Corn, rice surge as global food tensions mount (UK)

According to a news report from www.guardian.co.uk, “With global tensions over food supplies mounting, prices of world staples rice and corn surged on Tuesday amid strong demand and concerns over slow planting of the new U.S. corn crop.”
“Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank warned Asian countries against export controls, and the Inter-American Development Bank said the food-versus-fuel debate had changed the way it evaluates financing of biofuel projects that could siphon off staples like corn or soybeans,” said the story. “Even in the United States, the world’s breadbasket, a leading retailer reported signs of growing concern about rising food costs and dwindling supplies. James Sinegal, chief executive officer of Costco Wholesale Corp, a U.S. warehouse club selling food to consumers and businesses, told Reuters on Tuesday the retailer had seen a spike in demand for items like rice and flour.”

“Sinegal said some Costco store managers may have taken “precipitous action,” by putting limits on sales of certain items. But he said if the retailer runs out of these items, they are usually back in stock the next day,” according to the article. “We don’t want to create a panic situation,” he said. American bakers also are dealing with tight supplies. Rye flour stocks have been depleted and by June or July there will be no more U.S. rye flour to purchase, said Lee Sanders, senior vice president for government relations and public affairs at the American Bakers Association.”

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