RICE exports have started the current fiscal year on a positive note, giving rise to hopes that the full-year proceeds will hit $2 billion after a gap of two years.
The country’s rice exports jumped 40 per cent year-on-year to $224 million in the July-August period, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
Basmati rice exports rose more than 10pc to $63m during the two months despite a negligible increase in the volume, which rose 0.4pc to 59,433 tonnes.
Some exporters are re-establishing their brands by improving quality of processing and packaging while others are switching over from shipping large quantities of loose coarse rice to exporting it in wholesale or even retail packaging
However, exports of non-basmati varieties saw a big rise of about 47pc to 369,560 tonnes during the period. Accordingly, export earnings surged 57pc to $161m.
A rise in export earnings of basmati with negligible change in volume is both good and bad. It’s good as it points to a rising trend in per-unit price of basmati varieties. On the downside, higher per-unit price could give further edge to Indian exporters, who have already grabbed more than 70pc share of the Saudi rice market and are increasing their share in other Gulf Cooperation Council countries as well.
As for non-basmati or coarse rice varieties, their exports are growing for severalreasons, including higher production of rice in 2016-17 as compared to 2015-16.
Moreover, exporters are reaching out to new markets. Some of them are re-establishing their brands by improving quality of processing and packaging while others are switching over from shipping large quantities of loose coarse rice to exporting it in wholesale or even retail packaging.
Besides, the use of online trading portals for client searching is also picking up pace.
“Rice exports in this fiscal year can hit $2bn mark again (as they did in FY15),” says an official of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
Officials say that recent efforts to mobilise foreign missions in helping exporters grab a larger share of traditional rice markets and explore new ones have also started paying off.
In the last fiscal year, Pakistan produced 6.85m tonnes of rice, up from 6.8m tonnes in FY16 but still short of the 7m tonnes mark achieved in FY15. This has eased pressure to some extent on prices of exporters-driven purchases, and many of them are able to export more during this fiscal year than they did in the last year.
Exporters also hope to partly regain the lost ground in Saudi Arabia, where our rice exports declined to $54m in FY17 from $83m in FY16.
Some other exporters say that regaining our lost status in Afghanistan (where Pakistan’s rice exports slumped to $77.5m in FY17 from $128m a year ago) and China (where exports plunged to $105m in FY17 from a peak of around $277m a year ago) is crucial if we want to hit the $2bn mark in rice exports in FY18.
In case of Afghanistan, political tension between Islamabad and Kabul, and repeated closure of border trade are blamed by exporters for decline in exports of not only rice but of other commodities as well.
However, rice exports to China suffered last year mainly due to depressed demand there, though inefficient marketing and logistics issues also had a hand in it.
“In the last three months, we’ve received orders from both countries. I hope exports to Afghanistan and China will increase this year,” an official of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) told this writer.
He said that during a recent visit of the Kenyan high commissioner to REAP’s headquarters, steps to further increase rice exports to Kenya came under discussion. Rice exports to Kenya rose to $198m in FY17 from $184m a year earlier.
During the previous fiscal year, Pakistani exporters penetrated into such non-traditional markets as Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Thailand, which itself is a big rice-exporting country. Combined earnings from these markets totalled about $80m, REAP officials say.
Besides, rice exporters are also making efforts to sustain markets like Kenya, Chile, Denmark, Djibouti, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger and Zimbabwe, where their exports saw phenomenal growth in FY17.
Pakistan’s rice exports to Indonesia got a boost in January last year when the two countries signed a deal to enable our exporters to ship $400m of rice in four years. “Under that agreement rice exports to Indonesia are going on and during this fiscal year we may fetch $50m to $100m depending upon Indonesian requirements,” says a TDAP official.
Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, October 9th, 2017
In a move that is expected to give boost to rice exports, India has approached the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) for allowing duty-free exports of all the 29 varieties of basmati rice notified by the agriculture ministry.In a move that is expected to give boost to rice exports, India has approached the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) for allowing duty-free exports of all the 29 varieties of basmati rice notified by the agriculture ministry. At present, under a code of practice and regulations signed in 2004, only eight varieties of basmati rice are allowed duty-free exports from India to EU and UK while those varieties notified afterwards, especially Pusa 1121 (2008) and Pusa 1509 (2013), which constitute at least 70% of around 4 million tonne of aromatic rice exports annually, are subject to a higher level of import duties. Trades sources told FE that a zero rate of import duty is granted to eight varieties of husked basmati rice, including 370, 386, 217, Ranbir, Pusa basmati and Super. While only 10% of India’s total basmati rice production is exported to EU including UK, the realisation from shipments is much higher than the bulk of basmati rice exports to Gulf countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Kuwait. “Currently, exports of basmati rice varieties which were notified after 2004 attract a duty of €165 per tonne, which makes it costlier against other rice,” an exporter said. India being the top rice exporters for last many years, shipped 3.5 lakh tonne of basmati rice to EU valued at Rs 1,744 crore in 2016-17. Overall basmati rice export from India was Rs 21,605 crore for FY17. “There is ample scope of increasing shipment to EU and UK as code of practices and regulations signed more than a decade back needs to be revised,” an official said. He also said that they have received positive feedback from EU and UK authorities. Out of the total annual value of basmati rice exports, five countries – Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Kuwait — have share of more than 68%. “EU and UK allowing more varieties of basmati under import duty free regime would boost rice exports prospects,” an official said. This follows EU’s recent decision to impose a stringent maximum residue limit (MRL) for Tricyclazole, a fungicide used by farmers against a disease which impacts basmati rice crop from December 31, 2017. The exporters in the country have launched an extensive campaign to educate the farmers in key growing states of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh on the judicious use of pesticide. “Many a times rice exports consignments were rejected because of detection of pesticides residues and our focus would be to educate the farmers against use of excessive pesticides which would lead to higher price realisation,” Vijay Setia, president, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) had said.
Low productivity of Basmati-386, for long the flavour of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran districts, reduces the farmer’s interest in it; newer varieties are more productive but lack the distinct touch.
Over 300 fragrant rice varieties are being rescued from obscurity and extinction by committed farmers
Rising Kashmir NewsJammu: Experts on Tuesday said that Jammu will become a hub for export of quality basmati rice in India. This was said during a one-day workshop on ‘Quality improvement in production of Basmati rice for export’ at Chatha, wherein about 225 farmers from Basmati rice growing region of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts participated and was attended by the national and state level experts of Basmati rice. According to a statement, the workshop was organized by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (Jammu), in collaboration with Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF), APEDA, Government of India, organized one day workshop and focused on the production, marketing, utilization and export of Basmati rice in context of development of entrepreneurship. “A high level exchange of knowledge between the scientists, farmers and field functionaries to develop the road map for Basmati rice farming was taken up during the workshop, a spokesman said in the statemnet. During the programme, the spokesman said, the official website of Society for Integrated Development of Agriculture, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences (SIDAVES) was launched by Prof. P.K. Sharma, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-J and the chief guest of the workshop. Prof. Pardeep Kumar Sharma congratulated the farmers for their enthusiastic participation in the workshop and appealed them to maintain the quality of their basmati produce to fetch a good price in the market and double the income of basmati growers. He advised the farmers to keep in touch with the scientists and experts for any kind of problems in their fields. He appealed to the basmati growers to be prepared to register themselves with the online portal to be launched shortly by the Government of India. He also congratulated Dr. Jag Paul Sharma, director Research and his team for the launch of the society SIDAVES for the benefit of mother earth and mankind. Dr. Jag Paul Sharma, Director Research of SKUAST-Jammu, gave a lecture on entrepreneurship in Basmati and its organic cultivation. He advised the farmers to adopt scientific advisories and regulations to obtain optimum yield and quality in basmati entrepreneurship in Jammu province. He emphasized for further improvement in basmati rice with increased grain length, high aroma, grain yield and resistance to diseases and insects and providing value addition to basmati rice varieties. Sharma stressed upon the use organic basmati seed for organic production of basmati rice, along with the use of bio-fertilizers and bio control agents. He advised for the development of farmer producers organizations (FPOs) of basmati growers in Jammu province. Dr. Ritesh Sharma, Principal Scientist (BEDF) interacted with the basmati growers of Jammu district and gave a lecture on strengths and challenges in export of Basmati rice and quality production techniques. He enlisted Ranbir Basmati and Basmati 370 of Jammu among the top 30 varieties of basmati rice and told that Pusa Basmati 1121 contains the longest grain length and constitutes 80 percent of the total basmati export. He discussed in detail about the problems, solutions, weaknesses and strengths of basmati growers of Jammu district and told that the pesticide residual effect is very less in Jammu Basmati as compared to other regions. Ravi Aggarwal, Chief Manager, Northern Region, Indian Potash Limited (IPL) appreciated the efforts of scientists of SKUAST-J in improvement of production technologies of basmati rice in Jammu province and requested the farmers for optimum use of fertilizers in their fields. IPL organized a quiz competition among the participating basmati rice growers wherein five winning farmers were facilitated with 50 kg bag of potash to each. Dr. S.K. Singh, Scientist of Organic Farming Research Center- Chatha, elaborated eco-friendly diseases and insect pest management of Basmati. Dr. R.K. Salgotra, Coordinator of School of Biotechnology presented welcome address, while, a formal vote of thanks was presented by Dr. R. K. Arora, Associate Director Extension and Incharge of all KVKs of SKUAST-Jammu.
