Rice price rises in Nay Pyi Taw
TO the surprise of industry insiders, the price of rice in Nay Pyi Taw continues to rise. As of the last week of July, the price of one popular brand had reached almost K850,000 per 100 tins (each tin holds 9 gallons), entrepreneurs said.
Rates have been rising since May despite China’s refusal to legalise rice imports from Myanmar.
Ko Myo Linn Aung, who runs a rice storage facility in Pyinmana township, said the price of Ma Naw Thu Kha rice has reached almost K840,000 per 100 tins. “It rose by K20,000 to K30,000 just this month. The brand was selling at K750,000 in May, reaching K800,000 in June,” he said.
The price of other strains is also rising. Pearl Thwe cost K550,000 per 100 tins in June, but was selling at almost K600,000 this week. Less sought-after brands are going for K500,000 to K600,000 per 100 tins.
Myanmar’s most popular rice strains, Paw San Hmwe and Ayeyar Min, are not traded in Nay Pyi Taw.
Dealers are scratching their heads over the price rise. “This year is quite strange. The price is rising even though China has not issued any rice import permits. Usually, the value of rice goes up when the Chinese market opens,” said U Nay Soe on July 24.
Myanmar is trying to regain its position as a major world rice exporter and is encouraging farmers to sell to foreign markets. Rice strains such as Paw San Hmwe and Ayeyar Paday Thar have been particularly popular overseas, deputy agriculture minister U Tun Win told farmers in Magwe Region on July 12.
However, some customers are questioning the quality of Myanmar rice, he said. A shipment to Indonesia was held at the Surabaya Port earlier this year for three months for failing to comply with Indonesian rules.
“We heard they were reconsidering how much rice they wanted from Myanmar. In the meantime, our rice does not meet the food safety criteria in a number of markets, and has occasionally been rejected,” said U Nay Soe.
Nay Pyi Taw is regarded as a relatively expensive market for rice and other foodstuffs.
Ko Myo Lin Aung said, “Prices are higher in Nay Pyi Taw than the rest of the country. The rice we store here is bought in from Bago Region.”
Traders believe prices are likely to continue to rise. U Nay Soe said, “The highest prices in the year come in August, with the end of the summer paddy and before the rainy season paddy is harvested.” – Translation by Emoon