A report by Business Day indicates that the closure of Nigeria’s land borders aimed at curbing smuggling activities, especially of rice, has taken a toll on rice-exporting countries.
According to the report, the price of the commodity dipped by a joint 46 percent in one month in countries like Thailand and India. President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday, August 21, ordered the closure of the Seme border.
Between that period and September, the wholesale price of the broken parboiled rice, the species in top exporting countries fell on product glut resulting from a decline in exports. In India, the wholesale price dropped from $0.64/kg in August to $0.40/kg as at 30 September of this year. In Thailand, the price of the commodity declined by 9.2 percent in the review period. Data from both Thailand and India, which previously accounted for up to 90 percent of Nigeria’s rice imports, show legal imports to the country have declined at the same time. Meanwhile, there are fears that Nigerians may buy a 50kg bag of rice for as high as N50,000 in December 2019 if the land borders remain shut by the federal government. Already, the price of rice by 86% to an all-time high of N27,000 per 50kg from N14,500, an indication that local rice farmers do not currently have the capacity to meet local demand in the country.