PARIS: Global rice prices reached a 15-year high in August after top exporter India banned some overseas sales of the grain, the Food and Agriculture Organization said.
While global food prices eased in August, those of rice rose 9.8 percent compared to the previous month, “reflecting trade disruptions in the aftermath of a ban on Indica white rice exports by India”, the FAO said in a monthly report.
“Uncertainty about the ban’s duration and concerns over export restrictions caused supply-chain actors to hold on to stocks, re-negotiate contracts or stop making price offers, thereby limiting most trade to small volumes and previously concluded sales,” it said.
Rice is a major world food staple and prices on international markets have soared in the wake of the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon on production levels.
Indian announced in July a ban on exports of non-basmati white rice, which accounts for around a quarter of its total.
The consumer affairs and food ministry said at the time that the move would “ensure adequate availability” and “allay the rise in prices in the domestic market”.