An initial five bidders, including Vietnam, have signed up to be among the possible suppliers of 800,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines, according to the country’s on April 4.

Those who officially entered the bidding process on April 3 included the Jakarta Stock Exchange-listed LG International Corp., the Vietnam Southern Food Corp., and the shipping unit of the French group Louie Dreyfus Co.

Thai Hua Co. Ltd. and Asia Golden Rice Co. Ltd. from Thailand are also vying for rice contracts.

The Philippines’ National Food Authority (NFA) said it expects more bidders before the deadline of submissions on April 15.

Last March, Agriculture Undersecretary Dante S. Delima said the country needs 800,000 tonnes of rice in 2014 to increase its stockpile, stabilise prices and rein in inflation.-VNA