The internal rice market is moving in Ecuador. As of this October 2, the industry sector expects that shipments of rice, which began arriving in September from Uruguay with the first batch of 400 tons, will be regulated until the completion of 15,000 tons of grass with weekly shipments of between 1,000 tons and 1,500 tons. However, parallel to that, field work is being intensified in order to harvest the rice that was planted about three months ago and which they assure will be sufficient for internal consumption.

The movement of producers and industrialists will mean that in the coming days the two products, the one coming from Uruguay and the one harvested in Ecuador, will meet on supermarket shelves and in stores.

The support price for rice is only applied between producers and millers, now some get up to $53 per bag compared to the official $32.50

Armando Salazar, a producer from the parish of Junquillal, in the canton of Salitre (Guayas), this Tuesday, October 3, will begin harvesting the rice he planted three months ago on his four hectares of land. Until then, the manufacturer has no confidence in the quality of the imported product. “Let’s see where that Uruguayan rice comes from and how it is cooked because that rice is not from here,” he comments.

However, he understands that in his case his harvest will not be like in previous years, it will be smaller because the winter has gone a little and that has delayed the planting that was scheduled for May and he could only plant at the end of June. In any case, Salazar clarifies that other farmers have planted earlier and that there will generally be enough rice, but there are fears that mill prices will start to fall due to the arrival of imported rice in the market.

Jonathan Olvera, another rice grower in the area, assures that the imported rice has already started to affect the producers in the price they get at the mills. Note that although the minimum support price (set in July 2022 and still in effect) is US$32.50 per bag of short-grain rice and US$34.50 per bag of long-grain rice, for about seven months millers have been receiving up to USD 55 per bag, but now it has dropped to around USD 5 and for the arrival of rice from Uruguay they receive between USD 50 and USD 51.

“With this good price they gave us, people stop and pay the loans they gave, we don’t want the price to drop,” says the farmer, who these days plans to harvest a few hectares as a family. sell rice..

The first 400 tons of Uruguayan rice grain have arrived in Ecuador, a total of 15,000 will arrive in eight weeks

For his part, Milton Ronquillo, president of the National Corporation of Rice Producer Organizations (Corpnoarroz), reiterates the sector’s position that rice imports are unnecessary. He assures that more than 150,000 tons are currently harvested in the sector. “There is enough rice in the country, enough rice planted to be harvested,” says the leader. He adds that this harvest will last until the first four months of 2024. (AND)