The government insisted today that the city’s stock of rice is sufficient.
According to a statement by the Economic Services Bureau (DSE), the supply of rice is “sufficient” and “stable.” The statement pointed out that DSE officials held a meeting with rice suppliers about the situation on Saturday. The suppliers pledged that they will further diversify their sourcing of local people’s staple food.
The statement quoted the suppliers as saying that Macau currently has 1.1 million kilogrammes of rice in stock and that they expect 500,000 kilogrammes of the cereal grain to be delivered to Macau in the next few weeks.
Macau has a population of about 680,000.
The statement pointed out that the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing has reassured the local government that it will ensure the city’s stable supply of rice. The ministry also promised that, if needed, the mainland’s rice shipments to Macau could be increased.
According to the statement, Cambodia is another alternative source of rice imports. Thailand and Vietnam are traditionally Macau’s top suppliers of the commodity, according to trade sources. The statement came in the wake of online speculation by local residents that retailers could soon run out of rice. Shoppers say they have noticed that some local supermarket shelves usually laden with rice are often not restocked by the late afternoon.
Macau has no agriculture so virtually 100 per cent of its food is imported.