HAMBURG, May 19 (Reuters) - Iraq's state grains buyer remains in talks about buying around 100,000 tonnes of rice to be sourced from the United States, with no purchase yet made, European traders said on Friday. Offers were submitted on May 15 and must remain valid until May 21, they said. [nL8N1ID372] Traders said the trade ministry in Iraq, a major global buyer of wheat and rice, had sent out price inquiries to trading houses about buying the rice rather than issuing a formal international tender. Only two offers were made for nearby prompt shipment, they said. One U.S.-based multinational trading house offered $587 c&f for 100,000 tonnes and a Middle Eastern trading company offered 40,000 to 60,000 at $595 a tonne c&f. "Iraq normally says a minimum of three offers should be made for grains and rice purchases so a cancellation is expected, but it is not clear if this is a formal tender," one European trader said. "The rather tight supplies of U.S. rice available for shipment up to the end of June make this sale anyway difficult for exporters." Iraq's cabinet authorised the trade ministry on May 9 to make direct purchases of wheat and rice to guarantee food security. [nL8N1IB6YY] Baghdad has been struggling to import grains and rice for its food subsidy programme after introducing new payment and quality terms which left trading houses unwilling to participate in its international tenders. Iraq told suppliers earlier this year it would pay for its grain in instalments. Traders said they were informed by Iraq's Grain Board that low oil prices and other financial factors were forcing the country to delay payments. [nL3N1H64NC]
NEW DELHI, (Reuters) - Iranian importers have defaulted on payments for about 125,000 tonnes of basmati rice from India, Tehran’s top supplier of the premium aromatic grain, raising concerns about future shipments of the grade that fetches nearly $2 billion a year to New Delhi.
Iranian buyers have refused to take the delivery of basmati rice containers worth nearly $125 million citing a crash in domestic prices, said the Indian sources directly involved in these deals.
Higher imports from other suppliers, including Pakistan, had bumped up supplies to Tehran, they said.
Reuters could not contact Iranian buyers involved in the deals.
Indian suppliers of these cargoes, mostly small exporters, said their Iranian partners had wilfully reneged on the contract. The containers are now lying at Iran’s major cargo port of Bandar Abbas. (Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)
* Second cut in rice duty in less than two months
* Bangladesh a major rice importer after floods cut output
* High prices a worry; Dhaka seeks to buy 1.5 mln T
* Bangladesh demand could stoke Asia rice prices (Add imports target, details)
By Ruma Paul
DHAKA, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Bangladesh will slash the duty on rice imports to cool high local prices of the staple grain, the country's food minister said on Wednesday, the second cut in less than two months.
The import duty on rice will be lowered to 2 percent from 10 percent, Food Minister Kamrul Islam told reporters, down from 28 percent in June.
Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, has emerged as a major importer of the grain this year due to depleted stocks and record high local prices following flash floods in April that cut around 1 million tonnes of rice production.
"We have taken the decision anticipating major floods that could further cut rice production," Islam said, adding the circular outlining the cut would be issued in a day or two.
Growing demand from Bangladesh could help stoke Asian rice prices that hit multi-year highs in June.
The government is making a frantic effort to build buffer stocks as it aims to import as much as 1.5 million tonnes of rice in the year to June.
Bangladesh has bought 250,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam in a state-to-state deal and is issuing a series of tenders after its initial plans to import the grain from Thailand and India suffered a setback over high prices.
The government is in talks with Cambodia and Myanmar to import rice while it is also engaged in a second round of discussions with Thailand and India.
Rice is a staple food for Bangladesh’s 160 million people and high prices pose a problem for the government which faces a national election next year.
Bangladesh produces around 34 million tonnes of rice annually but uses almost all its production to feed its population. It often requires imports to cope with shortages caused by floods or droughts.Bangladesh also has a major wheat import need after floods damaged its crops but tough state purchasing conditions and slow ship unloading in ports mean trading houses are unwilling to sell grain to the Asian country. (Editing by Susan Thomas)
MANILA, July 13 (Reuters) - The Philippines' state grains agency said on Thursday it set a price ceiling of $451.08 a tonne for the 250,000 tonnes of rice it was seeking from international suppliers, and identified 11 prospective bidders from Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.
The Philippines, one of the world's biggest rice importers, usually buys from major sellers Vietnam and Thailand, where export prices have fallen amid weak demand.
The National Food Authority (NFA) is seeking supply of 25 percent broken long grain white rice for delivery between August and September to boost its thinning stockpile ahead of the typhoon season later this year.
That variety is trading at around $393-$398 a tonne in Vietnam RI-VNBKN25-P1 and quoted at $393 a tonne RI-THWHT25-A by the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
"That (price ceiling) is the average of all the rice prices including (shipping) expenses," Tomas Escarez, head of the bids and awards panel at the NFA, told reporters after meeting with prospective bidders.
The NFA's initial list of prospective bidders includes Olam International Ltd and Louis Dreyfus Corp of Singapore, and Vietnam Northern Food Corp, also known as Vinafood I, and Vinafood II.
Thai suppliers Asia Golden Rice Co Ltd, Ponglarp Co Ltd, Thai Hua Co Ltd, Capital Cereals Co Ltd and Thai Granlux International Inc, and Vietnamese traders Gentraco and Gia International Corp are also interested in bidding, the NFA said.
Bids must be submitted on or before July 25, when the sealed offers will be opened. The NFA will award a maximum 50,000 tonnes to each winning bidder.
