Price of rice, defy predictions, move up in Chinese New Year

Workers packaging sacks of rice at a warehouse in Yangon.  photo: Tin Zar Hlaing
Workers packaging sacks of rice at a warehouse in Yangon.  photo: Tin Zar Hlaing

The prices of rice and broken rice have been on the rise in the Chinese New Year, defying expectations of a decline, according to the Rice Merchants Association of Mandalay.
“We expected the prices of rice and broken rice to decline as usual during the Chinese New Year. But Chinese traders have purchased a large quantity of rice to store in their warehouses as a result of the panic following the outbreak of the coronavirus. Moreover, traders have purchased rice through contracts and it has been shipped via the sea route,” said U Sai Kyaw, General Secretary of the association.
“In January, the price of rice rose to K2,000 per bag, while the price of broken rice increased to K500-1,000 per bag. There are 11 companies permitted to export Myanmar rice,” according to the Rice merchants Association of Mandalay.
“Myanmar has sold a large volume of rice. And, we guessed China would purchase a lot of rice when the time is up. Moreover, the demand for rice will be higher than the supply this year. We won’t suffer because of the virus,” said U Sai Kyaw.
Myanmar farmers grow both summer and monsoon paddy. Monsoon paddy is mostly grown in every village in the country.
Myanmar exports nearly all types of rice and broken rice to China, except the Pawsanhmwe, Majandaw and Ayarmin varieties, which are mainly consumed by the local populace.—Tin Zar Hlaing (Translated by Hay Mar)

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