Some economists say cyclone damage to Burma's key rice-growing areas might cut supplies of the key food and lead to a further increase in global rice prices.

Burma, also known as Myanmar, was expected to export about 400,000 metric tons of rice this year. The President of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Chookiat Ophaswongse, says in a story by the Bloomberg financial news service that, Burma may now have to import rice instead.

Rice is the staple food for about half of the world's population and its prices hit record highs in late April after some other rice-producing nations put restrictions on some exports.

Some information for this report was provided by Bloomberg.