Thursday, September 4, 2008

Trade is back

"Top food-exporting countries including India and Kazakhstan have relaxed their trade restrictions on agricultural commodities such as rice and wheat in a move that could help to ease a year-long food crisis.

The monthly FAO food index, a global benchmark for agricultural commodities wholesale prices, fell in August to 213 points, the lowest level since January but still up 37 per cent over the past 12 months.

New Delhi’s decision is likely to be welcomed by Middle East countries, traditional buyers of premium rice. India’s higher grade varieties of rice are usually exported, with the local market absorbing medium and low grades.

Thai medium-quality rice, the global benchmark, was on Thursday at about $730 a tonne, down from a record of more than $1,100 a tonne in May but still significantly higher than the $200-$300 range during 2000-07."


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