Guyana to resume rice exports to Venezuela under new Petrocaribe deal

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Guyana says it will resume rice shipments to neighboring Venezuela following the renewal of a $130 million rice-for-oil deal between the two South American countries.

Agriculture Minister Leslie Ramsammy said Saturday that Guyana could export as much as 210,000 metric tons (231,500 tons) of rice in the next two weeks. He said he expects to travel to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas in about a week to hasten the renewed Petrocaribe deal, which was launched by late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and offers fuel at preferential terms.

Guyanese rice farmers produced more than 408,000 metric tons (450,000 tons) of rice last year, with Venezuela paying $640 per ton, higher than any buyer in Europe or the Caribbean.