India’s ban on rice exports sparks panic buying in the US and Canada as people rush to stock up Watch the video

India’s decision to restrict exports of certain varieties of rice has led to panic buying in a number of countries, resulting in long lines outside supermarkets and shelves quickly emptying of staple foods. The ban applies to shipments of white rice without basmati and aims to control local prices, but the measure has increased tension in the global food market amid bad weather and Ukraine’s ongoing conflict. Social media is awash with videos of terrified overseas Indian communities in the US, Canada and Australia rushing to stock up on rice.

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On July 20, India’s Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs imposed a ban on the export of white rice without basmati to stabilize volatile retail prices in the country. Rice production was affected by adverse weather conditions, including heavy monsoon rains in rice-producing states and precipitation deficits in other regions. While parboiled rice is exempt from the ban, the government’s primary goal is to ensure an adequate supply of non-basmati white rice in the domestic market while reining in price increases.

According to reports from the United States, panic buying is rampant, with videos showing people rushing to stock up on rice sacks of all kinds. Indian communities, for whom rice is a staple, crowd out shops, prompting some shop owners to impose rationing by imposing purchase limits. On July 21, outlets of major brands experienced a rush, with all types of rice, including basmati, selling out within hours.

Sellers don’t expect the limited stock to last more than a day. Prices have reportedly increased in areas with significant Asian populations, such as Texas, where a 20-pound bag of white rice sells for $34, Frontline reported.

According to the report, the export ban is expected to increase food prices globally, adding to the existing pressure on food markets due to adverse weather conditions in major rice-producing countries such as China. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has driven up global food prices even further, it said.

The Indian rice is a major player in the global market with African countries being the largest consumers while China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan are major producers and suppliers of rice worldwide.

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