prices are being offered, then most naturally, farmers would be inclined to produce more paddy, since they would be able to make more money on it.
“So it is all about getting more bags of paddy per acre of land at good prices,” he added.
Chaitman Jorree, another rice farmer from Mahaicony, expressed his desire to see Guyana sending rice to Mexico.

“I feel very good about this not just for me, but for other farmers because I know what they have been going through. The rice industry has been facing many challenges and for us to be able to access any market at this point in time would be great for the farmers,” he said.Jorree said presently he is selling a bag of paddy for almost $3000, but that it was higher than this in previous years. And he believes that once an agreement has been reached between the two countries, prices are likely to go up, which will have direct and indirect benefits for all.The farmer revealed too that after prices had dropped, he reduced the amount of rice he was producing and used the land for cattle-farming. And with an impending agreement, he said that not only him, but other farmers are likely to use these lands which were converted into pastures, to replant rice.

Rice basmati drifted by Rs 100 quintal at the wholesale grains market

Traders said easing demand from retailers against ample stocks position mainly helped rice basmati prices to trade lower.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:September 29, 2016 4:31 pm
Rice basmati drifted by Rs 100 quintal at the wholesale grains market on Thursday due to fall in demand against adequate stocks position.
However, other grains moved in a narrow range in limited deals and pegged at the last levels.
Traders said easing demand from retailers against ample stocks position mainly helped rice basmati prices to trade lower.
In the national capital, rice basmati Pusa-1121 variety eased by Rs 100 to Rs 3,800-4,600 per quintal.
Following are today’s quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,300-2,835, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,815-1,820, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,820-1,825, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 275, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 275, Roller flour mill Rs 960-970 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,070-1,080 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,100-1,110 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 4,700-4,900, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 3,800-4,600, Permal raw Rs 2,000-2,050, Permal wand Rs 2,125-2,200, Sela Rs 2,700-2,800 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,800-1,810, Bajra Rs 1,375-1,380, Jowar yellow Rs 1,800-1,900, white Rs 3,500-3,700, Maize Rs 1,530-1,540, Barley Rs 1,580-1,585.

Asia Rice-Rising supply, thin demand push down prices

* Thai 5-pct broken rice prices dip to $365-$370/T
* Indian crop output seen at a record 93.88 mln T
* Vietnam's rice prices at one-year low
* Buyers of Vietnamese rice turn to Pakistan, Myanmar
By Ho Binh Minh
HANOI, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Thin buying and prospects of
higher supplies pulled down rice export prices in India and
Thailand this week, while Vietnamese prices hovered at a
one-year low on weak demand, traders said on Wednesday.

Harvesting of the main crop in Thailand, the world's
second-biggest rice exporter after India, might peak next month
with the output contributing to more than 80 percent of the
country's total production.

"October will be the period when new stocks arrive so prices
will continue to drop," said a trader in Bangkok, who expects
prices to drop further between $5 and $10 per tonne.

Thailand's benchmark 5-percent broken rice <RI-THBKN5-P1>
eased to $365-$370 a tonne on Wednesday, free-on-board (FOB)
basis, from $370 a week ago.

Wednesday's prices are at par with those in late August,
when rates fell to the lowest in nearly six months.

Thailand's main crop rice output is seen at 25.02 million
tonnes this year, up 4.8 percent from last year, according to
the agriculture ministry.

Prices of India's 5-percent broken parboiled rice
<RI-INBKN5-P1> eased to $368-$378 per tonne this week, from the
wider range of $370-$380 two weeks ago, due to weak exports,
though a stronger Indian rupee limited the downside.

"Due to the appreciating rupee, we should have raised prices
but couldn't due to the weak demand," said an exporter based at
Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

"Expecting a bumper new-season crop, traders have slowed
down purchases," he said.

India's summer-sown rice output is seen at a record 93.88
million tonnes in the crop year till June 2017, as plentiful
monsoon rains help boost yields, the farm ministry said.

Exports of India's non-basmati rice in April-June, the first
quarter of its fiscal year, rose 2.3 percent from a year ago to
1.74 million tonnes.

In Vietnam, the world's third-largest rice exporter, the 5
percent broken grain <RI-VNBKN5-P1> prices fell to $330-$340 a
tonne, FOB basis, from $335-$345 last week, and the 25-percent
broken rice also eased to $310-$315 a tonne, both at their
lowest since Sept. 2015, based on Reuters data.

"Philippine firms have started small-volume buying from
Vietnam, even though they have not obtained import quotas," said
a trader at a European firm in Ho Chi Minh City.

