The Sam's Club and Costco chains will limit the sale of large quantities of rice due to what Sam's Club called "recent supply and demand trends."
According to the Washington Post, Sam's Club announced that stores will limit customers to four bags at a time of 20-lb bags of jasmine, basmati, and long-grain wild rice. The company said the restriction will mainly affect businesses, and the limit does not apply to retail size rice packages.
The Sam's Club decision follows a similar one made by Costco, which also limited bulk rice purchases in some of its stores.
Kristy Reed, a spokeswoman for Sam's Club, said in the article that she could not say whether the problem was caused by short supplies or by customers stocking up in anticipation of higher prices. David Coia, USA Rice Federation spokesman, said there is no rice shortage in the United States.
Riots have broken out recently in developing nations over short rice supplies and increased prices. The article says poor crop yields and demand have pushed rice prices up 70 percent this year.
Brazil announced yesterday that it would temporarily halt rice exports to ensure domestic supply as global prices rise, following on the heels of several Asian nations that have done the same.
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