The Price Of Rice In Japan
The price of rice in Japan is controlled by the government. The government also intervenes when it comes to rice imports. In the year 2000, the selling price of rice in Japan was approximately four times higher than FOB prices in California.
Although private firms in Japan are allowed to sell rice, most of the sales are done by state trading enterprises. According to the WTO rules, Japan has to import at least 8 percent of its annual consumption. However, the rice that is imported is not sold in the domestic market and this contributes to keeping the domestic rice prices much higher than in any other country.
The rice that is imported by Japan is first stored for a year. It is only after this that the rice is distributed. However, most of the times the imported rice is used as food aid. Some of the rice makes it to industries for production of beer and sake.
However, since January 2008, the price of rice in international market has almost doubled to about $1,000 a ton. But compared to the price of rice in Japan, it is still very cheap. The price of rice in Japan is more than $2,300 per ton.
For a long time the production of rice in Japan was more than the domestic consumption. This was primarily because there were subsidized prices offered to the growers. However, of late the government is offering incentives to the farmers to replace the rice crop with other crops and this has led to a reduction in rice production. This is the reason why the price of rice in Japan is much higher than in other countries.
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