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The Run On Rice

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No reason to panic just yet but on Wednesday Sam's Club began limiting purchases of rice to only four bags per customer. What’s going on?

Wal-Mart’sSam's Club warehouse division said on Wednesday it is limiting sales of several types of rice, the latest sign that fears of a rice shortage are rippling around the world.

Specifically, the #2 U.S. warehouse club operator, said it is limiting sales of Jasmine, Basmati and long grain white rice "due to recent supply and demand trends."

Meanwhile U.S. rice futures hit an all-time high Wednesday on worries about supply shortages.

On Tuesday, Costco Wholesale, the largest U.S. warehouse club operator, said it has seen increased demand for items like rice and flour as customers, worried about global food shortages and rising prices, stock up.

It’s an issue of hoarding, reveals Jon Najarian on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” The hoarding started out in California because of its proximity to the East. People began buying rice and sending it to their relatives. Then it spread across the country.

The trouble began in Australia a few years ago when a long drought led to a severe decline in rice production. Since then the price has gone up, up, up.

Although rice is only moderately popular in America, Asians typically eat as much as 150 pounds of rice per person in a year.


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