Short of local rice, imported rice is expensive

03 Sep 2023 11:45am
The display shelves are only filled with imported rice supplies in one store.
The display shelves are only filled with imported rice supplies in one store.

SHAH ALAM - The low supply of local white rice, which is controlled by the government, continues to drag on due to high demand, while the price of white rice imports continues to increase.

Sinar Ahad's survey of several retail stores around the Klang Valley found that they have been facing such a situation for more than three months.

A dealer known as Firdaus, 28, said that suppliers are facing difficulties in supplying a lot of local rice stock that is quickly depleted.

"There is not much local rice stock now. Local rice prices are now usually within the range of RM13.50 to RM14 for 5kg.

"For now, we only have rice imports sold between RM16 and RM18 for 5 kg of comb rice.

"Local rice is fast running out because it is usually bought by food shop traders and residents in here," he told Sinar Ahad.

In the meantime, Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) told the public that the sales price of white rice increased by 36 per cent which is from RM2,350 to RM3,200 a metric tonne, effective Friday.

Meanwhile, the trader known as Kassim, 46, said that problems with local rice supply also occur in his shop, considering rice imports are more expensive.

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Kassim said 10kg of imported rice used to be sold at a price of RM26; now it is RM30.90.

"For 5 kg of imported rice, we sell it for RM15.90 to RM19, depending on the brand," he said.

In the meantime, the trader known as Nur, 30, said the buyer will choose local rice as a frugal measure.

"There are many customers who complained and asked why the price of rice went up, but as traders, what can we do? We sell according to the written price on the rice comb. For now, we still have a local rice supply, but not much," he commented.

Previously, President of the Bumiputera Retailers Organisation (BRO), Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin, said besides the problem of rising prices of imported rice, the country is also facing the problem of a lack of supply of Local Super Special rice 5 percent (SST5).

Mydin supermarket sells between 1,000 to 2,000 packets of rice a day, but the supplies he has received since three months ago are only around 50 to 100 packets.

There is an increase in the price of imported rice in relation to India's move to stop the export of non-basmati white rice as a measure to avoid surges in domestic supply prices due to the rain that hit the country hard.