Singapore says there is enough rice, not to worry

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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