Fears of Social Unrest Ease as Rice Prices See Biggest Drop in Four Years

HONG KONG — Soaring world rice prices are finally showing real signs of abating, easing worst-case fears that inflation-fueled food shortages could lead to widespread starvation and social unrest. A bumper crop in Pakistan, an improved harvest in Thailand and a boost in exports from Japan resulted in a 14 percent drop in the price of rice over the last five trading days, its biggest fall since July 2004. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), rice prices skyrocketed by 76 percent between December 2007 and April. However, traders said a decision by Islamabad to export 1 million […]

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