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.
“We are also going ahead with the Indian rice orders,” Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said last week. Bathiudeen was in discussions with his top officials on the latest moves by his ministry on domestic rice supplies.
“On the directions of President Maithripala Sirisena, we released 52000 MT of locally-milled rice to the markets by last weekend,” he said.
“These rice stocks were milled from the paddy from the Paddy Marketing Board. We are also going ahead with the Indian rice orders -they are giving us a very competitive price.”
On July 31, the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) under Bathiudeen began local pulling paddy stocks for milling. On the orders the Cost of Living Committee in July, the CWE started extracting 80000 MT of paddy with 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 during last weekend to be sold to the public at the lowest possible price. The 52000 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.