Rice export restrictions drive up prices

Feb 18, 2008 (DVB), Burmese government restrictions to prevent companies that have not been approved by the regime from exporting rice are leading to a rise in the price of rice.

In the past two weeks, the price of a 50kg sack of regular rice has risen from 14,000 kyat to 16,000 kyat.

A cheaper type of rice has increased in price from 13,000 kyat to 13,500 kyat.

The government has placed restrictions on delivering rice to other regions, and checkpoints outside Rangoon have been checking that rice is not being transported by companies who have not been approved by the government.

Companies with export permits are allowed to buy 500,000 tons of rice in Irrawaddy division, which has a high rice yield, 100,000 tons in Bago division and 10,000 tons in Sagaing division.

Rice traders believe that prices could rise even higher if the government continues to issue permits for rice production.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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