State inventories have shrunk to the least in more than three years, just enough to cover five days of national requirement, or just a fraction of the 30-day buffer stock required during the lean harvest season from July to September.Escarez said the NFA will also allow local private rice traders to import up to 805,000 tonnes of rice under an annual quota scheme, which should arrive between December and February next year. (Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Additional reporting by My Pham in HANOI and Patpicha Tanakasempipat in BANGKOK; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
Hundreds Show Support for Former Thai PM as Rice Scheme Trial Nears an End
HANOI/DHAKA, July 6 (Reuters) - Rice prices in the world's top three exporters of the staple fell this week on weak demand, traders said on Thursday.
In Thailand, benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 was quoted at $420-$430 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, down from $432-$440 a tonne last week.
Weak overseas demand and a falling baht have led traders to quote lower prices to attract buyers, traders said.
"Prices have gone down because the baht has weakened," a trader in Bangkok said.
The mass exodus of migrant workers since June 23 following the introduction of new labour regulations by the Thai military government has also hit the Thai rice industry with labour shortages.
"The shortage of workers at warehouses and at the docks has led to delay in the loading of shipment and this has hurt exporters' confidence in their ability to fulfil shipments," said another Bangkok-based rice trader.
More than half of the labour force in the Thai rice industry are migrant workers from neighbouring Cambodia and about three quarters of this workforce have left the country, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
The Thai government has since delayed parts of the new labour law, but many migrant workers have yet to return.
"Thai exporters hesitate to take new order because of the labour shortage and many potential international buyers are thinking twice about buying Thai rice because of this uncertainty," Chookiat said.
The labour shortage could raise the cost of production of Thai off-season crop, he said, which is expected to arrive from around August to September.
In Vietnam, the benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 dropped to $405-$410 a tonne this week, FOB Saigon, down from $410-$415 last week. There were also concerns over the quality and production of the grain in the harvest period.
"Farmers said the production and quality of rice this time was not as good as usual due to earlier rainfall," a trader in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding the exact impact had yet to be estimated.
Vietnam's new harvest season has begun since late-June, traders said.
Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second- and third-biggest rice exporters.
India's 5 percent broken parboiled rice prices RI-INBKN5-P1 eased by $2 per tonne to $419 to $422 on faltering demand from buyers in Africa.
"Demand from African countries was weak at higher levels. They are postponing purchases expecting price correction," said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
"Even demand from Bangladesh is weak. It is not buying as much as industry was anticipating."
India raised the minimum purchase price of common grade paddy rice by 5.4 percent to 1,550 rupees ($24.03) per 100 kg for the year starting July 1.
But Bangladesh said it was still stepping up imports due to depleted stocks and record local prices following flash floods.
A Bangladeshi delegation is now in Thailand to finalise imports of rice in a government-to-government deal, officials said.
"We don't have any other option but to speed up imports," said a senior food ministry official. "This time we won't be able to achieve our local procurement target. We are going for state-to-state deals even if it is costlier, as importing via tenders is a lengthy process."
Bangladesh is buying 200,000 tonnes of Vietnamese white rice at $430 a tonne and 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $470 a tonne in a state-to-state deal - at rates much higher than in the previous three tenders.
It is also in talks with India, and private traders have started importing rice from the neighbour after the government cut import duties late last month.Meanwhile, Philippines' state grains buyer on Thursday also issued an international tender to buy 250,000 tonnes of 25 percent broken long grain white rice, rushing to boost thinning government stockpile.
Reporting by My Pham in HANOI, Panu Wongcha-um in BANGKOK, Ruma Paul in DHAKA, Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath
Following the European Union’s recent decision to impose a stringent maximum residue limit (MRL) for Tricyclazole, a fungicide used by farmers against a disease from December 31, 2017, rice exporters in the country have launched an extensive campaign to educate the farmers.Following the European Union’s recent decision to impose a stringent maximum residue limit (MRL) for Tricyclazole, a fungicide used by farmers against a disease from December 31, 2017, rice 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 pesticides. According to Vijay Setia, president, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), the focus of the campaign, which is being carried out in collaboration with agricultural scientists, has been to educate the farmers about using the fungicide within 70 days of commencement of kharif sowing and not to use it at the flowering stage. “Many a times rice exports consignments were rejected because of detection of pesticides residues and our focus would be educate the farmers against use of excessive pesticides which would lead to higher price realisation,” Setia told FE. EU has brought down the MRL level for Tricyclazole to virtually zero or 0.01 milligram (mg) per kg from next year. Similarly, USA does not permit the presence of residues of pesticides like Isoprothiolane and Buprofezin beyond 0.01 mg per kg. EU and the US markets are high value markets for rice exporters although major chunk of rice is shipped to mostly Gulf and African countries. According to a commerce ministry official, “Only those pesticides should be used by farmers which are recommended by the state agriculture universities for application on paddy crop. In addition, the correct dose of the recommended pesticide.” The official said the country is largest exporter of rice in the world since last five years. “However, export of rice has faced problems in last few years in different markets like USA, EU and Iran due to detection of residues of pesticides exceeding prescribed MRL,” he noted. AIREA will be holding a series of meetings with farmers across key basmati growing areas of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh as farmers are preparing nurseries for kharif paddy plantation. India has an around 85% share in global basmati exports while the rest is contributed by Pakistan.
May 19, 2017, 09:40:00 AM EDT By Reuters
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