Rice Price: Food of three billion people in crisis! Crisis for staple of three billion people rice price hovers above an 11 year high


New Delhi: This time record production of rice is expected in six countries of the world including India. Despite this, the price of rice has reached an 11-year high. There is a possibility of further acceleration in this. Rice is the staple food of more than three billion people worldwide and 90% of the world’s rice is grown in Asia. India’s share in the total export of rice in the world is about 40%. India supplies cheap rice to the whole world. The price of rice in the country has reached a five-year high with a rise of nine per cent. Monsoon is expected to be affected this year due to El Nino. But there is still a long time. Even before that the price of rice has started rising. The Global Rice Price Index of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has reached an 11-year high. This situation is when the US Department of Agriculture has predicted record production in all the six rice growing countries in the world. These include Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The supply of rice is tight due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine last year and seasonal factors. If there is any cut in the shipment, it can lead to a significant rise in the prices. The prices of sugar, meat and eggs have shot up in recent months. The countries producing them stopped exporting to keep the prices under control at the domestic level. BK Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association, told Reuters that India was selling the cheapest rice in the world. The increase in the minimum support price pushed up the prices. Due to this, other countries have also started increasing the price of rice. Nitin Gupta, Vice President, Rice Business, Olam India, said that the impact of El Nino is not limited to India only. This affects all rice growing countries. Rice prices are already on the rise due to limited supply. If there is a decline in production, then it will increase significantly.

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rice store

The world rice stock is estimated to be 170.2 million tonnes by the end of 2023-24, which is its lowest level in six years. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the stock of rice in India and China has reduced. A New Delhi-based global trading house said rice prices could rise by 20 per cent or more if production declines. Thailand, the world’s second largest exporter of rice, has urged farmers to plant only one crop of paddy. In May, the country received 26% less rainfall than normal. In India, the second crop of paddy is planted in November. The area under summer rice sowing is 26% less. The reason for this is that the country has received eight percent less rainfall than normal.

Even in China, the largest producer of rice in the world, the climate is not favorable for rice cultivation. But there is no problem of demand and supply. Inflation has always been a matter of concern for India. Last year, the government stopped the export of wheat and also imposed restrictions on the export of rice and sugar. Because of this the supply has become tight in other countries.

After pulses, now the inflation of rice, rising prices will make the pocket loose, know how much stock is with the government?

Which countries will benefit

Some countries like Indonesia and the Philippines are increasing their reserves by buying rice from Vietnam. Last month, Indonesia signed a deal with India to import 1 million tonnes of rice. Indonesia has generally been buying rice from Thailand and Vietnam. A Singapore dealer said rice has been a buyer’s market for the past few years but could become a seller’s market if production falls due to El Nino. Countries like Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam can benefit from restricting India’s exports. These countries can export 30 to 40 lakh tonnes of rice.

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