The Korea Herald

ssg
소아쌤

Govt. to buy 200,000 tons of rice to stabilize prices

By Yonhap

Published : Dec. 28, 2021 - 09:27

    • Link copied

Officials from the government and the ruling Democratic Party attend a meeting to discuss measures to stabilize rice prices at the National Assembly on Tuesday. (Yonhap) Officials from the government and the ruling Democratic Party attend a meeting to discuss measures to stabilize rice prices at the National Assembly on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
The government will buy 200,000 tons of locally produced rice this year to help stabilize the market price of the staple grain, the ruling party said Tuesday following a meeting with agriculture authorities.

"Of the surplus amount of 270,000 tons of rice, the government will isolate 200,000 tons from the market in the near future," said Rep. Park Wan-joo, the chief policy maker of the ruling Democratic Party (DP). "The government will announce a detailed plan for the purchase of 200,000 tons in January following discussions with related parties."

Park added the government will monitor market situations and rice reserves to determine whether and when it should buy the remaining surplus amount of 70,000 tons of rice.

The move comes after this year's rice production reached 3.88 million tons, up 10.7 percent from a year earlier, and outmatched expected demand of 3.61 million tons, which resulted in a surplus of 270,000 tons.

Due to the oversupply, rice prices have dropped sharply and dragged down the income of farmers. The average price for a 20 kilogram sack of rice stood at 51,254 won ($43) as of Saturday, down 9.8 percent from 56,803 won on Oct. 5, according to the authorities.

Under the grain management law, the government can "isolate" rice from the market, referring to surplus rice purchases, if its harvested amount is 3 percent larger than the expected demand or its prices have dropped 5 percent or more from last year.

Farmers have been demanding the government buy their rice since the market situation qualifies for the law, but the authorities have been careful to execute the scheme, citing inflation concerns. (Yonhap)