Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rice follows wheat

"Late in 2007 the Indian government, spurred by a fall in rice reserves and fears of rising food prices, banned exports of non-basmati rice, thus severely reducing supplies to the rest of the world.

In response to the ban "farmers took to the streets", said R.S. Seshadri, director of Tilda Riceland in New Delhi. "They wanted higher export prices." But with its hundreds of millions of poor who rely on low-priced food, India "can't take a free market approach like in the US", he said.

The US estimated that India's rice exports would fall to 2.5m tonnes, down from about 5m tonnes in previous years. European rice traders said they feared export restrictions in India even for the prized basmati rice which, until now, has escaped sales curbs."

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