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Wheat price hike could bring rice-flour boom
The popularity of food products made of rice flour has been growing following the drastic price hike for wheat flour.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry is also pursuing the trend by allocating 40 million yen to promote rice consumption in the budget for fiscal 2008.

Wheat flour for bread currently costs 100 yen per kilogram, about half the cost of rice flour. However, the government will hike the price on imported wheat by about 30 percent in April.

Rice flour is made of rice grains that cannot be sold as regular rice because they are too small, and has long been used to make rice crackers and rice dumplings. Products made of rice flour have a chewy texture.

Although only 103,000 tons of rice flour is produced in the nation annually--about 2 percent of the domestic production of wheat flour--it has been growing in popularity.

Much of the rice flour is used in school lunches at the initiative of local governments and schools that promote the consumption of locally grown or locally produced materials. The number of schools that have introduced breads made of rice flour quadrupled to 7,836 schools in fiscal 2006 from 1,983 schools in fiscal 2003.

Family restaurant chain Jonathan's has also introduced rice-flour breads at its branches.
MGR Archive 24.2.2008
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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