The world\'s demand on rice is increasing, and in the near future rice will be likely to replace other crops due to competition in price and quality. Rice prices may rise to 700 U.S. dollars per ton next year even though India has returned to the market. The statement was made by Jeremy Zwinger, CEO of The Rice Trader, a leading trade publication and analyst of the global rice industry, at the on-going World Rice Conference (WRC) 2011 in Vietnam\'s southern Ho Chi Minh City, reported local Vietnam News on Friday. His saying was proven by the fact that rice exports from major rice producers have increased sharply, namely up 20 percent in the first quarter, 17 percent in the second quarter and 11.5 percent in the third quarter of this year - the highest growths in the history of the world\'s rice production. As of October 11, Thailand exported 9.4 million tons of rice, up 45.16 percent over last year, while Vietnam exported 5.99 million tons, up 8.8 percent, and India with 2.13 million tons, up 11.38 percent. According to Zwinger, prices would go up due to increased flooding in Cambodia, Vietnam and especially Thailand, a 15 percent drop in production in South America, and Thailand\'s decision to increase prices for grain purchase to boost rural incomes. According to the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, the recent flooding which was said the ever worst calamity over the past many years in this country may cause a damage of around 6-7 million tons of paddy, equivalent with around three million tons of rice. However, Thailand is not short of rice since four million tons of rice still remained in stock and nearly one million tons in the government storehouses. The country expects to export 11 million tons of rice this year.