18 Jul '11, 3am

Dwindling global rice surplus prompts price surge fears: BANGKOK/HANOI - A SIGNIFICANT rice surplus is

BANGKOK/HANOI - A SIGNIFICANT rice surplus is forecast to shrink by the end of the decade if more farmland in top exporting nations is put to industrial use and weather conditions worsen, keeping prices high as a growing world population boosts demand. Ample supply may insulate Asia's main staple for at least two more years from price surges that have hit other grains, but costlier rice would feed food inflation worries, stirring fears of a repeat of the 2007/08 global food crisis that led to riots in some developing nations. An estimated excess of 2 million tonnes of rice over the next three years is seen diving 90 per cent to 200,000 tonnes by the end of the decade, under normal weather patterns, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says. The UN food agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) see prices staying at the high levels ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Money/Story/STIS...

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