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COVID 19, rice, rice prices, Arkansas, global rice production, global rice trade, rice exports


The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and subsequent lockdowns impacted all economies worldwide and created an economic recession far graver than the Great Recession, contracting the global growth of gross domestic product (GDP) nearly by 4.0% in 2020, compared to -2.0% in 2009 (IHS Markit database). COVID-19 disrupted global and local food supply chains, and resulted in a significant increase in food prices (FAO, 2021). Both global and domestic rice prices increased, driven primarily by temporary export restrictions imposed by several leading rice exporters, such as Vietnam and Myanmar. The market uncertainty also created in panic-buying and hoarding; consequently, the rice demand spiked in similar to that was observed during the 2007- 2008 rice crisis. For example, Thai 100% B and Vietnamese 5% long-grain rice prices increased by 30% and 25%, respectively, between March and May 2020 relative to the same period in 2019 (Fig. 1). Although prices in the international market have receded some since then, they remain higher than expected despite the record-high global rice production in 2020.

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