Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ri$e in Co$t of Rice!

The average cost of exported rice has shot up 70-300% this year. Every variety has seen enormous price increases - from Uncle Ben's long-grain to California grown Calrose but it is the imported jasmine and basmati that are in the greatest demand. In the last 2 weeks CA restaurants claim a 58% increase in the cost of 50lb bags of jasmine rice!

Prices of rice, wheat and corn have skyrocketed in recent months because of rising fuel prices, drought, more demand for food in China and India and other emerging nations, and the trend of using crops for biofuel rather than food.

As food prices soar, countries such as Vietnam and India have imposed restrictions/bans on exporting rice to keep the lid on their food inflation. This leads to a classic economics lesson: low supply, high demand, increased prices.