IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Rice price volatility: a dilemma for public policies in Asia and Europe?

Listed author(s):
  • M. Bruna Zolin


    (Department of Economics, University Of Venice C� Foscari)

  • Bernadette Andreosso O�Callaghan


    (University Of Limerick)

Registered author(s):

    In 2008 the world�s attention was focused on the global food crisis and, as consequence, on the global food security. By mid-2009, commodity prices have dropped sensitively, nevertheless most of them still remain at or above past trend levels. Fluctuations in prices are not rare in agricultural markets where volatility is a common characteristic. Among cereals rice has a strategic importance. It is source of nutrition for more than a half of the world population and of income for about two million of farmers. Even if it is produced and consumed everywhere, production and consumption are concentrated in Asia. Because of its strategic importance, rice is and has been subject to a host of policy interventions that have made it feature among the most distorted of all agricultural commodities. Export policies have typically been applied by net exporting countries and one of the most commonly applied policy measures, adopted by net importing countries, is the removal or reduction of import duties and taxes on food commodities. Various forms of producer support measures were introduced, including input subsidies, output price support and an easing of cropland set-aside requirements. Policies to support consumers and vulnerable groups have included: direct consumer subsidies, tax reductions, distribution from public stocks, price subsidies, public-sector salary increases and social safety net programmes. Self-targeting food-for-work programmes have been put in place by some countries. Although the EU rice trade represents only 0.4 per cent of world trade a common organisation market (COM) for rice was set-up. It is a complex system aiming at maintaining European rice production destined for domestic and external markets. This paper aims to expand the above statements. The objective is to review and compare the policies adopted in Asia and in the EU and assess their impact form the point of sustainability (in a broad sense) with the ultimate aim to advance some interpretations and suggestions in the short and long run, having in mind the variables that affect the supply, the demand and the trade. As a background, the paper first outlines the characteristics of the rice market. Through a regression analysis that could help to understand how the rice price changes. It also considers the policies adopted in Asia and in the EU, highlighting their results on prices from an economic and social point of view. This paper concludes with a number of issues to be borne in mind when interpreting the volatility or rice prices (according to the regression analysis results), the expected policy impact and distortions, and, finally, the �relatively� new strategy: move from food security to self-sufficient food security, one of the long terms goals of the Treaty of Rome (to secure availability of supplies).

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari" in its series Working Papers with number 2010_21.

    in new window

    Length: 23
    Date of creation: 2010
    Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2010_21
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Cannaregio, S. Giobbe no 873 , 30121 Venezia

    Phone: +39-0412349621
    Fax: +39-0412349176
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Robles, Miguel & Torero, Maximo & von Braun, Joachim, 2009. "When speculation matters:," Issue briefs 57, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. C. Peter Timmer, 2009. "Did Speculation Affect World Rice Prices?," Working Papers 09-07, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2010_21. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Geraldine Ludbrook)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.