Rice futures spiked to their highest levels in almost nine year, fueled by a jump in retail sales and global demand.
The Wall Street Journal reports through 13 weeks ending May 30, retail rice sales were up nearly 40% versus the same time last year.
The increase in demand comes at a time when supply is lower than expected.
“The same issues that plagued corn and soybean crops also affected rice,” said John Newton, chief economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
A much more hospitable spring planting season this year means that the price increase may prove temporary, said Mr. Newton. The USDA is forecasting U.S. rice production at 216.2 million hundredweight this year, essentially a full rebound.
“Until that new crop hits the market, you’ve got a tight supply,” said Mr. Newton.