Representational image of rice. — AFP/File

The world rice price index of the United Nations food agency experienced a notable 2.8% rise in July, as compared to June, reaching the highest level recorded in almost 12 years.

This hike in prices was mainly driven by excessive demand in key exporting countries and India’s decision to restrict its rice exports.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s All Rice Price Index, which tracks rice prices across major exporting nations, estimated an average of 129.7 points last month, a notable rise from June’s 126.2 points.

The score from July was much higher, nearly 20%, than the corresponding period in the previous year, reaching 108.4 points, marking the highest level since September 2011.

The overall world food price index also notably rebounded in July after experiencing two-year lows.

India, being a key player in the global rice market with 40% of world rice exports, restricted its largest rice export category to stabilise domestic prices that had increased to multi-year highs due to unpredictable weather affecting production.

Countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan are also prominent rice exporters, while China, Philippines, Benin, Senegal, Nigeria and Malaysia remain key importers of the food staple.

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