Singapore says there is enough rice, not to worry

Sri Lakshman Kadirgamar, former Foreign Minister for Sri Lanka, right, confers with Minister of Information and Media, Mr. Mangala Samaraweera on July 28, 2005 in Temple Trees, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Mr. Kadirgamar died in a hospital on August 12, 2005 after being shot by a sniper near his guarded home in the capital Colombo, according to a Sri Lankan diplomat in Washington, DC. Photographer: Sebastian Posingis/Bloomberg News 28.07.2005 Temple Trees Colombo, Sri Lanka

SINGAPORE, April 21, 2008 (AFP) – The rice supply in Singapore — which imports virtually all its food — is not affected by export limits imposed by some producers to ease soaring prices, the government said Monday. Orders placed by the city-state’s rice importers are being met, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, S. Iswaran, told parliament.

Singapore is the wealthiest economy in Southeast Asia but charities say inflation is driving more people to join the queue for free meals.

Consumer price index inflation reached 6.6 percent in January-February, officials said.
International demand for Thai rice has soared after other top exporters, Vietnam and India, imposed limits on exports to ensure domestic supply.

“Thailand, which is a major source of rice for us, has not limited its exports and has pledged to continue meeting global orders,” Iswaran said, adding Singapore accounts for only 2.0 percent of Thailand’s total rice exports.

“More importantly, our rice merchants are still receiving their rice orders and there is no curtailment in the import of rice,” Iswaran said.

Export curbs by other countries do not apply to the premium grade consumed in Singapore, he added.

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