Rice price rises as curbs imposed
Thu, Apr 24, 2008

US rice prices advanced above $25 for the first time today as Wal-Mart's Sam's Club warehouse unit restricted purchases of some types of rice in the US.

The price of rice globally has now nearly trebled since the start of the year, sparking food riots in African countries and Haiti and adding to growing fears that millions of the world's poor may soon struggle to feed themselves.

China, Vietnam and India have curbed rice exports to safeguard domestic supplies. Thailand, which ships one third of the world's exports, may also restrict sales, a World Bank official said this week.

Benchmark Thai rice prices leapt more than 5 per cent to a record high above $1,000 a tonne today.

Consumers have started hoarding rice as supplies shrink. In the US, Sam's Club limited customers to four bags of jasmine, basmati and long-grain white rice per visit in all US stores where allowed by law, a company spokeswoman said.

Rice rose as much as 0.9 per cent to $25.01 per 100 pounds in Chicago and has climbed 26 per cent this month, heading for its biggest monthly gain since October 1993.

Wheat, corn and soybeans also gained to records this year, spurring social unrest across the globe. The World Bank has forecast that 33 nations from Mexico to Yemen may face social unrest because of higher food and energy costs

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said this week rising food costs may hurt economic growth and threaten political security.


Original article: Ireland News
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