Price of quality paddy slides by K50,000 at harvest time

14 October

The price of high-quality Pawsan paddy (per 100 baskets) has registered a drop of K50,000 as newly harvested paddy is flooding the market, according to the Pathein commodity depot.

“The market has cooled. New paddy is entering the market, bringing down the prices of old stocks. Old paddy has also piled up in the market,” said a dealer.

Myanmar people mainly consume high-quality Pawsan rice grown in the Ayeyarwady Region and Shwe Bo Pawsan rice grown in Shwe Bo township of Sagaing Region.

Pathein Pawsan paddy was previously priced at K824,000 per 100 baskets, and now, the price has fallen by K46,000 compared to the year-ago period.

Similarly, the prices of Pawsan paddy grown in Myaungmya, Dedaye, and Phyarpon areas have registered a drop of K24,000-61,000 per 100 baskets.

“The price of the most common variety of paddy usually drops at the time of harvest. The basic price of paddy is likely to be released in the coming week,” according to the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).

Unlike in the previous years, if the price of paddy ranges below the set price, agro product management groups formed by regional and state governments will buy the paddy rather than private groups and associations.

“The basic price of paddy needs to be calculated on the production cost. It must be a suitable rate. If the market price remains above the basic price, it is good for the supply chain. However, if the market price falls below the basic price, there might be certain problems,” said U Aung Htoo, the Deputy Minister for Commerce, at a coordination meeting of the Rice Market and Price Assessment and Advising Working Committee, which was held on 30 August.

The minister also sought suggestions from the MRF and its associates on fixing the basic rate, market intervention, and market control.

He urged the committee to set the rate depending on the production cost and benefits to farmers and traders, as well as the expected trend in future domestic and international market prices. He also asked it to release the rate by October.

The MRF had fixed the basic price of paddy (low-quality variety) at K500,000 per 100 baskets (one basket is equivalent to 46 pounds) on 8 March, 2018.

Before the basic price was announced for this year, the MRF had urged merchants, millers, agents, private companies, and MRF members to buy paddy at the existing basic rate, if the paddy met the prescribed criteria: 14-per-cent moisture content and a fixed percentage of impurities, such as sand, weed, and small stones. In addition, to increase the demand for paddy and promote exports, MRF members and merchants had proposed buying paddy at the floor rate fixed by the MRF, if the market price falls below the basic price, the MRF had stated in a press release.

Htet Myat (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)