Markets and trade

Rice publications

Sensitive and Special Products - A Rice Perspective
This article examines the prospect of rice being designated as a special or sensitive product and looks at the possible implications this could have under liberalisation of the international rice market. Using an Armington-type model, it was found that the designation of rice as special or sensitive by key countries considerably diminishes the effects of reform, particularly when no concessions are required to be made upon designating rice so. The paper also discusses the criteria that could serve to guide the selection of rice products as sensitive or special.

Rice liberalization: predicting trade and price impacts
Rice is a principal source of calorie intake for about half of the world's population and a mainstay for rural populations and food security in many low income countries. It is mainly cultivated by small farmers in holdings of less than one hectare. Rice also plays an important role as a "wage" commodity for workers in cash crop or non-agricultural sectors.

Rice: what do analytical model results tell us?
2004 was declared the International Year of Rice by the United Nations General Assembly, a tribute to a commodity that is the staple food for about half of the world's population and also a major income earner in the developing countries. Because of its strategic importance, rice has been subject to a host of policy interventions that have made it feature among the most distorted agricultural commodities. For this reason, rice is frequently specified in models that analyse the effects of trade liberalization. The objective of this technical note is to review and compare the various analytical tools employed to assess such impacts, with the ultimate aim of shedding some light on critical issues under discussion in the WTO Doha Round Multilateral Trade Negotiations.

International Trade in Rice, Recent Developments and Prospects
In the past several decades, the international rice market has undergone major changes, in particular a shift in the general policy setting, a strong expansion in the volumes of trade and a lingering tendency for world prices to decline in real terms and relative to the other two most traded cereals, wheat and maize. Nonetheless, the world rice market continues to be regarded as distorted, thin, segmented and volatile. This paper discusses whether these attributes still portray the market, in the light of the trade liberalization drives prevailing in the 1990s.

Rice International Commodity Profile
Rice is a major food staple and a mainstay for the rural population and for household food security. It is mainly cultivated by small farmers in holdings of less than one hectare. Rice also plays an important role as a “wage” commodity for workers in the cash crop or non-agricultural sectors. This duality has given rise to conflicting policy objectives, with policy makers intervening to the rescue of farmers when prices fell too low or in the defense of consumer’s purchasing power, in cases of sudden prices hikes.

Rice is of special importance for the nutrition of large reaches of the population in Asia parts of Latin America and the Caribbean and, increasingly so, in Africa. As a result, it plays a pivotal role for the food security of over half the world population. It is also a central component of the culture of a number of communities. For those reasons, rice is considered as a “strategic” commodity in many countries, both developed and developing, and has consequently remained subject to a wide range of government controls and interventions