Rice, paddy prices take bumpy ride at new paddy harvest season

The market sees unprecedented price hikes this month when the newly harvested paddy (both low-grade and high-grade) cultivated in the monsoon 2022 is entering the market, the market data showed.
On 17 January 2023, the price of high-grade Pawsan paddy from the Shwebo area rose tremendously by K300,000 per 100 baskets within 15 days, according to the non-governmental organization Shwebo Pawsan Paddy Planters Association.
New Pawsan rice wholesale prices touched the highest of K60,000-K66,000 per bag on 2 January and continued to climb at K68,000-K74,000 per bag on 17 January. The wholesale prices of old Pawsan rice also jumped to K92,000-K97,000 per bag from K86,000-K92,000 per bag.
Meanwhile, the prices of sticky rice also hit a high of K85,000-K98,000 per bag depending on the producing areas and different varieties.
Last year, glutinous rice entered the market at K78,000 per bag in the last week of October and the prices peaked at K100,000 per bag in mid-November. Shortly thereafter, the prices moved down and reached a low of K85,000 per bag.
Yet the prevailing price bounced back to K98,000 per bag. Similarly, the price of broken rice increased above K40,000 per bag on 17 January.
Likewise, the prices of low-grade rice moved in the range between K44,000-K50,000 per bag (Thuka rice, rice grown under intercropping system and short matured rice price (90 days)).
The price of paddy moved up to K1.35 million per 100 baskets on 17 January 2023 from K1.31 million at the end of December 2022, said a rice miller from the Wakema area.
At present, the new Pawsan rice varieties were K62,000-K80,000 per bag depending on producing areas, while old ones fetched K70,000-K105,000 per bag. The prices of low-grade rice increased to K49,000-K54,000 per bag.
While the new high-grade Shwebo Pawsan paddy was worth K2 million per 100 baskets, the one from the delta region was valued at K1.65 million per 100 baskets. The prices of paddy from the delta region are forecast to keep high following the high price of rice. The social media posts of price data raised the public’s concerns. That being so, the consumers might panic buying them.
The wholesale prices of Pawsan in the Yangon market are K6,000-K8,000 higher than those of the regions outside Yangon. The retail price will be too high for sure.
The commodity prices (rice, edible oil, garlic, onion, chilli pepper, sugar, jaggery and pulses) inflated in 2022 except for tamarind, hitting a new peak in history.
In early 2023, the prices of those commodities dipped from record highs. Yet, the price of rice headed for a record high in mid-January 2023. – TWA/EMM

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