October 16, 2014 / 8:44 AM / 5 years ago

Egypt government approves plan to allow export of rice

A farmer flattens the soil using a horse to prepare his land for growing rice in the 6th of October village in the Nile Delta province of Al-Baheira, northwest of Cairo, May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s government has approved plans to allow the export of rice, the supplies minister said on Thursday, bringing a major medium-grain rice exporter back into the international market for the first time since 2013.

Traders would be allowed to export rice provided they sell the government one tonne of medium-grain rice at 2,000 Egyptian pounds($279.72) for every tonne of rice they export.

Exporters would also have to pay a tariff of $280 per tonne exported, the minister said.

Egypt first imposed a ban on exports in 2008 saying it needed to save the rice for local consumption and wanted to discourage rice farmers from growing the crop to save water.

However, rice exporters have complained that the ban on free exports has led to the rise of a contraband trade by creating a large price difference between domestic and export markets.

1 US dollar = 7.1500 Egyptian pound

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