Rice crisis hits New Zealand

Auckland rice wholesalers have begun setting limits on the amount of special rice varieties their customers can buy, according to NZ Food Daily.

While rice types such as long and medium grain are still readily available in supermarket shelves, stocks of varieties such as jasmine and basmati, which are preferred by people from south-east Asian, the Philippines, India and China, are running out fast.

The global shortage of rice and skyrocketing prices have led to rationing in a number of countries, including the USA. In Auckland, the price of rice has trippled since Christmas and a 25kg sack, which cost about $25 six months ago, now costs up to $65.

Since last month, shoppers at Thai Rice Wholesalers have been limited to one bag per purchase, and businesses such as restaurants have a two 25-kg sack limit per order.

Wholesalers Gilmours have placed a two-bag restriction on some varieties of rice to prevent retailers from stockpiling.

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