ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s farm gate paddy prices are have risen to around 95 rupees a kilogram, amid rising retail rice prices, above a 75 rupees promised in a relief package, a milling association said exceeding an extra premium promised by the government.
Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said earlier this week that 75 rupees a kilogram will be offered to farmers which is 50 rupees higher than the usual price for farmers who face crop losses due to a fertilizer ban.
“We do not think the government will need to buy paddy,” Muditha Perera, President of the United Rice Millers Association told reporters.
“Today in the freemarket, the private sector is buying rice at 95 rupees a kilogram. If there are insufficient stock, this price can go up further.”
Perera said he thinks paddy prices can go up as much as 120 rupees a kilogram.
Sri Lanka’s retail rice prices are around 140-160 rupees a kilogram now. There are fears of a crop shortfall of around 30 percent of more.
Sri Lanka has imported some rice from Myanmar, but imports are controlled.