Rice markets could face a global crisis as India bans rice exports and Thailand experiences a spate of low rainfall.
India’s export ban: Last month, the Indian government banned exports of non-basmati white rice in efforts to save the nation’s rising domestic markets and ensure “adequate availability.” India has dealt with food inflation over the past year, prompting action from the government.
India is the world’s top rice exporter, accounting for 40% of global rice trade, but the ban in place could adversely affect the food security of Asian countries and many African nations.
Thailand’s low rainfall: As for the world’s second largest rice exporter, Thailand is asking farmers to plant less rice crops in order to save water. The call comes as the nation faces a high risk of water shortage due to low rainfall, which has accumulated about 40% less than normal.
Thailand’s Office of the National Water Resources encouraged farmers to opt to “planting crops that use less water [which] can be harvested quickly.”
“Global rice price will have the potential to increase further in the event that rice production in Thailand decreases significantly year on year,” Oscar Tjakra, a senior analyst at global food and agriculture bank Rabobank, told CNBC.
The global rice deficit: The reports have come when decade-high rice prices are already expected to remain high until 2024 as a result of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and bad weather in rice-producing countries, including China and Pakistan.