Worldwide supply of rice projected to shrink significantly due to El Niño

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Worldwide Supply Of Rice Projected To Shrink Significantly Due To El Niño

The global supply of rice is projected to shrink significantly due to the effects of El Niño.

According to the Japan Times, the weather system has produced high heat in India and droughts in Thailand and Vietnam—three countries which "account for more than 60 percent of the global rice trade."

As a result, these and other top exporters are expected to ship just 19 million tons of the grain during 2016 compared with 40-plus million tons in 2013, reports the Rakyat Post.

RELATED: Creative ways to cook rice:

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Worldwide supply of rice projected to shrink significantly due to El Niño

Parachute's Steak-and-Egg Bibimbap

The combination of white rice and sweet brown rice ups the ante in this Korean classic.

(photo credit: Alex Lau)

Rice Bowl with Fried Egg and Avocado

Brown rice—higher in fiber and other nutrients than its white counterpart—is the perfect vehicle for this quick, protein-heavy meal.

(photo credit: Peden + Munk)

Aromatic Red Rice

Like many whole grains, Bhutanese red rice can be cooked in a bigger batch ahead of time. Reheat by steaming or microwaving in a covered dish with a spoonful or two of water.

(photo credit: Christopher Testani)

Baked Minty Rice with Feta and Pomegranate Relish

If you’ve given up on stovetop rice methods, you’ll love this hands-off oven technique.

(photo credit: Alex Lau)

Wild Rice–Crusted Halibut

Puffed and pulverized wild rice is the new breadcrumb, coating any meaty white fish you like in a nutty, crispy exterior.

(photo credit: Peden + Munk)

Migas Fried Rice

Ready to get a little crazy? This dish is a mashup of Thai, Chinese, and Southwest cuisines.

(photo credit: Alex Lau)

Black and Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Squash

One of the prettiest ways to eat rice—and featuring seasonal butternut squash, to boot.

(photo credit: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott)

Brad’s Campsite Jambalaya

This one-pan meal features chicken, sausage, and plenty of veggies—rice brings it all together.

(photo credit: Gentl & Hyers)

Spiced Pomegranate Rice

Make a big batch and pair it with everything from labneh to roasted chicken thighs.

(photo credit: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott)

Sorrel Rice Bowls with Poached Eggs

Sorrel, a tangy, astringent green, is mixed right into the rice.

(photo credit: Gentl & Hyers)

Tomato Risotto

Finishing this risotto with tomato water in place of stock gives it a pure, bright tomato flavor.

(photo credit: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott)

Spiced Fava Bean Soup with Rice and Tomato

The rice cooks right in the soup—no need to dirty another pot.

(photo credit: Gentl & Hyers)

Brown Rice Salad with Crunchy Sprouts and Seeds

It doesn't get much more virtuous than this.

(photo credit: Peden + Munk)

Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

Comforting, creamy, and kid-friendly: This is a risotto we could eat all week.

(photo credit: Alex Lau)

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This situation is reminding many observers of a similar El Niño-related crisis in 2008 when reactionary policies were implemented, prices soared, and people rioted in different parts of the world.

While the cost of rice is still under $400 a ton, compared to the $1,000 a ton it reached 8 years ago, prices will likely keep rising.

Thus, some of the major producers and importers are already considering building up their own surpluses to offset worsening conditions.

Dr. Samarendu Mohanty from the International Rice Research Institute tells The Independent that the forthcoming monsoon season could be a key deciding factor.

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