"Most buyers have turned to Pakistan or Myanmar," another
trader said, adding that Pakistan offers its 5-percent broken
rice at $325 a tonne, FOB basis.

Vietnam's rice exports this year are expected to drop 13.8
percent from 2015 to 5.7 million tonnes following regional
competition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report
this month.

(Reporting Ho Binh Minh in HANOI; Additional reporting by
Pairat Temphairojana and Panarat Thepgumpanat in BANGKOK and
Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

September: A Nice Time to Celebrate Rice Research

Posted by Jan Suszkiw, Public Affairs Specialist, Agricultural Research Service, on September 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM
Glenn Buffkin, store manager of Mayflower Foods, Stuttgart, Arkansas, presents a special display of rice products to celebrate National Rice Month.
September is National Rice Month, and the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Stuttgart, Arkansas, is well positioned—literally and figuratively—to support the production, harvest, and public enjoyment of this versatile and nutritious grain. And on the world-food security front, ARS’ Stuttgart center is closing in on genes that regulate rice’s uptake and storage of iron, thiamine and other important vitamins and minerals—a pursuit that could bolster the nutritional value of this cereal grain crop as a staple food for roughly half the world’s population.
In the United States, nearly 85 percent of the rice eaten by consumers is grown on family-run farms across six States:  Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. Of these, Arkansas produces about half of all U.S. rice on nearly 1.3 million acres of cropland.
Stuttgart, which is located about 55 miles southeast of the state capital (Little Rock), is referred to as the “Rice and Duck Capital of the World” because of its proximity not only to rice fields and two of the Nation’s largest rice mills but also to the Grand Prairie region, to which migratory waterfowl, hunters, and duck callers are drawn in equal measure.
Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center is co-located with the University of Arkansas at Stuttgart, making the two organizations an epicenter of sorts for cutting-edge research on the grain crop.  Between them, the ARS center and university boast more than 15 PhD scientists specializing in such areas as rice genetics, grain quality, disease and pest management, and cultivation.
The Stuttgart center also curates the USDA-ARS National Small Grains Collection, which contains specimens of both cultivated and wild rice acquired from around the world.
“Central to our research effort is using natural genetic variability found in the USDA-ARS rice collection to identify genes and traits that can help sustain U.S. production. This includes identifying genes linked with improved yield, superior milling, cooking and nutritional quality, and reduced losses due to disease and weed pressure,” says Anna McClung, the center director. “Future directions include a greater focus on abiotic stress factors associated with a changing climate,” she adds.
The impact of the research is far-reaching, with global implications in world food security as well.
In other cases, the ARS center staff play a more local role, including working with the community to help create awareness about ARS rice research. This month, for example, the center’s staff provided 15 pounds of raw grain and freshly cut rice plants to help assemble a display celebrating National Rice Month at the local grocery store, Mayflower Foods.
“Being located in Stuttgart is a huge advantage to us in that we have direct access to all segments of the rice industry—producers, millers, and processors—with benefits passed along not only to U.S. consumers, but worldwide as well,” says McClung

Philippine Rice is what we make of it

Posted on September 30, 2016

If there is ever a product that most profoundly shaped Philippine politics, economic policy, and international trade, rice (along with sugar) would have to be it. Yet most policy initiatives dealing with rice are sadly defensive. Such, despite the fact, that most Filipinos implicitly profess heavy emotional investment in that little grain.

 The Philippine Rice Research Institute, for one, considers “zero rice importation or self-sufficiency has always been the elusive goal of Philippine agriculture policies regardless of political dispensation. Any inferior goal is unpatriotic and criticized as a failure of the government and the nation as a whole.”

Pons Intal and Marissa Garcia (in a 2005 PIDS study) discussed the magnitude of rice’s political clout in this way: “the price of rice has been a significant determinant in election results since the 1950s.” That includes the Martial Law years. A possible exception is Estrada’s 1998 popular runaway election.

The problem is basic: we only have around 4.7 million hectares of land suitable for rice. Compare that with 7.8, 10.8, and 13.8 million hectares of Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia respectively. Those millions of hectares are irrigated well and fully by natural large river systems.

The Philippines does not have an equivalent inherent irrigation source and the man-made ones are poorly maintained. Ironically, the modern rice breeds we use (same with Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia) for greater yields and to survive require heavy amounts of water. Unfortunately, our incoming water flow is almost appallingly nil compared to the aforementioned three countries.

