We know that this sounds like an April fool, but China could be facing a rice shortage. No, seriously. We told you a few days ago about KFC upping their prices; now the cost of the other staple in Shanghaiist’s diet, rice, could be facing a hike due to fears over supply. For the moment, the government has frozen the price of rice — as well as that of other goods such as cooking oil — in an effort to curb food costs following their 23% leap in February, but has not ruled out price rises in the near future. They have also announced that farmers will receive increased prices for both rice and wheat as China attempts to avoid the rice production problems currently engulfing some other Asian states.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the rice price rise in the region has seen the crop’s value double since the start of the year, provoking Vietnam to dramatically cut its rice exports, India and Cambodia to effectively ban rice from leaving the country, and Pakistan to deploy troops to guard trucks carrying rice, wheat, and flour.
The recent spate of bad weather across the region, together with the rapid development of China and India is being blamed for the international shortage of rice — a staple for just under half the world’s population.