Price of imported white rice up by 36%, says Bernas

PETALING JAYA: The price of imported white rice has been increased to RM3,200, up from RM2,350 per metric tonne from Friday (Sept 1), says Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas).

In a statement on Friday, Bernas said the price adjustment for imported white rice across its warehouses nationwide is in line with the current global pricing on imported white rice.

"Bernas faced a challenging first half of the year due to unpredictable factors such as climate change; the weakening foreign currency exchange rate; high operating costs and conflicts in the region.

"The factors collectively left a significant mark on the global trading market, later compounded by the ban of the export of white rice by India," it said.

Bernas said it has continued to absorb the increasing price of imported white rice in the last few years.

"However, due to the uncertainty of the current situation and after considering the need to ensure sustainable business operations and industry stability, price adjustments are necessary and unavoidable for the time being," it said.

The company is also working with the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry and related agencies and authorities as well as international trading partners to ensure a stable supply of rice for Malaysia.

"Although the global food market is now uncertain and increasingly challenging, Bernas remains intact and competitive.

"We also take appropriate steps to improve and guarantee the resilience of the domestic rice market by ensuring quality, price stability and product availability. This is our role as the sole gatekeeper for the country's paddy and rice.

On July 20, India, the world's biggest rice exporter, banned shipments of non-basmati white rice to maintain domestic prices at comfortable levels ahead of its general election due in early 2024.

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