The shipping industry’s leading provider of delay cover says that the escalating cost of harvested rice in Asia could trigger shortages in the world food chain.
“If this situation worsens in the immediate or near future, as is widely predicted, it could put many regions and countries on strike watch,” it warns.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick last week said prices are set to rise due to strong demand, change in diet and the use of biofuels.
The Strike Club added that events so far this year have demonstrated that shipping earnings can easily be seriously diluted by time lost through strikes and other delays.
Since the beginning of 2008 there have been serious labour stoppages in Mormugao (India), Italy, Chile, Pakistan, Kenya and Greece, the club says.
A tax increase in Argentina on soya recently led to a three-week long farmers’ protest that hit export shipments from River Plate ports.
Elsewhere this month, trouble has erupted in the Philippines, Colombia, French Polynesia, Gabon and Gdynia in Poland.