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Monday, May 26, 2008

Japan's rice export will upset global rice market

Japan government has decided to import rice to the Philippines but it would upset the price of rice in the international market. A senior Thai commerce ministry official said this on Sunday.

Foreign Trade Department director-general Apiradi Tantraporn said that Japan has 1.5 million tons of rice purchased under the WTO regulations from USA and Thailand. This rice is not for re-export. Xinhuanet.com reports:

Since 1995 Japan has imported rice at a level of 600,000-700,000 tons annually, mainly from Thailand and the United States, for its own use, she said.

The re-export of rice by Japan will go against objectives of WTO and will also further depress global rice prices, Apiradi said, adding that there were signs since the beginning of May that rice prices in the world had begun to stabilize, unlike the first four months of 2008.

If Tokyo's plan materializes, global rice prices would become depressed again and farmers in rice producing countries, including Thailand, would be severely impacted, she said.

Apiradi said that if Japan wants to help other countries then it should go through international organizations like U.N. Under the U.N. World Food Program Japan can give donation or hand out aid.

Related article:
Xinhuanet.com

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