UK and Australia Could Run Out of Rice Stocks in a Few Months

UK and Australia could run out of rice stocks in a few months. Nationwide lockdown imposed in late March in Pakistan and India to contain the pandemic has disrupted exports, and many countries face a shortage.

Shortage of Rice in Australia

President of the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, Rob Massina, stated that the domestic rice output would meet only a quarter of the total demand. Further, he warned that the supermarkets in Australia would run out of rice by the end of the calendar year. As a result, people will rely only on the imported variety.

His warning came after demand spiked for household staples such as rice, pasta, and flour as panic over the coronavirus. However, the country will face supply constraints from the exporting countries due to restrictions on supply to ensure domestic availability. Apart from this, the country has also been facing issues with domestic rice production due to drought in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Shortage of Basmati Rice in the UK

Rice shortage will soon hit the shelves of supermarkets in the UK as import constraints pushed rice prices to rise to a nine-month high. The current demand is being met from the stockpiles created over the concerns of the pandemic.

Peter Cattaneo, MD S&B Herba Foods, said that the stocks arriving to the UK would be delayed owing to lockdown. Though they have started to receive consignments from Pakistan, they cannot directly go to supermarkets due to lower quality standards. Harry Dulai, MD at Surya Foods confirmed that the country witnessed inflation of 25% on basmati. As a result, several supermarkets have imposed rationed buying.

India and Pakistan are the main producers and exporter of Basmati to several countries. However, disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have delayed the export, causing a shortage in several countries. Consequently, the prices for rice and its related products will rise amid the shortage.

In all, the Australia and UK are facing a shortage of rice, unsure of when the orders will reach the countries.

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