Minister: Price hike possible for imported rice

Ahmad Shabery says although talk on the issue remains speculation, the higher price of rice globally and the depreciated value of the ringgit may contribute to a price hike.

SITIAWAN: The ministry of agriculture and agro-based industry has not dismissed the possibility that the price of imported rice may rise in the future since it is not a controlled item.
Its minister, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, said several factors may contribute to the rise in price, including the higher price of rice globally and the depreciated value of the ringgit.
“However, this (price rise) is mere speculation. The ceiling price of imported rice is not controlled but according to regulations, it cannot be sold at a price lower than local rice to protect the national rice industry.

“Maybe what the Rice Wholesalers’ Association said is correct since there are signs that the global price of rice has risen.
“One tonne of imported rice used to be between US$340 (RM1,461) and US$350 (RM1,504) but now there are signs that it can reach US$400 (RM1,719) per tonne,” he told a press conference after the launching of Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Fisheries College at the Kampung Acheh Fisheries Complex by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, today.
Ahmad Shabery said the rise in the global price of oil may affect the price of imported rice while natural disasters like the one in Bangladesh recently resulted in rising demand for the commodity.
Earlier, Malaysian Rice Wholesalers Association president Wu Zi Lian predicted that the price of imported rice could rise by 10% by the end of this year.

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