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India Bans Rice Exports, Triggers Panic Buying in the U.S.

India Bans Rice Exports, Triggers Panic Buying in the U.S.

The supply shortage to raise global food prices. India accounts for 40% of the world’s rice trade. 

As Russia blockades and bombards Ukraine’s grain shipments, India — the world’s biggest exporter — has banned exports of rice. The measure was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government as it tries to drive down domestic rice prices following a poor harvest.

The shortage of supply is set to raise prices worldwide. India accounts for 40% of the global rice trade.

The export-bound aromatic basmati rice has been exempted from the ban. “India’s decision to ban the export of non-basmati rice has led to consumers panic-buying and stockpiling Indian rice around the world, driving up prices in the process,” the Canadian broadcaster CBC reported Tuesday.

However, an export ban on cheaper rice varieties is expected to hit the poor third-world countries that are already reeling under high levels of inflation. “Those types, which are cheaper than the fragrant, long-grained basmati, are especially popular in poor places such as Bangladesh, Nepal and parts of sub-Saharan Africa. A reduction in its supply will drive up the prices these countries pay, according to rice traders,” British weekly The Economist noted Wednesday.

The London-based daily Financial Times reported on July 21:

India has banned exports of non-basmati white rice, stoking fears of further global food inflation just as Russia’s targeting of grain ships has pushed up wheat and corn prices.

India’s ministry of consumer affairs said on Thursday it would prohibit exports to “lower the price as well as ensure availability in the domestic market”. Rice prices in India have risen 11.5 per cent over the past year and 3 per cent over the past month, according to the ministry, reflecting a 35 per cent year-on-year surge in export volumes between April and June.

India is the world’s biggest rice exporter, accounting for about 40 per cent of global exports. It is followed by Thailand and Vietnam, where prices for 5 per cent broken rice have also surged this year, raising costs for countries hoping to circumvent New Delhi’s ban. Higher prices for the grain — a staple for billions of people worldwide — are likely to stoke global food inflation, analysts said. (…)

India has been contending with higher food prices in recent weeks after heavy monsoon rains damaged crops and disrupted transport, raising the price of tomatoes and other staples.

There are reports of panic buying in the U.S., but clips circulating on Twitter suggest that the phenomenon is largely limited to Indian Americans rushing to secure their staple diet.

“Social media videos from over the weekend show Indian Americans in Texas, Michigan, New Jersey, Alabama, Ohio, Illinois, and California panic-buying rice or standing in long lines,” the NEWSMAX reported Monday. Indian newspaper “Business Line reported that some stores have inflated the price of a 20-pound bag to $46.99 and have come up with ways of capitalizing on the panic,” the broadcaster added.

With the Russian navy strangling food shipments from Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest grain producers, poor countries in Asia and Africa are bearing the brunt of the food crisis. The sanctions on Russian gas and oil have already added to the rising inflation, which is eating away at the purchasing power of impoverished people.

The UK Daily Telegraph reported the global impact of India’s rice ban:

If India, the world’s largest exporter, sticks by its ban, millions of people are likely to be plunged into hunger by skyrocketing rice prices, which are already at an 11-year high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

It comes at a time of acute food insecurity. Last year, as many as 783 million people went hungry – the result of conflict, Covid and climate, the UN said in a recent report. And only last week, the cost of wheat jumped by 13 per cent and corn nine per cent after Russia pulled out of the deal allowing Ukraine to export grains via the Black Sea.


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Morning Sunshine | July 27, 2023 at 3:21 pm

if you are prepared, you will not fear.

    Dathurtz in reply to Morning Sunshine. | July 27, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    I am startled when I run into people that aren’t broke, but also don’t have food stores.

    I have 2 very large bags of rice, since 2021, several pinto bean bags and I just was wondering if I’m nuts

    I was building a little catch and realized I needed to get more organized

    I don’t have a lot of space

      CommoChief in reply to gonzotx. | July 27, 2023 at 7:24 pm

      Nothing about following the Boy Scout motto of ‘be prepared’ is insane.

      My advice would be to think of this like a camping trip, just on a longer timeline. Only you can decide how long a camping trip to prepare for or how much/little creature comforts you might want over that timeline. There are some alternatives to basic beans and rice you may want to look up online.

        gonzotx in reply to CommoChief. | July 27, 2023 at 7:58 pm

        I would do jerky but I don’t eat beef

        I could buy Turkey or deer jerky but the price is astronomical

        I have water, need more, but I wonder, do I want to live I. A world where I’ll have to shoot people maybe on a daily
        Basis for beans

        I’d rather give my supply to my grown kids and grandchildren

        So I got to organize and get a bit more and divy it up

        My son in law is a hunter, fisherman amd he will provide for his family

        My daughter is skilled in many things

        They will be ok, They have friends with much land and an arsenal

        My son , not so much but I will encourage him to go with his sister wherever that will be

          CommoChief in reply to gonzotx. | July 27, 2023 at 9:50 pm

          One option to consider is to create the place where your family can gather if needed. There’s some long shelf life options available that aren’t totally crazy on price. Putting in a garden and building up your green thumb skill, maybe do some canning to build that skill. Almost any practical skill will be valuable and no one can take them away from you.

          As for fighting over food/land/resources….it won’t be a future world where that becomes necessary. We already live in that world, we always have.

          The West has become so civilized and safe in comparison to other places that you don’t see it much less have to do it yourself. Western society has subcontracted out the violence done on your behalf to the LEO and the Armed Forces.

Of course this means that other countries will be planting more rice, corn and wheat this coming season.

Let the price rise and the panic buying stops. You can get all the rice you want again.

In the modern age of mechanized agriculture it is always politics that causes famines.

The video shows Texas idiots hoarding cart loads of rice. Sad. Good luck keeping the weevils from spoiling it.

Business Line reported that some stores have inflated the price of a 20-pound bag to $46.99.

Business Line entered the futures market chat yesterday.
India has banned exports of non-basmati white rice.

Texas has a lot of rice farmers down stream in south texas as the Colorado river flows

The Ukraine policy by the Biden admin sure is something.

    gonzotx in reply to CommoChief. | July 27, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    But, orange man bad…look more charges today, why it’s the talk of all the media

    Biden Chinese asset

    Nothing there

    We really done deserve Trump

    He’s our Patton and like Patton, loved by HIS soldiers, my father and FIL both, but they couldn’t save him in the end

    I’d be. Surprised if Patton hadn’t had a “special” accident

    But what do I know

The Laird of Hilltucky | July 27, 2023 at 7:56 pm

Another reason to re-elect Trump! If he was President now, this very likely would not be happening.

henrybowman | July 28, 2023 at 3:02 am

Joe Biden was seen at Ace Hardware panic-buying toilet paper.