Rice prices concern shoppers, business owners

Sunday, April 27th 2008, 11:22 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

Metro residents and restaurant owners are worried about the increasing price of rice.

The value of rice has gotten national attention since Sam's Club put restrictions on how much customers could purchase.  Nationally, the price of rice has increased 68 percent since the beginning of this year.

"I just looked and I saw the price is $18.99 it used to be $12.99 a month ago - I don't know what's going on," shopper Karen Barnor said. "We're from Ghana so rice is really big in our culture. We eat rice all the time."

Local store owner Ba Luong said his cost has doubled since fall. He has been selling rice for the more than two decades at Super Cao Supermarket and said he's never seen an increase like this.

"The demand worldwide is pushing up the prices and because change in consumption and because change in increase the cost to grow the rice, cost of fertilizer, cost of fuel and so that's pushing the prices up," he said.

Thai Tien, owner of Grand House restaurant, said the restaurant is paying triple the normal price for rice.

 "All the meal in the Chinese restaurant come with rice," Tien said. "It's really affecting us."

NEWS 9 contacted several restaurants and sushi bars around town and they said they're hoping for the price of rice to go down before having to pass it along to their customers.

Luong said currently there is not a shortage of rice in Oklahoma.