Local rice stocks arrive in Sri Lanka market


Sri Lanka has started infusing locally milled rice to the markets and has also inked an agreement with Indian private suppliers for immediate rice tranches to Colombo, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said Tuesday.

Minister Bathiudeen during a meeting with his ministry officials today on the latest moves on domestic rice supplies said on the directions of President Maithripala Sirisena, the Ministry has released 52,000 metric tons of locally milled rice to the markets by last weekend.

The rice stocks have been milled from the paddy from the Paddy Marketing Board.

The Minister said however, rice stocks will be ordered from India as well. "We are also going ahead with the Indian rice orders -they are giving us a very competitive price."

Accordingly, last Friday (August 25) the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and its Cooperative Wholesale Establishment have, under a Government-to-overseas private sector MoU placed an order for the supply of 70,000 MT of nadu rice to Sri Lanka. This tranche is expected to arrive in mid-September.

Another MoU with Indian private sector for 30,000 MT of samba rice is to be inked in Colombo soon. This rice stock is expected to arrive during late September.

On July 31, the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) under Minister Bathiudeen began pulling local paddy stocks for milling. On the orders of the Cost of Living Committee on 26 July, the CWE started extracting 80,000 MT of paddy from the Paddy Marketing Board's warehouses to mill in CWE's own mills as well as through the private millers.

CWE sources said that 52,000 MT of milled rice from these paddy stocks have already been delivered to Lanka Sathosa outlets during last weekend to be sold to the public at the lowest possible price. The 52,000 MT tranche consists of a variety of rice types.

As a result of Indian purchases and domestic paddy milling, a total of 152,000 MT of rice is flooding the market-of which 52,000 MT is already in the markets at this moment.


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