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Rice prices soar

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Prices of rice of the low and middle variety have been pushed up given the rising export demand.

The Myanmar Rice Merchants Association said, the prices of rice in July were around Kyat 12,000 per bag (108 lbs) for the Zeyar group of rice such as Ngasein and Paw Kywe. It rose to about Kyat 14,500 per bag in early August. After which persistent high demand pushed the price up to Kyat 17,500 to 18,000.

“Export demand is climbing. The middle variety of rice such as Paw Kywe is also in demand. Moreover the new rice crop came into the market late due to unseasonal rains, which damaged rice fields,” a rice merchant from Myang Mya rice commodity exchange said.

“The price of high quality rice such as Paw San Hmwe stablises at the time of new crop coming into the market with little difference in price. The price of low quality rice depends on export demand. Now even broken rice price is shooting up along with low quality rice,” he said.

Normally the price of rice rises by about Kyat 1,500 per bag in the Bayintnaung commodity exchange. It goes higher in the retail market.

“Earlier, the selling price of the lowest quality of rice varied between Kyat 500 to 700 per ‘pyi’ (2.5 kg). We buy this quality of rice now at Kyat 13,000 to 14,000 per bag including freight charges. Previously the price ranged between Kyat 10,000 to 12,000 per bag. So our selling price of the low quality rice is Kyat 900 to 1,000 per pyi,” a retail shop owner in Kamayut Station Road said.

The price of a bag of rice (one and half basket or 24 pyi) rises by about Kyat 3,000 to 5,000 when it reaches the retail market from the rice commodity exchange.

Despite the price rise of low and middle quality rice, the price of high quality rice – the Paw San Hmwe is stable at Kyat 26,000 per bag. The market for it is also stable, a rice merchant from the commodity exchange said.

“The price rise has hit customers because most of them are from lower segments. Some of the middle class also consume this quality of rice. However, for farmers, the price rise at the time of the new crop is beneficial. Farmers in Irrawaddy Division are the hardest hit. Since the Cyclone Nargis, the yield in the area has been very low resulting in a fall in price at the time of new crop coming to the market. The price rise this season will alleviate their suffering a little,” a rice merchant coming from Dedaye said.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 October 2009 20:16 )  

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