Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will remove phytosanitary restrictions on field thistle seeds (Cirsium arvense) in imported agricultural products effective Oct. 1, according to an updated circular released Aug. 15 seen by S&P Global Commodity Insights.
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Field thistle, also known as Canada thistle, is ubiquitous across countries in the Northern Hemisphere such as the US, Canada and Europe. Some local traders are able to assist with phytosanitary issues and facilitate the trading of plant products, primarily grain, from these regions to Vietnamese buyers.
The ministry's move to raise phytosanitary restrictions on field thistle seeds altogether could have significant implications for wheat importers in Vietnam as it opens the doors to direct imports of wheat from Black Sea countries like Canada and the US.
"With this updated policy, we can import [wheat from] all Northern hemisphere origins ourselves instead of going through a middleman like before due to phytosanitary restrictions," said a buyer based in Vietnam.
"This should be good news for US and Canadian shippers," added a grains trader based in Singapore. "But the US has been exporting [wheat] more frequently to Vietnam before this, so perhaps it will be more bullish for bulk demand of Canadian wheat."
However, sources said it could be some time yet before any significant shift in trade flows of grain to Vietnam emerges.
"We are still importing wheat from other origins normally," said a local buyer. "At the end of the day, it will still come down to price. I don't have a straightforward answer on that [the shift of trade flows]."