米価格高騰とアジア諸国

 米の価格が記録的なレベルとなり、アジア各国は対応に追われる。主要作物価格は昨年1年で70%上昇し、いくつかの輸入国(バングラデシュ、フィリピン、アフガニスタン)に打撃を与えている。
価格上昇に寄与している要素は、異常気象による不作、米輸入国の需要増、更なる価格上昇予測、在庫不足と長期的な農業投資の欠如、などがある。
 インドは、中国に次ぐ生産国であり、10億人口の65%の主食である。デリーでは最近2ヶ月で米1kg29セントから39セントに上昇。政府は全面輸出禁止を発表した。国際米穀調査協会によれば、肥料多様により土壌の健康が低下し、インドでの米作の持続可能性が、脅かされている。
 バングラデシュは1974年以来の最も悪い食糧不足にある。賃金上昇がない中で米の価格が昨年以来2倍となった。2回の洪水と11月のサイクロンに襲われた。政府は260万人に米を支給。最近6ヶ月で通常の2倍以上インドから輸入した。
 フィリピンは2007年、米の最大輸入国である。人口増加で需要が増え価格が上昇、備蓄が減り、政府はベトナムやタイなど周辺諸国との調整に乗り出している。反政府軍が、米流通業者の車を襲い、不平をかきたてる状況を利用しようとしているかもしれないと言う。
 タイはベトナム米国を抜いて世界で最も輸出が多い。米価は1年で50%上昇した。豊かになり消費が増えた国があるが、タイでは食物が多様なため米の消費がむしろ減少。
 中国では、豊かになった分、肉を多く食べて、米の消費が減った。13億人を養う食料があり、備蓄も十分だと政府は言っている。消費削減努力と保存を呼びかけている。
 日本は、2500年以上にわたり米作りがされてきた。かつては極めて重要であり、神として拝まれた。米を輸入する代わりに市場価格の4倍の価格で買い、輸入制限し、稲作農家に補助金を出している。日本人は国産米が最も良い味だとしている。少量の輸出入はあるが国際市場に影響は与えない。
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Page last updated at 23:25 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 00:25 UK
Asian states feel rice pinch
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7324596.stm
画像rice price graph

Asian countries have been struggling to cope as the cost of rice has reached record levels.

The price of the staple crop has risen by as much as 70% during the last year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Shortages have begun to hit some importing countries.
Factors contributing to the price rise include:
* Poor harvests resulting from extreme weather
* A rise in demand in some rice-importing countries, where populations and incomes are growing
* The expectation of further price increases - resulting in hoarding
* Low stockpiles and a long term lack of agricultural investment
The spike is also part of a general surge in food costs worldwide, so the option of switching to cheaper foods is often not available.
Producers including India, China and Vietnam have restricted exports as they try to protect their stocks and limit inflation.
Importers such as Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Afghanistan have been hit hard.

See graph showing rice production and consumption

INDIA
India is the second largest rice grower in the world behind China. With rice the staple food for 65% of the country's one billion plus people, much is consumed domestically.
But prices have been soaring - a shopkeeper in Delhi told the BBC that the cost of one variety had increased by a third in the last two months, rising from 12 rupees (29 US cents) per kilogram to 16 rupees (39 cents).
The price of most other varieties, including long-grained aromatic basmati rice, has gone up by eight-to-10 rupees a kilo, he said.
The government has announced a total ban on exports of non-basmati rice, in a bit to curb rising food prices, which have helped push inflation to a 13-month high.
The price for basmati rice, meanwhile, has been raised to $1,200 per tonne to discourage exports.
Officials say as yet there is no crisis - India has more than enough reserves to feed its population.
They also say India will honour its commitments to export rice to neighbouring Bangladesh.
But the International Rice Research Institute says that the sustainability of rice farming in India and beyond is threatened by overuse of fertilisers and soil health.

BANGLADESH
画像rice aid pie chart
Spiralling rice prices have left the people of Bangladesh facing their worst food shortages since the major famine of 1974.
Over the last year, prices have nearly doubled to about 35 taka (50 cents), while there has been no corresponding increase in wages.
Hundreds of poor families are now surviving on one meal a day, and spending 70-80% of their budget on food. The problem is most acute in urban areas where aid agencies say they are very concerned about infant malnourishment.
Local factors have contributed to the price rise. Bangladesh has been hit by severe flooding twice in the last year and a devastating cyclone in November.
The government is giving rice away to 2.6 million people and supplying some families at discounted prices.
It has had to import four million tonnes of rice from India over the last six months - more than double the usual amount.
But the government's critics say it has made matters worse with an anti-corruption drive that has led to the closure of many unofficial rice supply outlets closed down.

PHILIPPINES
The Philippines is listed by the US Department of Agriculture as the world's top importer of rice for 2007, ahead of Nigeria, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
Domestic demand has risen as the population has grown, pushing up prices.
With rice stocks low, the government has been negotiating with neighbouring countries to secure imports, signing a deal with Vietnam last week and working for another one with Thailand.
Fears of public unrest are growing.
President Gloria Arroyo has asked authorities to crack down on hoarders. Officials have said they could be charged with economic sabotage - a crime that carries a life sentence.
There have also been efforts to reduce consumption. Some of the country's fast-food chains are offering half portions of rice at the government's request. The government has also asked the public to save leftover rice.
It has been reported that Communist rebels could be thinking of exploiting the situation to stir up discontent - guerrillas recently burnt a rice trader's vehicles in the central island of Panay.
Troops have been called in to protect deliveries of rice to poor areas, while farmers have reportedly begun guarding their crops.

THAILAND
Thailand has long been the world's largest exporter of rice, well ahead of Vietnam and the US.
It has not yet placed any restrictions on exports, and has denied reports that it is considering taking this step.
However, some rice millers and traders who deal on forward contracts have been suffering, after being caught out by price fluctuations.
Exporters have even complained that they would prefer to have stable prices than high prices.
Some millers have hoarded rice in an attempt to earn higher profits later on, pushing prices higher still as they restrict supply.
The government has released some of its 2.1 million tonnes of stockpiled rice in an attempt to contain inflation.
Rice prices increased by more than 50% last year and have continued to rise.
While in some countries rice consumption has risen with prosperity, Thais have been eating a greater variety of foods and less rice as they have become wealthier.

CHINA
Chinese consumers have been have been eating more meat and less rice as their income has risen, according to the FAO.
Indian workers prepare rice for packing near Hyderabad, 3 April 2008
India and China say they have enough rice, but have restricted exports
But the government, highly conscious of social or political tensions caused by food inflation, has moved to protect consumers by restricting exports.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said this week that China has an "abundant" supply of rice to feed its population of more than 1.3 billion.
China had stockpiled about 40-50 million tonnes of rice, he said.
Though China is not one of the top rice exporters, export restrictions can have a big impact on importers including North Korea, which buys rice from China at very low prices as it tries to cope with frequent food shortages.

JAPAN
Rice is thought to have been produced for more than 2,500 years in Japan, where it was once seen as so important that it was worshipped as a god.
Instead of importing rice, Japan heavily subsidises its rice farmers, paying them as much as four times the market price and restricting imports.
This policy is defended by a farming community with considerable political weight, and many Japanese agree home-grown rice tastes best.
Food security is seen as politically important and the country keeps a large stockpile of rice - even though it is probably wealthy enough to buy on the international market even if prices continue to rise.
Its scientists are already looking for varieties that will be resistant to higher temperatures caused by climate change.
Japan trades relatively small quantities and has little impact on the international market.

rice production and consumption graph
画像

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NHK 清水
2008年04月14日 17:36
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