HCM CITY – Rice businesses in the South are again able to ship through HCM City’s Cát Lát Port after a month’s stoppage due to a pileup of containers after many consignees suspended business due to COVID-19.
Berth 125, which had stopped accepting rice consignments during the month, started doing so again on Monday (August 16), Nguyễn Trung Kiên, deputy chairman and general secretary of the Việt Nam Foodstuff Association, said.
However, the reopened berth only allows up to around 70 containers of export a day, which is not enough to satisfy exporters' demand, and the usual volume of rice transported through the berth is very high, said Phạm Thái Bình, general director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture JSC.
Nguyễn Chánh Trung, deputy general director of agricultural company Tân Long Group, said that there are still other logistical and staff problems due to the social distancing in the city.
According to Việt Nam Logistics Business Association, rice exporters should load their rice into containers at their storage facilities instead of loading them at the Berth 125 to reduce congestion there. However, not many companies can afford to do so.
Phan Xuân Quế, general director of Vinafood 1, said the pandemic is making exporters reluctant to buy large quantities though farmers in the Mekong Delta have an abundance of rice they just harvested.
Export in the first seven months of the year were less than 3.5 million tonnes, a 12.7 per cent year-on-year drop.
Cát Lái is Việt Nam’s largest international port. – VNS