Sri Lanka returns to MRPS, confirms international orders to steer rice supply
Sri Lanka has confirmed the purchase of 500000 metric tons of rice from four global suppliers to face pressure from its domestic markets distressed by paddy shortfall for three straight seasons.
Shipments from one country are already being offloaded at Colombo Port. Sri Lanka is also returning back to its scrapped rice MRPS in the next two weeks.
“As a result of these purchases, we have overcome any rice shortages and prices are back to low levels,” said Minister of industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, addressing a special press conference on rice supplies and other essential product prices at his ministry.
“The aim of the Cost of Living Committee (COLC) of the government is to support our consumers with lowest prices. As a result of shortfall in the local paddy production for three seasons, we experienced rice shortages and higher prices in the local market,” said Minister Bathiudeen, and added: “Based on estimates of rice supply shortages in the coming months, COLC ordered 500,000 MT rice to be imported from abroad. As a result my officials at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce ordered rice 500,000 MT rice from Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand and India. The 100,000 MT “raw rice” (Nadu) ordered from India has already started arriving; 8890 MT of it is now being offloaded at Colombo Port. This is a government to foreign private sector order.
“The rest –the 400,000 MT from other three countries are government-to-government purchases and includes other varieties of rice as well. As a result of these purchases, we have overcome any rice shortages and prices are back to low levels. The Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) under my Ministry is receiving these government imported rice stocks and releases them to Lanka Sathosa under this Ministry to be sold at low prices to the consumers.
I am pleased to say that today Lanka Sathosa has the lowest rice prices in the market compared to other local supermarkets. White raw (sudu kekulu) at Rs 65 per kilo, white raw samba Rs 90, samba Rs 84, and Nadu Rs 74.