Sunday, June 01, 2008

Malaysia eyes India rice for palm barter

Thu May 29, 2008 1:31pm IST

MUMBAI, May 29 (Reuters) - Malaysia plans to build a stockpile of 500,000 tonnes of rice for food security and is keen to import the staple from India and supply palm oil in a barter deal, a minister said on Thursday.

Peter Chin Fah Kui, Malaysia's minister of plantation, industries and commodities, told a conference in Mumbai he was likely to meet Indian Farm Minister Sharad Pawar to discuss a possible deal.

"We are in short supply of rice, our staple diet, and the prices are rising," he said. "Barter is a possibility. Government to government deal is another possibility."
India imports about 40 percent of its edible oils, buying palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia and soyoil from Brazil and Argentina.

In March, India banned exports of most varieties of rice to ensure adequate supplies at home and to contain spiralling prices caused by a world food shortage. (Reporting by Abhishek Shanker; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)

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