Friday, May 2, 2008

Rice cartel

"The prime minister of Thailand, Samak Sundaravej, said Wednesday that his government would try to create a cartel of rice-producing countries in partnership with Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.

“We don’t aspire to be like OPEC, but we hope to be just a group of five to help each other in trading rice on the world market,” Mr. Samak was quoted as saying in The Nation newspaper.

But if successful, a cartel could have far-reaching consequences on the rice market, sustaining prices at their current historic highs and worsening a food crisis that is hurting Asia’s poorest consumers. The price of Thai B-grade rice, a benchmark variety, has nearly tripled in recent months and is now hovering at about $1,000 a ton." (Thanks D.)

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