Costco CEO Blames Media For Recent Run on Rice

In case you hadn't heard, the world is running scared about the world running out of rice.

As a result, here in America, various food retailers have actually begun rationing the amount of the white stuff consumers are allowed to buy.

Deliciously -- pun definitely intended -- the CEO of the nation's leading warehouse club, Costco's James Sinegal, blamed a lot of the problem on the media.

As marvelously reported by Reuters Wednesday (emphasis added throughout):

Costco Chief Executive James Sinegal told Reuters that he believed the recent surge in demand [for rice] was being driven by media reports about rising global demand and shortages of basic food items in some countries.

Noooo! You mean the media might actually be creating a panic rather than reporting it?


Unfortunately for rice revellers, the news isn't good:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc's (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Sam's Club warehouse division said on Wednesday it is limiting sales of several types of rice, the latest sign that fears of a rice shortage are rippling around the world.

Sam's Club, the No. 2 U.S. warehouse club operator, said it is limiting sales of Jasmine, Basmati and long grain white rice "due to recent supply and demand trends."

U.S. rice futures hitting an all-time high Wednesday on worries about supply shortages.

That's saying a mouthful, for here's a weekly chart of rice that certainly won't be pleasing to those considering this a dietary staple:

Yikes. Can anyone say, "Parabola?"

Yet, here was the money paragraph destined to anger those in the media that want to blame this entire problem on the Bush administration and/or a low dollar:

Food costs have soared worldwide, spurred by increased demand in emerging markets like China and India; competition with biofuels; high oil prices and market speculation.

Wait a minute. George Bush ISN'T responsible?

Reuters must be off its game, for it is indeed shocking to see such economic honesty from a major wire service, wouldn't you agree?

Photo via

Economy Ethanol Reuters
Noel Sheppard's picture