The global rice rush

  @FortuneMagazine July 25, 2013: 7:20 AM ET
FIO12 rice fields

Rice paddies near Nanning, China. As Chinese interest in foreign food has increased, the country has become the world's premier importer of the grain.


Rice is a global food, but hardly a global commodity. Just a smidgen of the world's rice supply each year -- less than 8% -- is traded between countries. Nations grow rice to feed their people, and because the countries that consume the most rice also produce the most, little of the grain has crisscrossed the globe. At least until recently.

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