Nov 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Ministry of Industry and Commerce announced today that the first batch of low priced rice out of the huge 100,000 MT Indian rice tranche has been offloaded and is now moving within Sri Lankan retail market, ending any supply fears.
According to the press release issued by the Ministry during the November 4-5 weekend, a total of 20,000 MT tranche of parboiled 'nadu' rice sent by an Indian supplier to the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) of Sri Lanka have been offloaded at Port of Colombo and been distributed to CWE warehouses.
The value of the received 20, 000 MT rice stock is USD 8.9 million (Rs 1.36 billion). This rice stock is now being re-distributed from CWE warehouses to Lanka Sathosa outlets to be sold at only Rs 74 per kilo. Any consumer purchasing more than 25 kilos of this rice from Lanka Sathosa can buy them even lower-only Rs 73 per kilo.
Meanwhile, the open international tender call for 200,000 MT rice in three varieties, also successfully closed in Colombo last week.
The Cabinet Appointed High Powered Tender Board is expected to pick the qualifying suppliers for this 200,000 MT international tender by this Friday 10 November. Private sector suppliers from Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, India, and Vietnam quoted. Several Sri Lankan suppliers too submitted their bids in this 200,000 MT total which consists of three varieties-90,000 MT Parboiled Nadu rice, 60,000 MT Samba (Parboiled) rice and 50,000 MT White Raw rice.
Of the 200,000 MT rice called for, Sri Lanka expect 100,000 MT to arrive in Colombo by end November 2017 and the other 100,000 MT to arrive by end of December 2017.
According to Minister of Industry and Commerce Bathiudeen, domestic Lankan rice market has faced supply pressures as three consecutive harvesting seasons (2016 & 2016/'17) failed to produce usual paddy volumes resulting in a 50% fall in domestic rice supply this year, thereby necessitating imports to the country to sustain the market.