the price of rice

Everybody's complaining about gas prices. Forget that. What about the price of rice? $38 for a 50-pound back of long-grain rice? Are you out of your mind? Because you know I need my rice. There has apparently been a crazy run on rice in Asian communities, which has sent prices soaring: A Run on Rice in Asian Communities.

Though federal officials say there is no rice shortage in the United States, but people seem to buying rice like we're running out, and stocking up in anticipation that the price will jump again. Across San Francisco, where a third of the population is of Asian descent, shopkeepers are apparently reporting that runs on rice have depleted their supplies. And it's driving the prices way up. It's like a crisis!

Meanwhile, yesterday the prime minister of Thailand, Samak Sundaravej, said that his government would try to create a cartel of rice-producing countries in partnership with Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos: 5 Asian Nations Are Weighing a Rice Cartel. The five countries will help each other in trading rice on the world market. Kind of like OPEC, but with rice.

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