Importers' iron rice bowl stays sacrosanct

'When I was your age,' said Grandpa, stuffing a wad of Chinese tobacco into the hole in his bamboo pipe, 'things were a sight tougher than today.

'It was the summer of '46, if I remember rightly.

Thursday, 4 July, 1996, 12:00am

Beijing raises price of foods by up to 80pc

The Beijing municipal government yesterday announced immediately effective rises in state-owned shops' retail prices for flour, rice and related processed food by between 10.7 and 80 per cent.

Economists worried the rises would boost this month's inflation rate.

2 Jul 1996 - 12:00am

Government backs down on rice reform

THE Government has proposed only limited reforms to the 41-year-old monopoly rice import system after strong lobbying from established traders.

The administration wanted the rice trade opened to competition in stages by 2001 and had suggested the immediate addition of four or five importers to the current list of 45.

2 Jun 1996 - 12:00am

Claims of GDP growth queried

An economic think-tank has queried government claims that Indonesia's gross domestic product grew more than 8 per cent last year, compared with 7.48 per cent in 1994.

Arif Aryman, managing director of economic advisory group Econit, said the official estimates should be revised down to 7.7 per cent.

24 Apr 1996 - 12:00am

BEA buys stake in rice firm

Bank of East Asia (BEA) and Japanese group Mitsui & Co have bought 18 per cent of Vietnam Resources Rice Processing Industry, a rice processing joint venture.

The bank said yesterday the investment in Vinarice would provide it with a profitable route to enhance its recently re-established presence in Vietnam.

22 Mar 1996 - 12:00am

Scrapping rice monopoly spells $5 price cut

Rice prices could drop by $5 a bag if the Government succeeds in abolishing the 41-year-old monopoly import system.

It wants the rice trade opened to competition in stages by 2001 and has suggested an immediate move to add five or six importers to the current list of 45.

21 Mar 1996 - 12:00am

Food for thought

The Rice Advisory Committee is no more likely to vote for deregulation of the rice market than a committee of turkeys is likely to vote for Christmas. Opposition from rice importers is a poor reason for delaying the dismantling of an arrangement which benefits no one but the importers themselves.

21 Mar 1996 - 12:00am

Crisis fears drive hunger for change

The prospect of China being unable to feed itself has gripped the world since the appearance in late 1994 of economist Lester Brown's bleak assessment, Who Will Feed China? But is there a crisis - and, if so, how serious is it? China has made some pessimistic forecasts - though none as black as Mr Brown's contention that the country could face a shortfall of 316 million tonnes by 2030.

14 Mar 1996 - 12:00am

State grain price rise set to boost production

CHINA will soon raise its state grain purchase price in a bid to further boost agricultural production, the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed yesterday.

26 Jan 1996 - 12:00am

Star players the key to improving HK standards

CLIVE Rice is a follower of 'trickle-down' economics and says this philosophy should be put into practice by Hong Kong cricket which is currently striving to develop the game locally.

The 46-year-old South African stoutly believes that to improve the lot of local cricket, one should start at the top and gradually work your way down.

9 Dec 1995 - 12:00am

System for rice under review

THE 40-YEAR-OLD rice monitoring system is to be retained because it helped combat a sudden rush on rice three months ago.

But the system, which requires 45 rice stockholders to keep 55 days' worth of imported stock at all times, is being reviewed by the Trade Department.

20 Nov 1995 - 12:00am

Rice theft bid

A 40-YEAR-OLD man was caught allegedly trying to steal rice from a shop in Western using a bag and cutter.

29 Sep 1995 - 12:00am

Rice deal to ensure full supply

THAILAND has signed an agreement which will ensure a sufficient supply of rice to Hong Kong next year.

A Thai trade delegation arrived in the territory this week and signed a contract with the Hong Kong Rice Importers' and Exporters' Association to supply 256,000 tonnes of rice next year.

21 Sep 1995 - 12:00am

Rice taste test gets experts steamed up

A GRAIN of truth lies behind the supermarket frenzy which sent shoppers racing for rice last week, it emerged yesterday.

Rice-lovers have besieged markets in the past few days after rumours of a 10 to 20 per cent price hike in the favoured flavour - Thai - and fears it would sell out.

27 Aug 1995 - 12:00am

Elderly hurt in rice queue

A RITUAL to celebrate the Festival of the Hungry Ghost in Shamshuipo brought bad luck for three elderly people yesterday who were crushed in a queue for free rice.

More than 1,500 people, mostly elderly, queued for the rice in a Po On Road playground.

26 Aug 1995 - 12:00am