By Ho Binh Minh
February 21, 2008
The spring rice harvest in Thailand and Vietnam, the top exporters of the grain, might fail to halt a rally that has raised prices more than 20 percent this year, as governments and traders stock up on staples that they fear could be in short supply.
Rising demand from the fast-growing Middle East and increased consumption in African have led to the increase in the cost of Thai rice this year. Offers have topped $500 a ton for the first time in a decade, a worrying sign for Asian policy makers already on alert about food security and inflation.
Asian grain prices normally fall or level off during the harvest season that begins next month, but analysts say that paradigm could crumble this year.
“There is no reason to believe that world prices will come down….
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