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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Liberia: Government of Liberia and Rice Importers Reach Consensus on $18.50 Rice Price Adjustment

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By H. Matthew Turry

The Government of Liberia, in collaboration with rice importers, has finalized an agreement to adjust the price of the country’s staple food to $18.50 United States dollars per 25kg bag of Indian parboiled rice.

During Monday briefing at the Ministry of Information in Monrovia, Commerce Minister Amin Modad disclosed the decision, highlighting the context behind the price adjustment. Minister Modad explained that upon assuming office on February 6, 2024, the government received a letter dated February 8, 2024, from rice importers urging an increase in the rice price from $17.50 to $20 United States dollars.

The importers sought a 20% increment due to a surge in charges imposed by the Indian government on 5% broken parboiled rice, resulting in higher costs for rice imports to Liberia.

Additionally, external factors such as the conflict between Israel and Gaza disrupting shipping routes and increased fees by various entities like APM Terminals, Med-Tech, the National Port Authority, and the Liberia Revenue Authority have further compounded the challenges faced by rice dealers.

Minister Moada acknowledged the difficulties in reaching a decision but emphasized that, following negotiations between the Liberian government and rice importers, a mutually acceptable price of $18.50 per 25kg bag was agreed upon, instead of the initially proposed $20 per bag.

This collaborative effort between the government and rice importers aims to balance the needs of both parties while considering the impact on consumers and ensuring continued access to affordable rice in Liberia.

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Commerce has reached an agreement with the Importers of Rice to increase the price of the country’s staple food to 18.50 cents United States dollars.

Speaking yesterday, at the Ministry of Information Culture Affairs and Tourism MICAT Special Briefing, Commerce Minister Amin Moada  told journalists that the government has settled on a new price of US$18.50 per 25kg bag of Indian parboiled rice from the initial price  17.50 cents United States dollars.

“When we took over February 6, 2024, we received a letter from the rice importers on February 8, 2024 citing several communications to the past administration, and the latest then was in October 2023 requesting the government to increase the price of Rice from 17 to 20 United States dollars”,  Moada said

“The importers was  requesting a 20% increase, from the current US$17.50 to US$21 per 25kg bag of Indian parboiled rice. They cited a 20% surge in charges imposed by the Indian government on the Indian 5% broken parboiled rice.

The Commerce Minister added that the Rice Importers lamented the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, which has impacted the Suez Canal and led to longer shipping routes.

Amin Moada said rice dealers also  point to heightened fees imposed by entities such as APM Terminals, Med-Tech, the National Port Authority, and the Liberia Revenue Authority as some of the challenges.

“It is a hard decision, but again as per the negotiations from the government of Liberia with the Rice Importers, the price has been agreed upon to 18.50 cent rather than the 20 dollars they were requesting in the rice increment”

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