"As the price of rice climbs across South Asia, farmers and millers in Thailand are sitting on stocks and waiting for it to rise even further, said a top rice exporter in Bangkok.
"From Kansas to Kabul, high rice and wheat prices are worrying officials and economists, and beginning to hit consumers — especially tens of millions of poor people — harder than many can remember. In Singapore, while rice importers and supermarkets have no problems getting the staple grain, prices have escalated.
"The causes of the shortages and high prices are diverse, and vary from country to country. They include natural disasters or adverse weather; high fuel prices, which add to transport costs; hoarding and smuggling of rice and wheat to take advantage of higher prices across national borders; and, in Pakistan, a shortage of electricity that is reportedly hampering mills from functioning at full capacity."
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