Thus, rice yields are at 5.75 tons per hectare (t/ha)., 3.1 t/ha., and 5.13 t/ha. for Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, respectively. The Philippines does have a respectable 4 t/ha. but for an area less than half of its competitors.

Add the fact that Vietnam (land area of 332,698 sq. km.) has a population of roughly 92 million. Thailand 513,120 sq. km., for a 67 million population. Indonesia 1,904,569 sq. km., for a 255 million population.

The Philippines (area 300,000 sq. km.) needs to feed a population of 100 plus million. Rice consumption, incidentally, means not only as food but also as seed, animal feed, or other non-food uses.

The population increase also relates to the need to convert arable land for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes.

And yet, to add to the fundamental disadvantages that the Philippines has regarding rice production, is the inability of the rice industry to accept and adjust to the same: “farmer interest in rice farming has diminished through the years due to the increasing cost of rice cultivation brought about by the rising opportunity cost of labor and land and the availability of lower priced imported rice, which further dampened incentives for rice production.” Then, also “the lack of proper maintenance of irrigation facilities has meant the deterioration of these systems and the reduction in the effective life of these investments and area coverage.” (Intal and Garcia)

The issue of rice protection has cropped up (pun intended) as a decision is being made to lift WTO quantitative restrictions. When that happens, cursing and gnashing of teeth will be predictably heaped on the WTO, the multilateral trade system, globalization, and the free market.

But then: while protected industries welcome quantitative restrictions or high tariffs, the un-talked about logical unwelcome offshoot is smuggling.

So, despite the Philippines being among the world’s top importers of rice, we still had a rice smuggling problem amounting to almost 50,000 metric tons weekly (as reported by The Diplomat in 2014).

The problem is not the WTO nor smuggling; it’s the inability to feed the huge demand. An inability existing even before the Republic was born.

We’ve practically been a net importer of rice since the 1870s. Except for a small window in the early 1970s, we’ve never achieved rice self-sufficiency. And our insistence in becoming so only resulted in rice prices amongst the most expensive in Asia. Place that within the context of a poverty rate of around 25%.

The Foundation for Economic Freedom’s position calling for the removal of the quantitative restrictions is, I think, the right one: it will “lower rice prices, reduction in hunger, and lower inflation”. In the end, the poor benefits.

And food security should be better defined as managing our food stocks rather than insisting on production self-sufficiency.

Finally, we need to explore other options aside from mere restrictions, importation, and greater budgetary outlay.

One way of thinking about it: do we view local rice production as a means of feeding our citizenry or can it be shifted for cultural, social, tourism, and heritage purposes?

In short, retain the lands most suited for rice, employ willing and able farmers, yet without the pressure of rice production as the source of staple for the whole country.

By reframing rice’s importance, not necessarily now but thinking long term, we can then limit and put focus regarding people, land, money, and effort (including training and regulation) to a rice production that is doable and reasonable.

Jemy Gatdula specializes in international economic law (WTO and ASEAN), and teaches international law and legal philosophy at the UA&P School of Law and Governance.

9/29/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report


Long Grain Cash Bids

Long Grain New Crop




Nov '16
Jan '17
Mar '17
May '17

Jul '17

Sep '17

Nov '17


Rice Comment

Rice prices ended the day higher, but gains were limited. 73% of the crop has been harvested nation-wide, and in Arkansas 84% of the crop was in the bins as of Sunday. Export sales were 46,800 tons for the week. November continues to have support at the low of $9.35, with resistance near $10.

Rice District Members Educate Congress on U.S. Rice Industry 

WASHINGTON, DC -- This month, rice industry champions, Representatives Ralph Abraham (R-LA) and Rick Crawford (R-AR), and Senator John Boozman (R-AR) gave one-minute speeches on the floor of the House in recognition of National Rice Month.  (To view speech, click on name.)
"Right now, America's family rice farmers are harvesting what will end up being about 18 billion pounds of rice, off three million acres of sustainably-managed farmland," said Abraham.  "My district alone produces an annual crop worth over $119 million, from over 110,000 planted acres across 11 parishes."
Abraham added, "Much of the United States' annual rice production will be exported to more than 120 countries around the globe, and much of that will be distributed as humanitarian aid...It is my pleasure to recognize the rice growers and millers in my district, and nationwide, for the great contributions they make feeding the United States, and in fact, the world."
Crawford, who represents the largest rice-growing Congressional District in the nation, focused on U.S. agriculture's challenge to feed nine billion people by 2050.  "But here in the United States Congress, one of the problems I run into is that people don't know that we grow rice in the United States," he said.  "But I do what I can to spread the word about American rice production, including sending other Members rice crispy treats on their birthdays."
Crawford concluded, "If we're going to use rice as a tool for solving the world's need for affordable foods, we've got to keep telling the story about American rice.  I can't think of any other food more important for feeding the world."
Boozman made clear he's an industry champion, saying, "I'm pleased to promote policies that enable our farmers to manage their risk so that high quality U.S. rice remains a staple on tables across the globe."
About the growing number of U.S. jobs and economic output associated with the rice industry, Boozman said he supports opening up new markets for U.S. rice to compete:  "Rice farmers all across America would benefit from a change in policy with Cuba because rice is a staple of the Cuban diet.  The USDA estimates that U.S. rice exports could increase by $365 million per year if financing and travel restrictions were lifted."

