The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Axel Addy, has assured the public of the availability of sufficient rice and gasoline on the market.
Addressing a news conference Tuesday, 16 September at the Commerce Ministry in Monrovia, Minister Addy said amid challenges posed by the current Ebola outbreak, the ministry in partnership with importers, is currently offloading a shipment of rice that would take the stock inventory for a little over 45,000 metric tons or about 900,000 50kg bags of rice in the market.
“Our monthly consumption is a little over 29,000 metric tons or 580,000 50kg bags per month”, said the minister.
He also said that with the help of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company or LPRC and importers, there is over 17,000 metric tons of gasoline in the country, which is about six million gallons, and over 18, 000 metric tons of diesel fuel, totaling six million gallons.
Minister Addy assured that the stock will take Liberia 45 days in October with pending orders for 33 thousand metric tons due in the country by the end of September.
The Minister said Liberia has experienced a slight decrease in the importation of petroleum products from neighboring countries.
According to him, the Food and Agriculture Organization or FAO reported that international rice prices increased in August for the third consecutive time, reflecting a supply shortage ahead of the major harvest due in the last quarter of the year, and brisk import demand.
He noted that serious market disruption and restricted trade flows both internally and across borders continue to affect the Mano River sub-region, particularly in the Ebola affected countries, adding that trade disruption combined with the significant depreciation of the local currencies of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have caused food price spikes in some areas, particularly Liberia, because of its huge reliance on imports, he asserted.