India move to ban Some rice exports sparked some panic buying in various countries, with videos on social media showing bags of staples flying off shelves and long lines outside grocery stores.
From the United States to Canada and Australia, reports are spreading of Indians stockpiling overseas. Some stores have restricted purchases, while others have raised prices to take advantage of the craze. Indian restaurants worry about shortages.
Rice is vital to the diets of billions in Asia and Africa. India restrictionsThe regulations, which apply to shipments of non-basmati white rice, are intended to control domestic prices, but are adding pressure to global food markets already battered by bad weather and the worsening conflict in Ukraine.
“Over the past few days, people have started buying maybe double the usual amount of rice. So we had to restrict that,” said Shishir Shaima, director of MGM Spices, an Indian grocery store in Surry Hills, Australia.
The store now allows customers to buy only one 5-kilogram bag of rice. “Some people get angry when we don’t let them buy more than one bag, but we won’t let them,” Shaima said.
in the United States, videos Show people caught in a buying frenzy. Bloomberg could not independently verify its authenticity. Some South Asian grocery stores in Toronto have also implemented purchase restrictions and increased retail prices, according to CityNews.
Govindasamy Jayabalan, president of the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association, said he was worried it would lead to a shortage of rice and increase the cost of making dishes such as thosai and rice noodles.
“We are very concerned about this. Most of our restaurant customers are from low-income groups,” he said. “It’s not that we want to increase food prices but that puts us in a difficult position.”