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Asia Battles Hike in Rice Prices

担心大幅度涨价香港居民抢购大米

Grocery stores in Hong Kong have replenished rice supplies after panic buying nearly cleared the shelves. Concern is growing among Asian consumers that the region's staple food will no longer be affordable for low-income families.

香港各家食品杂货店的大米几乎被抢购一空之后,现在补充了大米存货。亚洲的消费者越来越担心低收入家庭将买不起大米。

The rush for rice in Hong Kong began after wholesale prices spiked in Thailand.

泰国的大米批发价格猛涨之后,香港人开始抢购大米。

At the end of February, Thailand's benchmark rice was trading at more than $500 a ton, an increase of more than $100 from a month earlier. And in recent days, the price has risen further - more than 30 percent.

今年2月底,泰国标准大米的售价是每吨500多美元,比一个月前上涨了100多美元。最近几天来,大米价格又涨了30%以上。

Hong Kong imports 90 percent of its rice from Thailand, and relies on imports for most of its food. Consumers, expecting sharp price rises, in the past several days have loaded up on rice, clearing the shelves of some stores.

香港消费大米的90%从泰国进口,而且香港的大部分食品都是依赖进口。香港的消费者估计大米价格将猛涨,因此几天来一直在存储大米,把一些商店里的大米抢购一空。

Jasmine Hui is spokeswoman for Park-n-Shop, one of Hong Kong's largest food retailers. She says the chain has increased delivery volume for rice to meet consumer demand. Hui says shoppers in Hong Kong should not be concerned just yet that they will have to pay more for rice.

香港最大的食品连锁店之一“百佳”超市的发言人说,“百佳”增加了大米供货量,以满足顾客的需求。她表示,香港消费者不必担心米价上涨:

"Although we are really facing much pressure as a result of the increase in cost price for rice recently, and we do try our best to stabilize the retail price and up till now we have not adjusted the retail price for all our rice products," she said.

“尽管我们的确由于最近米价上涨而面临很大压力,但我们尽最大努力稳定零售价格,到目前为止,我们对所有大米制品的价格都没有进行调整。”

Smaller crops and other factors such as higher fuel costs have contributed to rising prices for rice. Analysts are concerned about what that means for social stability. Some of the region's poorer nations, with inefficient markets and distribution systems, could face shortages, and millions of households could struggle to pay for basic food.

产量减少以及燃料价格上涨等其他因素导致大米价格上扬。分析人士担心,这将对社会稳定造成影响。亚洲一些贫穷国家的市场和分配体系不完善,因此可能出现大米短缺,数以百万计的家庭在购买基本食品的时候将会遇到困难。
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