New Delhi: Known as world’s third biggest exporter of rice, Vietnam has now started buying the grain from India for the first time in decades after local prices jumped to their highest in nine years. The development comes at a time when domestic supplies ran out of stock.Also Read - India Tour of South Africa: All You Need to Know About the World Class Bio-Secure Arrangements Assured by Cricket South Africa

Vietnam buying rice from India signifies tightening supplies in Asia, which could rise rice prices in 2021 and even force traditional buyers of rice from Thailand and Vietnam to switch to India. Also Read - IND vs NZ: Wasim Jaffer Names Potential Game-Changer for India in Mumbai Test

According to reports, Indian traders have been contracted to export 70,000 tonnes of 100% broken rice for January and February shipments at around $310 per tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis. Also Read - After Parag Agrawal Becomes Twitter CEO, Elon Musk Says 'USA Benefits Greatly From Indian Talent'

India is exporting rise to Vietnam for the first time and the huge price difference is making exports possible to the country. Moreover, the fluctuating supplies and continued Philippine buying have raised the Vietnamese rice export prices to a fresh nine-year high.

As per updates, Vietnam’s 5% broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 is offered around $500-$505 per tonne, significantly higher compared to Indian prices RI-INBKN5-P1 of $381-$387.

Coronavirus pandemic is said to be another reason of the acute shortage of domestic supply of rice n Vietnam. At this time, the chronic and acute hunger is on the rise which is impacting vulnerable households in almost every country, with the COVID-19 pandemic reducing incomes and disrupting supply chains.

The country had last year announced that it would stockpile 270,000 tonnes of rice to ensure food availability amid coronavirus-driven supply chain disruptions worldwide.

Vietnam’s total paddy output in 2020 fell 1.85% to 42.69 million tonnes, equivalent to around 21.35 million tonnes of rice, preliminary data from the government’s General Statistics Office showed. Moreover, the country’s rice exports in 2020 were forecast to have fallen by 3.5% to 6.15 million tonnes.