Impact of rising rice price negligible

Irwan arranged bags of imported rice at his outlet in Tampoi, Johor. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: CGS-CIMB Research says it is maintaining its consumer price index (CPI) projection for Malaysia at 2.8% this year, as it believes the impact of the rising price of rice “still negligible on the index as the weightage is only at 1.1%.”

Malaysia currently has 900,000 tonnes of rice stockpiled, equivalent to four to five months of supply.

“Despite much public discussion over the price of rice in the past few weeks, rice prices on the global market have eased slightly from their 15-year high,” it said in a note yesterday.

The research firm noted that the prices of Thailand’s 5% broken white rice had fallen to US$612 per tonne on Sept 20, compared to a peak of US$648 per tonne on Aug 9.

That said, prices are still elevated compared to the 2022 average of US$437 per tonne, it said.

“Domestically, the government has stepped up efforts to ensure stable supply and prices for consumers that include designating more production for the local market, random checks at wholesalers, and a limit on purchases by businesses,” it said.

Even so, the research firm believed the lifting of the export ban by India will be crucial for a marked decline in global rice prices.

India’s Rice Exporters Association said that adequate rain and a good harvest for the autumn season thus far could improve the supply situation and allow the ban to be lifted by December.

Malaysia’s CPI growth was unchanged in August 2023 at 2% year-on-year (y-o-y) (July 2023: 2%), while core CPI eased to 2.5% (July 2023: 2.8%). — Bernama

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