January 24, 2009

Rice prices in China to rise

The National Development and Reform Commission of China said Saturday it plans to raise the minimum prices the government pays for rice.

The economic group said this year's increases could reach 16.9 percent for rice from major rice-growing regions, Xinhua reported.

The planned increases were prompted by higher costs incurred by Chinese grain growers in the past year.

The commission said hiking prices would, in part, protect farmers' interests and raise overall grain output, the state-run news Chinese news agency said.

The Chinese economic organization said japonica rice purchasing prices would be increased by 15.9 percent in 2009 to a total of $280 a ton.

Early and late indica rice prices would rise by 16.9 percent and 16.5 percent respectively. Those increases would mean early indica rice would sell at $263 a ton, while late indica prices would reach nearly $269 a ton.

Commission pricing official Ding Jie told Xinhua the increases will mark the highest grain purchasing price increases since 2004.