July 19, 2017 ( by Colombo Page )
July 19, Colombo: Thailand has also agreed to sell rice to Sri Lanka in addition to Pakistan and Myanmar, to meet the country's urgent demand Minister of Industries and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.
"Our efforts to procure rice from abroad on the directions of the President are a success" said Minister of Bathiudeen after he was briefed by the officials who visited the three countries seeking to purchase a total of 500,000 MT of rice on Tuesday.
"We thank the Government of Thailand for its prompt response. There is no doubt we received quotes for high quality rice from Bangkok at best prices. This is also a sign of the strength of ongoing Thai - Sri Lanka bilateral trade. We also thank the governments of Pakistan and Myanmar for their immediate response," he added.
The total rice tranche ready to be flown in from Thailand, Pakistan, Myanmar and India now stands at 255,000 MT. This total consists of both Government-to-Government (G2G) and Government-to Private Sector bids.
Accordingly, in a G2G request for rice, the Sri Lankan team of officials met Thai Ministry of Commerce officials on July 12 and 13 in Bangkok and opened talks for procurement of 200,000 MT of rice.
After discussions and sample tests. Sri Lankan officials have placed an immediate order for 100,000 MT of par boiled rice (Nadu) with the Thai government at a price of US $ 425 per MT (supplier's price before shipping for a kilo of rice at SL Rs 65.31 as of July 18 rates). Another 100,000 MT order of white raw rice from Thailand was held back for the time being by Lankan officials due to comparatively higher Bangkok price viz-á-viz Myanmar's quote for the same.
Letters of Agreement for the 100000 MT of par boiled rice from Bangkok are to be issued by Colombo during this week and shipping for it from Bangkok is to commence anytime as soon as Thai Attorney General's office issues the go-ahead, Minister Bathiudeen stated.
Under Minister Bathiudeen's instructions, another team of officials flew out to Pakistan and Myanmar on July 7 and returned to the island on July 14 after successful talks. This team led by Ministry Secretary Chinthaka Lokuhetti and included a food technologist, reported that Myanmar government too agreed to supply 30,000 MT white raw rice immediately. The supplier price is a range-at US $ 290 per MT to $ 350 per MT (supplier's price before shipping for a kilo of rice at SL Rs 44.57 to Rs 53.80, as of July 18 rates). Myanmar also agreed to supply another tranche of par boiled rice in September �the quantity and price to be agreed. Pakistan government is supplying 25,000 MT of white raw rice immediately, subject to a final price quote and Pakistan also agreed to supply another 100,000 MT of par boiled rice in September (final price to be agreed).
Another 100,000 MT rice tranche is to be purchased by the Government of Sri Lanka from India's private sector suppliers on Government-to Private Sector call immediately and Colombo's Ministry of Industry and Commerce officials are now in the process of collecting tender bids for it.