Egypt's GASC buys 234,000 tonnes rice
Cairo, December 19, 2011
Egypt's main state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said it had bought 234,000 tonnes of rice in a tender, adding that the rice was imported but that it was already in Egypt.
Of the total, GASC bought 213,000 tonnes of Asian rice from private buyers, GASC vice chairman Nomani Nomani said.
"The imported rice was Asian, from countries including Thailand and the Phillipines and it was already in the country as we purchased it from buyers here," he said.
The rice was purchased in Egyptian pounds at prices ranging between 3,185 pounds ($528.6) per tonne and 3,350 pounds per tonne and is for delivery from January 1 to March 3.
GASC said on December 8 it was issuing a tender to buy local and imported rice already in the country in an attempt to stop local producers stocking up the grain. Nomani had also said the next step would be to import rice directly through international tenders.
Egypt, once a major medium-grain rice exporter, has had an export ban in place since March 2008 to head off shortages in the local market.
The government started procuring rice directly from local farmers in October in order to build reserves. That move was also intended to smooth out the exaggerated prices that were offered during tenders for local rice.
Egypt needs 1.1 million tonnes of rice a year for its subsidy programme, around a third of its total consumption of 3.34 million tonnes.
Farmers cultivated 1.7 million feddans (714,000 hectares) of white rice in the current season, placing production at around 4 million tonnes. - Reuters