|Published : 18 Sep 2016, 22:18:34|
S Korea to buy 390,000 tonnes of rice to cool down prices
SEOUL, Sept 18 (Reuters): South Korea said on Sunday it will buy a total of 390,000 tonnes of domestic rice in a bid to keep the price stable in a bumper year.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement it planned to purchase 360,000 tonnes of rice for the country's rice inventories and the remaining for an ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).
The ministry will carry out the rice purchase from Sept. 23 through Dec. 31, according to the statement.
Last year, South Korea harvested a record amount of 4.32 million tonnes of rice and this year's output is expected to stay high due to a bumper harvest after good weather.
"We will come up with harvest measures in mid-October when the country's expected rice output is released," the ministry said.
The rice surplus weighed on rice price coupled with declining domestic consumption as South Koreans eat more bread.
Asia's fourth-largest economy imports at least 408,700 tonnes of rice each year as part of its import quota under a World Trade Organisation agreement, putting further strain on the country's low rice consumption.
The rice price was at 132,152 won ($117.46) per 80 kg as of Sept. 5, down 14.3 per cent from a year earlier, according to the ministry.