Arkansas Rice Industry Donates More Than 115,000 Pounds of Rice to Arkansas Rice Depot 

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- In honor of National Rice Month, the Arkansas rice industry donated 117,000 pounds of rice to the Arkansas Food Bank today.  The donation will provide more than 1 million servings to help feed hungry families across the state.  Participating rice mills are Cormier Rice Mill of DeWitt; Windmill Rice Company of Jonesboro; Riceland Foods, Inc. of Stuttgart; Producers Rice Mill of Stuttgart; Riviana Foods of Carlisle; Southwind Rice Mill of Pine Bluff; and Specialty Rice, Inc. of Brinkley.  

The Arkansas Food Bank is a statewide food bank that works with 600 Arkansas hunger relief programs including food pantries, school food programs, disaster relief organizations, and a statewide hunger hotline.  The donation followed Governor Asa Hutchinson's Rice Month proclamation at the State Capitol.
Arkansas is the number one rice-producing state in the nation.  This year, Arkansas family farmers will produce over 50 percent of the nation's rice.  The Arkansas rice industry contributes more than $6 billion annually to the state's economy and employs over 25,000 Arkansans.

Duterte, Quang agree to 'level up' trade between PH, Vietnam

Duterte thinks it's high time Vietnam, a major source of rice for the Philippines, imports more Philippine products

Pia Ranada
Published 10:44 PM, September 29, 2016
Updated 10:44 PM, September 29, 2016

TRADE PARTNERS. President Rodrigo Duterte shakes hands with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang at the State Palace in Hanoi on September 29. Photo by KING RODRIGUEZ/PPD

HANOI, Vietnam – On President Rodrigo Duterte's official visit to Vietnam, he and Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang agreed to boost trade between their two countries."The Presidents of both countries, Philippines and Vietnam, have agreed to really level up the trade that we have. In other words, increase the trade numbers that we have, essentially, since the Philippines still has a lot of products that have great potential in the Vietnam market," said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Thursday, September 29.Lopez was among the Cabinet secretaries who accompanied Duterte to the bilateral meeting with Vietnam officials at the State Palace earlier that day.During the meeting, Duterte and Quang agreed to develop a Joint Trade Committee between their countries to operationalize efforts to increase trade.

Trade between the two nations is mainly in the area of agriculture with Vietnam the source of 48% of the Philippines' total rice imports, said Lopez.Though no trade agreements were signed during the meeting, Lopez said there is a "mutual understanding" that Vietnam will continue supplying the Philippines with its rice requirements.The "trade deficit" that results from the Philippines importing more than it exports to Vietnam is something the Duterte administration wants to address, said Lopez.Duterte thus encouraged the Vietnamese to import more products from the Philippines."The President himself asked for cooperation from the Vietnam people to consider importing products from Philippines as we import rice from Vietnam," said Lopez.
Some potential Philippine products that may find a market in Vietnam are high-value agricultural products, furniture, construction materials and fabricated metals.

Duterte himself boasted about the country's high-quality furniture, said Lopez.More and more Filipino companies are entering Vietnam. These include RC, San Miguel, the Ayala group, Jollibee, and Splash, said Lopez.Duterte is inviting Vietnamese investors to come to the Philippines."Now, the President invited, in return, Vietnamese corporations: 'Invest in the Philippines, we will protect your investors, your investments, contracts will be honored,'" related Lopez.Duterte also expressed his desire for the Philippines and Vietnam to exchange expertise and best practices in the fields of agriculture and education. Both Presidents agreed to develop a Mutual Recognition Agreement on food safety, especially for products in the agriculture and fisheries sectors, a move which aims to increase trade. –