042508ricecostco.jpgThe cost of rice has shot up dramatically in recent months, and some analysts say a domestic shortage is on the horizon. The price increase is part of an alarming trend that’s seen the cost of flour rise 13 percent, milk 10 percent, eggs 30 percent and soon – make sure you’re sitting down – beer 10-15 percent.

According to the Daily News, Sam's Club and Costco are now limiting how much rice customers can buy because of what Sam's Club called "recent supply-and-demand trends." In New York City, the price of a 20-pound bag of rice has gone up from $9 to $16 since February.

The cost is being driven by a number of factors: Developing countries like India and Vietnam have been limiting exports of rice to try and control high prices at home, where booming populations and poor crop yields have made the staple a luxury for many. And China has dramatically reduced rice exports to the U.S. because the weakling dollar has made it unprofitable. The only thing slowing the price increase is that domestic production of long-grain and medium-grain rice remains solid.

Skyrocketing prices of rice, wheat, corn and soybeans have already led to massive food riots in developing countries. Here in New York, it’s only led to worrying – for now: 87-year-old Louise Maniloff, tells the News she tries “not looking at prices anymore because it's very disgusting.”

Photo of Costco rice ration courtesy AP/Paul Sakuma.