May 14, 2011

Increase in the price of rice

PRICES of low-quality rice have begun rising as traders prepare to restart exports, rice wholesalers at the Bayintnaung Wholesale Commodity Exchange Centre in Yangon said last week.

“Low-quality zeeya rice has risen by about K1000 (USD 1.20) a bag since early April,” one trader said on May 4, adding that high-quality pawsan was unchanged.

“Myanmar normally exports low-quality rice in May and June, which is why prices are now rising,” he said.

Daw Nge, the owner of Taw Win rice warehouse, said high-quality pawsan rice was steady at about K33,000 a bag (49 kilograms or 108 pounds) but the zeeya variety, which is marginally better than ehmeta (which includes up to 25 percent broken grains), had risen from K15,000 to K16,000. However, the price of ehmeta was stable at K14,000 a bag.

Fixed-on-board, ready to export ehmeta rice was selling for about US$380 a tonne, she added.

A senior Myanmar Rice Industry Association (MRIA) official said the government had halted rice exports in early March after unseasonal rains in October and November 2010 reduced rice yields.

In order to guarantee supplies and keep prices stable, the government stopped exports until the summer paddy harvest began reaching markets, he added.

“This year’s summer paddy harvest will be completed around mid-May and exports started again in early May. About 3 million acres of summer paddy was planted and we expect yields will average about 80 baskets an acre,” the MRIA official said.

Source: Myanmar Times