Rice Takes Out December 2009 Highs, Next Stop: $20, As China Distributes Fake Plastic Rice

And so the tide rising all commodities keeps coming: rough rice has just passed its December 2009 high and is now at its highest since October 2008. When we predicted on Monday morning that "rice is next", little did we think that it would be up by 11% in 4 days. And with this important resistance level broken, it is smooth sailing to the next two resistance levels of $20 and $24. Of course, Bangladesh will be in flames long before any of those are hit. But a speculator has to eat, right. After all, none of this is Gen Ben's fault.

Rice:

Long-term Rice:

And Rice since Monday:

And for those curious how China is dealing with multi year rice price highs, here is a tip, via Very Vietnam:

Fake Plastic Rice from China

According to the Korean-language “Weekly Hong Kong” (which many Vietnam websites are referencing as well), Singapore media claim that fake rice is being distributed in the Chinese town of Taiyuan, in Shaanxi province. This “rice” is a mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and plastic. It is formed by mixing the potatoes and sweet potatoes into the shape of rice grains, then adding industrial synthetic resins. Since the rice does not behave like normal rice, it stays hard even after it has been cooked. Such synthetic resins can also be very harmful if consumed.

A Chinese Restaurant Association official said that eating three bowls of this fake rice would be like eating one plastic bag. Due to the seriousness of the matter, he added that there would be an investigation of factories alleged to be producing the rice. Meanwhile, the low cost of the fake rice is allowing wholesalers to make large profits.

Vietnam Increasingly Concerned over Food Safety

In Vietnam, there are have been various reports in the domestic media about tainted food, leading many to worry about the safety of the food supply. Here are some recent English articles from Vietnam:

Specifically involving food from China

  • January 21: “Contaminated food seized in HCMC”
  • January 18: “Smuggling diseased Chinese poultry into Vietnam increases as Tet approaches”
  • December 30: “Vietnam denies sale of fake eggs “
  • December 26: “Dangerous chemicals have been used in food for years”

Others

  • January 21: “Vietnam snake wines could induce biting headache”
  • Janury 20: “HCMC inspectors destroy unsafe eggs, seal borax-contaminated food”
  • January 14: “Vietnam finds carcinogen in spice samples”
  • January 10: “Nearly 470 workers hospitalized with food poisoning”
  • January 8: “Fake alcohol erodes rural people’s stomach”
  • January 4: “Food poisoning hits 700 in HCM City”
  • November 15: “Is unsafe food poisoning Vietnamese people?”