Only the price of Ponni rice has gone up, say traders.

Traders have rejected reports of a rise in rice prices, but said that acute power shortage in Tamil Nadu seemed to have impacted the open market rate of ‘Ponni' variety.

Denying reports that prices of rice varieties had gone up, N.P. Antony, managing director of Kalady Rice Millers' Consortium, said that there were surplus stocks in the market. Prices have not gone up, contrary to reports in a section of the media, he said.

Mr. Antony said that the price would remain steady as farmers in Kuttanad and Palakkad had plenty of stocks from a very good harvest this year. The sales have also not picked up according to expectations, he said.

Stating that prices of varieties like ‘Matta', ‘Surekha' and ‘Jaya' have not gone up, K. Venkatesh Pai, president of the Ernakulam Merchants Union, said that the wholesale rate of Surekha has gone down by Rs.3 a kilo in the wholesale market.

Mr. Pai said that prices have gone up only for a few brand varieties of Ponni rice, which mainly comes from Tamil Nadu. He said that the power crisis in the State had affected the processing of paddy in various mills. But the market share of the Ponni variety is only two to three per cent in Kerala. Supplies of this variety have gone down by 50 per cent over the last few days leading to a price rise, he said.

Traders said that there were no chances of an imminent hike in price of rice varieties in the wholesale and open markets.

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