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.
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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.