As rice hits highs, prices declining

The global price of rice has seen a decline of 10 percent in over a year and with that Guyana’s booming rice production may face hardships.

General Secretary of the Rice Producers Associa-tion (RPA) Dharamkumar Seeraj told Stabroek News yesterday in an invited comment that the “movement in prices does have a delayed reaction in getting to us, but it can be both good and bad; there is an advantage and sometimes there isn’t… we do have a lot right now and holding on to supply leading into the next crop is something we want to avoid ideally.”

While Guyana had its highest production in history last year, other global producers have also outdone past productions. Guyana will have to wait and see what the annual PetroCaribe Agreement states to see if the high rice production does in fact have side effects.

Dharamkumar Seeraj
Dharamkumar Seeraj

Seeraj said that of the 532,000 tonnes of rice produced for 2013, approximately 300,000 had been exported to Venezuela, the Caribbean and Europe. He noted that rice consumption has risen annually by one percent across the globe and so the increase in the market has been very positive.

He stated that Guyana’s biggest concern was reaching new markets. He said exports to the Haitian market are developing but Jamaica remains the largest importer of rice in the Caribbean at between 46,000 tonnes and 50,000 tonnes annually.

Seeraj estimated that some 40,000 went to the domestic market, leaving approximately 192,000 tonnes.

Over 200,000 tonnes of both rice and paddy have been shipped to Venezuela under the rice barter component of the larger PetroCaribe Agreement, Seeraj told Stabroek News yesterday. He noted that more is still to be moved by the end of February. He said that millers have kept rice and have moved smaller quantities throughout the Caribbean as they are heavily influenced by the Venezuelan prices.

When asked whether the drop in the global price of rice, which sits at US$447.55 per tonne as of December 2013, would affect the annual negotiation of the PetroCaribe deal, Seeraj stated that it could be a concern. “The Venezuelan deal is complicated; this will have to be worked out—how much rice they need and how much oil we import,” he said, adding that it was not likely that Guyana would be supplying a larger amount of rice but that this could be a by-product of the fluctuating rice prices globally.

Guyana is not looking to stop expanding its rice production, Seeraj said, while noting that, in fact, the country is aiming to produce as much as possible. He said that since Guyana had reliable markets with set prices, the global price would only apply to approximately 50 percent of Guyana’s stock. He said that Guyana was working to cultivate relationships further with the United States, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

Meanwhile, since July of 2013 the global rice prices have steadily fallen from US$538.26 per tonne to the current price of US$441 per tonne. Global suppliers, such as Thailand, Cambodia, Viet-nam, Myanmar and even Colombia have all reported that the drop in price has adversely affected them, leaving them with almost 40 percent of supply still on hand in some cases.

The drop in price correlates with the slide in global demand.

More in Local News

Bharrat Jagdeo

Jagdeo stands by NY statements

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo last night stood by statements he had made in New York about discrimination against Indo-Guyanese which the APNU+AFC government has described as race-baiting.

City Hall

Despite higher revenue, city still faces deficit

City Hall amassed a whopping $1.29 billion in revenue for the first six months of the year but continues to operate at a deficit and some city councillors are frustrated at their inability to access detailed information on the city’s expenditure.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo addressing the audience 
 

Gov’t condemns Jagdeo for race baiting

The Government of Guyana (GoG) yesterday condemned Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo for “race baiting,” after he claimed that there is “an assault on people of Indian origin” during a speech at an event in New York recently.

Commander of ‘B’ Division Ian Amsterdam (second, right) meeting with Pawan Chandradeo’s wife and children

City detectives to assist in Berbice triple murder probe

The police are continuing to work all angles and a number of theories in order to solve last week’s triple murder at Mibicuri, Black Bush Polder and Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum said yesterday that a team from the force’s Major Crimes Unit (MCU) was expected to head to the area to lend assistance in the investigation.

default placeholder

Appointment of new foreign envoys based on merit, not patronage – Granger

The appointment of new foreign mission heads was based on merit and was not a form of reward, President David Granger said last evening even as he called on them to put the border controversy with Venezuela on the front burner.

The roof of Nand Persaud International Communications Inc at Tain covered with solar panels

Nand Persaud Company set to unveil huge solar project in Berbice

Local business group Nand Persaud and Company Limited will shortly unveil what is said to be the largest solar energy project in the country to date with 220 kilowatts of energy expected to be generated to power the group’s call centre at Tain, Corentyne.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: