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View Full Version : What food (rice) shortage are we talking about...?!


airship
2nd Jun 2008, 15:59
Huge increases in the price of food? A shortage of rice?!

Japan (http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/20080602TDY04312.htm) alone is estimated to have a stockpile of over 1.3 million tonnes of rice, surplus to requirements. This is mainly due to its' obligation to the WTO to import 770,000 tons of rice every year to compensate international rice producers (Uncle Sam...?!) for the protection and subsidies Japan gives to domestic rice farmers.

I'm told that if Japan was to release her unwanted 'International rice hoard', forced upon it by WTO agreements, onto world markets, the price of rice would immediately fall back to much more realistic levels, alleviating much of the most recent stresses in developing countries and other 3rd world nations. There is no short term shortage. But there may well be a number of countries with important stocks who cannot get rid of them because of contractual agreements of one form or another.

If anyone actually loses their lives from this most recent example of a staple foods shortage, I hope that 'the finger on the trigger is actually pointed at those responsible'...and I won't mind very much if the odd futures trader gets caught in the crossfire either, except I'm aiming higher, more like highly placed and highly paid people in the employ of our governments. Bleedin' lazabouts and scavengers... :ok::uhoh:

Ozzy
2nd Jun 2008, 16:08
It's a conspiracy I tell you!!

Ozzy

Gertrude the Wombat
2nd Jun 2008, 16:35
How many people live in Japan? So how many days would this strategic reserve last? How much strategic food reserve do you think should be kept?

Brakes on
2nd Jun 2008, 16:48
Airship,
1.3 million tonnes? WOW!!!!!! This would feed the Philippines' population for 39 days! And what about the other countries like all of Southeast Asia etc.?
Who says 'quote' There is no shortage of rice 'unquote' ?
According to the International Rice Research Institute, at least 10 million tonnes additional production is necessary to feed the world. Production has not been up to this for many years.
Even if Japan would release their stockpile, it would only be a drop in the ocean (and don't even think of China releasing theirs).
There is no doubt that traders have their finger in the pie and drive the price, as they do for crude oil, but that's only one part of the picture.

CherokeeDriver
2nd Jun 2008, 21:06
just had a nice bit of pilau rice with my mutton vindaloo tonight. what shortage??

ZFT
2nd Jun 2008, 23:27
Try earning minimum wage in S E Asia when your staple diet (rice) had tripled in price within 3 months. You wouldn't feel like making jokes.

G-CPTN
3rd Jun 2008, 02:32
You wouldn't feel like making jokes.Do stockpiles of rice form mountains or lakes?

Rollingthunder
3rd Jun 2008, 08:56
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is an emergency petroleum store maintained by the United States Department of Energy. The US SPR is the largest emergency supply in the world with the current capacity to hold up to 727 million barrels (115,600,000 m) of crude oil. The second largest emergency supply of petroleum is Japan's with a 2003 reported capacity of 579 million barrels (92,100,000 m).

The current inventory is displayed on the SPR's website. As of May 20, 2008, the current inventory was 703.3 million barrels (111,820,000 m). At current market prices ($129 a barrel) the SPR holds over $90 billion worth of petroleum.

ZFT
3rd Jun 2008, 10:44
G-CPTN,

Do stockpiles of rice form mountains or lakes?

Unfortunately here in Asia they tend to end up as rat infected piles.

under_exposed
3rd Jun 2008, 13:13
Rollingthunder, So the maximum capacity of the two sites is about 16 days of world supply?

Effluent Man
3rd Jun 2008, 13:26
In my case lakes. (Add 1 litre milk,sugar and place in AGA for 2 hours) May need more milk half hour from end.

airship
3rd Jun 2008, 13:48
1.3 million tonnes? WOW!!!!!! This would feed the Philippines' population for 39 days!...Even if Japan would release their stockpile, it would only be a drop in the ocean As far as I'm aware, the 1.3 million tonnes rice stockpile the Japanese have is in addition to an already important buffer stock or strategic reserve of rice for their own consumption.

"Flooding the market with just 39 day's equivalent" of Philippine rice consumption is not very much, I'll admit. But probably more than sufficient to burn a few fingers if not remove the shirts of some traders who would simply wager bets on a very serious 'commodity issue' which has probably already resulted in deaths, if not quite 'death by rice starvation'.

I wish these traders would simply place a bet with William Hill etc. "An amoral trader and his longevity" would do. Everyone could then place their own bets. Go long, go short, whatever, anything can be arranged if you have the right contacts...?! :E :=

Lydia Dustbin
4th Jun 2008, 14:11
Where I now live in Thailand there are thousands upon thousands of acres of paddy fields that have gone to ruin, because the younger generation don't want to be farmers because they can earn more in the city, because farming is so badly paid. The fields are no longer producing, probably as a result of we in the west with our huge supermarket giants who ensure that their suppliers are cut down to the very bone when it comes to pricing/profit.

There is a world shortage of staple foods, and you just need to look around you to understand that. The population continues to increase, but more and more fields fall fallow. It is happening for financial reasons in Asia, it has happened for reasons of insanity in Africa. Farmers in the third world, where the bulk of this food can be grown do not receive the same luxury as European farmers who are given billions of pounds/euros in subsidies each year.

Overdrive
4th Jun 2008, 14:26
According to the International Rice Research Institute, at least 10 million tonnes additional production is necessary to feed the world. Production has not been up to this for many years.




10 million tonnes per what timeframe?

airship
4th Jun 2008, 15:41
Probably 10 million tonnes per annum?! But don't forget, in some places, they can harvest 2 or more rice crops every year. Provided that is, tropical storms, cyclones or eathquakes don't interfere. Or more poignantly perhaps, that sufficient surviving rice farmers are allowed to be succoured when in desperate need and go on to sow new crops in spite of everything...?! You lose most of your family, everything is in ruins, you possess nothing. And you're asked / commanded / threatened to recommence production immediately. With or without help. That is the capitalist / socialist / military-junta economic model in the 21st century, is it not...?! :sad:

Brakes on
4th Jun 2008, 15:46
Overdrive,
Yes, it's per year. Forgot to include this.

Overdrive
5th Jun 2008, 02:44
Probably 10 million tonnes per annum?!



I'm aware of the usual use of "per annum" , but if possible, I usually ask when there's no need to guess! As the amount above is under a year's worth for the Phillipines it's hardly massive on a world scale. Seemed possible to me it could've been monthly, or for a certain period.

Overdrive
5th Jun 2008, 02:46
Overdrive,
Yes, it's per year. Forgot to include this.


Ok, thanks :ok: