Japan Mulling Rice Spot Market for Price Transparency

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's agriculture ministry is considering creating a spot market for rice to boost price transparency and encourage production reflecting demand.

The ministry is hoping to draw up a system to set rice prices based on market equilibrium by the March end of the current fiscal year, despite major obstacles such as a lack of interest in such a market among buyers and sellers, who have other avenues for transactions.

Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who are well versed in agriculture policy began arguing in July that a spot market is necessary for a price indicator that reflects the reality of rice supply and demand.

The move came after advance payments made by the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives Group, or JA, to member farmers for rice produced in 2021 were 20 pct to 30 pct lower than that of the previous year.

Many farmers are dissatisfied with how JA, which holds a significant share of the domestic rice market, sets the prices of rice. JA organizations across Japan have set different prices, leading to varying amounts of advance payments.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press