Malaysian government addresses rice shortage concerns amid panic buying

(MENAFN) The Malaysian government has moved to reassure its citizens that there is an ample supply of rice available in the country. In response to recent panic buying that left supermarket and grocery store shelves empty nationwide, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu urged the public not to hoard locally produced rice. The panic buying was triggered by concerns over a potential rice shortage following a surge in the price of imported rice. Notably, Malaysia, like several other nations, is grappling with rising rice prices and limited supplies, primarily due to India's restriction on rice exports, which has reduced global rice supplies by a significant margin.

To address the supply issue and stabilize the situation, Minister Mohamad Sabu announced that the government plans to enhance distribution to rural areas. A key factor contributing to the panic buying was the decision by the sole rice importer, Padiberas Nasional Berhad, to increase the price of imported white rice by 36 percent on September 1. This price hike prompted many Malaysians to shift their preference from imported rice to the more affordable locally produced rice, which is capped at 2.60 ringgit (USD0.55) per kilogram, making it the most budget-friendly option in the region.

This situation highlights the challenges faced by Malaysia and other nations as they navigate the complex global rice market and its impact on domestic supply and pricing. The government's efforts to stabilize rice distribution and prices aim to alleviate concerns and ensure that Malaysians have access to an essential staple food item without disruptions caused by panic buying.


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