When we reported on last week's net spec contract position per the CFTC, we noted that speculators are expecting a roughly 50% hike in the price of rice based on comparable historical patterns. Updating for this week's data confirms that the upside price bets, which increased from 6,652 to 7,114 have just surged above the previous top hit in late 2009, of 6,773. Yet they are still just shy of the all time highs from February 2008 when they stood at 7,883. As the spec activity in rice predates major price moves rather efficiently, the continued bets on a price surge mean something is bound to snap. And with rice prices continuing to be rather sticky, considering the move in all other grains, we may be in for a very major break out in the coming week. Or not: as we have now learned the hard way, the banking cartel has way to keep commodity prices low, until explosive break outs confirm that one can only manipulate a price down for so long. With recent disclosures by Wikileaks that China had been imposing pressure on the Treasury and the US banking system to get what it wants, is it too surprising to assume that just as JPM has long been manipulating the price of silver, so Chinese interests in the US (remember - quid pro quo in a M.A.D. world) have been instructed to keep the price of Rough Rice as low for as long as possible. If that is the case, are the Rice vigilantes about to call the Chinese bluff? If rice succeeds in breaking out from its $13-$16 trading range, the move to the upside could make the recent doubling in cotton, and surges in corn and wheat seem like child's play.