As the importers hell-bent on stockpiling rice, the price of rice has reached to a seven-year high in Asia.
The rice is considered as staple food in Asia, so an unprecedented hike in price has spooked all Asian countries. Foreseeing the situation, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has ordered stringent action against the business people who engaged in black-marketing and hoarding of essential goods including rice. MHA plans to deal the culprits under Essential Commodities Act that proposes up to 7 years of imprisonment. India also plans to curb shipments of exports.
According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association, price of the 5% broken white rice — the industry benchmark — rose 12% from March 25 to April 1. Rice prices are now the highest since late April 2013, according to Reuters data.
The rise in prices is due to expectations of higher demand for Thai rice after fellow top exporters India and Vietnam both face export disruptions of the strategic staple food due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, formally known as COVID-19. Asia produces 90% of the world’s rice supply and consumes the same amount.