Rice jumps as Africa joins race for supplies
By Javier Blas in Nairobi and Roel Landingin in Manila
Published: April 4 2008 15:23 Last updated: April 4 2008 19:22
Rice prices rose more than 10 per cent on Friday to a fresh all-time high as African countries joined south-east Asian importers in the race to head off social unrest by securing supplies from the handful of exporters still selling the grain in the international market.
The rise in prices – 50 per cent in two weeks – threatens upheaval and has resulted in riots and soldiers overseeing supplies in some emerging countries, where the grain is a staple food for about 3bn people.