02 Mar '11, 12pm

Myanmar halts rice exports over Mideast fears

Myanmar halts rice exports over Mideast fears

YANGON: Myanmar has halted rice exports to stockpile the staple, aiming to shield food costs at home from the possible impact of rising oil prices caused by Middle East unrest, an official said Wednesday. "I think the authorities are just concerned about local consumption because of what has happened in Libya," an official of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry told AFP on condition of anonymity. He explained that an increase in oil prices might push up transportation costs and subsequently food prices. "All commodity prices depend on transportation charges, not only rice," he added. Firms were told last week to suspend shipments of rice and cancel all contracts for overseas supply, he said. Myanmar, army dominated for nearly 50 years, might wait until its fledgling parliamentary system is established before restarting exports, a sign its r...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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