No change seen in shipment volumes; basmati output in the country is roughly 6.6 million tonnes
Basmati RiceBasmati rice accounts for about 38 percent of total rice consumption in the Middle East, 4.4 percent in Europe, 1.3 percent in the U.S. and 1.2 percent in Asia, according to a company presentation. LT expects revenue will almost double to $1 billion by 2020 from an estimated 32 billion rupees ($500 million) in the year ended March 31, Arora said. Improvements in procurement, processing, sales and distribution should help lift operating profit as a percentage of revenue to 15 percent in the coming years from 12 percent, he said. Rising income in India has encouraged consumers to shift to modern convenience stores from mom-and-pop shops, boosting demand for branded rice and pulses. Branded products account for 26 percent of total basmati sales in the country, according to the company. LT Foods annually sells about 200,000 tons of branded basmati rice in India, capturing a market share of 20 percent, he said. Branded packaged rice accounts for about two-thirds of its sales, while trading and value added products such as organic cereals and brown rice make up the rest, Arora said. The company, which competes with firms such as KRBL Ltd. and Kohinoor Foods Ltd., is aiming to increase its annual rice processing volumes to 500,000 tons in two years from 400,000 tons by outsourcing mills owned by others, Arora said. Ajay Thakur, an analyst with Anand Rathi Securities Pvt., said in a report in February that the company’s stock valuations were inexpensive and the rising share of its branded business, cost efficiency-led margin gains and better inventory management were expected to drive greater free cash flow and return ratios. He has a buy rating on the stock. “We don’t want to make a fresh capital expenditure and we will outsource because there are a lot of idle capacities that are available,” Arora said. “We are keen on spending money on branding and advertising our products. The focus is to invest in brands and markets.”
Anil Mittal's family business KRBL is reaping the benefits of its decision to penetrate the domestic market with new brands and varieties of basmati, while maintaining a strong export business
New Delhi, May 4 (PTI) Rice basmati prices continued to slide for the fourth day by losing up to Rs 300 per quintal owing to slackened demand at the wholesale grains market today.New Delhi, May 4 (PTI) Rice basmati prices continued to slide for the fourth day by losing up to Rs 300 per quintal owing to slackened demand at the wholesale grains market today. However, wheat recovered on scattered demand from flour mills. Traders said easing demand from retailers and stockists kept rice basmati prices lower. In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa- 1121 variety drifted further lower to Rs 7,400-7,500 and Rs 6,000-6,800 from previous levels of Rs 7,700-7,800 and Rs 6,000-7,100 per quintal, respectively. Non basmati rice permal raw, wand, sela and IR-8 also finished down at Rs 2,250-2,275, Rs 2,300-2,350, Rs 2,700- 2,800 and Rs 1,875-2,000 from previous levels of Rs 2,275- 2,325, Rs 2,400-2,450, Rs 3,000-3,100 and Rs 2000-2025 per quintal respectively in line with rice basmati trend. On the other hand, wheat dara (for mills) edged up by Rs 15 to Rs 1,705-1,710 per quintal. Atta chakki delivery followed suit and traded higher by Rs 20 to Rs 1,720-1,725 per 90 kg. Following are today’s quotations (in Rs per quintal): Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,100-2,400, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,705-1,720, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,720-1,725, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 240, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 240, Roller flour mill Rs 940-950 (50 kg), Maida Rs 955-965 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,030-1,040 (50 kg). Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 7,400-7,500, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 6,000-6,800, Permal raw Rs 2,250-2,275, Permal wand Rs 2,300-2,350, Sela Rs 2,700-2,800 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,875-2,000, Bajra Rs 1,350-1,360, Jowar yellow Rs 1,600-1650, white Rs 3,300-3,500, Maize Rs 1,450-1,460, Barley Rs 1,550-1,570.
The industry expects Iran to purchase at least 1 million tonnes this financial year
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