Thursday, 27 March 2008

Cambodia PM bans rice exports

ABC Radio Australia

Cambodia's prime minister, Hun Sen, has banned rice exports in a bid to halt its spiraling prices.

The move comes amid the steady climb in the price of most staple goods, including the doubling of the cost of cooking gas, which has put increasing strain on large numbers of Cambodians.

Rice prices have risen sharply from about 40 cents a kilogramme to nearly a dollar as speculation of shortages grip local markets.

Hun Sen says Cambodia has a rice surplus and blames the price hike on people spreading rumours of dwindling rice supplies in a bid to undermine the government.

The prime minister says the two month ban is a temporary measure to ensure food security.

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