Rice export prices rise to 3.5-month high

  • The prices for Vietnamese 5 percent broken rice rose to $420 per ton late March, the highest in the past 3.5 months.

    Vietnam exported 1.48 million tons of rice worth $715 million in the first three months this year, up 24 percent in volume and 10.5 percent in value against the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The ministry said stable global demand and high transportation costs resulted in March’s price hike.

    Vietnam’s 5 percent broken rice was sold at $415-420 per ton in late March, up $20 per ton from the beginning of the month. On average, the rice has cost $414 per ton in the world market in March, up $16 per ton against February.

    Meanwhile, Thailand’s 5 percent broken standard rice was sold at $408-412 a ton, down $16 from the beginning of the month as the baht continued to drop against the dollar.

    Vietnam exported over 6.2 million tons of rice for nearly $3.3 billion last year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    The average export price of Vietnamese rice rose 5.5 percent in 2020 to $526.8 per ton in 2021, according to the agriculture ministry.

  • 40,000 MT of rice from India to reach SL

  • 40,000 MT of rice from India to reach SL COLOMBO (News 1st); The Ministry of Trade said that another 40,000 MT of rice imported via the Indian Line of Credit will reach Sri Lanka on Monday (11). The secretary to the Ministry of Trades, Bhadrani Jayawardena stated that the stock will be sold through Sathosa outlets as soon as it is received. 1kg of Nadu and Kekulu rice is sold at Rs.110/- and 1kg of Samba is sold at Rs.130/- through Sathosa. Meanwhile, the Association of Importers of Essential Commodities said that all essential commodities required by the people during the New Year season have been distributed throughout the island. The spokesman of the Association of Importers of Essential Commodities, Nihal Seneviratne said that there could be a slight shortage of milk powder. He also said that the prices of essential commodities will be reduced in the future.
     
     
     
     
  • Exports of basmati rice fall over drop in acreage, loss of markets

  • Basmati Rice Amid the euphoria of India clocking the highest ever  of over $50 billion in FY22, basmati rice, one of the country’s oldest anchors in farm exports, seems to have fallen off the radar screen. For the third consecutive year, basmati rice exports saw a fall over the previous year in value terms, according to provisional figures. In 2021-22, India exported basmati rice worth $3.53 billion, the lowest since 2019-20.
     
    What has brought about this fall and could there be a way to resurrect this vital farm export from India? Though India is still the world’s largest exporter of basmati rice and its long-aromatic grain, smooth texture, and special qualities have made it one of the most signature food items of the country, the continued fall in export should merit a deeper introspection. Experts said the reasons were multiple, including the loss of some traditional markets like Iran, fungicide problems in the European Union, and a drop in acreage due to equal or even better returns from competing rice varieties. “There is a rise in domestic demand for basmati rice while in some areas due to increase in minimum support price, the basmati acreage has been overtaken by non-basmati rice, which is contributing to the fall in exports,” M Angamuthu, chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, said. In a paper presented last year, S Chandrasekaran, leading trade policy analyst and author of the book Basmati Rice: The Natural History Geographical Indications, wrote the price difference between basmati rice and common rice in 1940 was 569 per cent, based on British India documents. Between 1995-96 and 2020-21, the price difference between the minimum support price of fine paddy and basmati rice has fallen from 153 per cent to 20 per cent. “If the price difference of traditional Basmati rice and fine paddy varieties had been maintained to an appropriate level, the farmers may not have adopted evolved Basmati rice varieties. Now Minimum Support Price of Fine Paddy varieties are inching to find equilibrium with Basmati paddy price. This could be the point of no return in view of niche status, if it converges,” Chandrasekaran wrote. Sources say in the past two-three years around 20 per cent area has shifted from basmati rice to non-basmati rice in the main producing states of Punjab, Haryana, and the foothills of the Himalayas due to reduced price differentials. “Another reason for this slowdown in exports has been the stopping of purchases by Iran (one of the big markets for Indian basmati) due to US sanctions, which is a straightaway annual loss of almost 1.2 million tonnes,” Chandrasekaran said. He said basmati sales to the EU, which used to be 500,000 tonnes a year, had dropped to 150,000-200,000 tonnes due to rising problems related to high levels of fungicide. PUSA-1121 (which is one of the most common basmati rice varieties produced in India) does not qualify for duty rebate from the EU. Much of this market is slowly shifting to Pakistan, India’s primary rival in the global basmati trade. “In the past two years, the overall global markets were down and basmati rice, being a premium product purchased by niche consumers, will find fewer takers than mass items do,” Chandrasekaran said.
  • India’s agri exports cross $50 bn in Covid-hit year; rice is top forex earner

  • According to the DGCI&S data, the export of wheat touched an all-time high at $2,118 million in 2021-22, growing 273% from the previous fiscal’s $567 million. agricultural reforms, Essential Commodities Act, farmers, agriculture sector India’s agricultural exports increased by about 20% to cross $50 billion for the year 2021-22, despite logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of high freight rates, and container shortages, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has scripted history by exporting agricultural and processed food products to the tune of $25.6 billion, which is 51% of India’s total agriculture exports of $50 billion, the ministry said. It has also surpassed its own export target of $23.7 billion for the financial year 2021-22 by registering shipments of $25.6 billion. Major exporting destinations were Bangladesh, UAE, Vietnam, USA, Nepal, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iran, and Egypt. “The rise in export of agricultural and processed food products has been largely due to the various initiatives taken by Centre through APEDA such as organising B2B exhibitions in different countries, exploring new potential markets through product-specific and general marketing campaigns with the active involvement of Indian Embassies,” the ministry said. As per the ministry statement, the government organised more than 300 outreach programmes in collaboration with state governments for enhancing the exports of agricultural produce. “We have also created a products matrix for 50 agricultural products which have good scope for expanding our exports portfolios,” said Dr. M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA. As per the provisional figures released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), the agricultural exports have grown by 19.92% during 2021-22 to touch $50.21 billion. The growth rate is over and above the growth of 17.66% at $41.87 billion achieved in 2020-21. The cereal sector in APEDA exports contributes more than 52% share in 2021-22. Livestock products and other processed foods contribute 17 and 15% to APEDA export respectively in 2021-22.
    Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
    According to the DGCI&S data, the export of rice was the top forex earner at $9,654 million during 2021-22, growing 9.35% from the previous year when it was $8,829 million. The export of wheat touched an all-time high at $2,118 million in 2021-22, growing 273% from the previous fiscal’s $567 million, while other cereals registered a growth of 53% by fetching $1,083 million in 2021-22 compared to the previous financial year when it was $705 million. Export of pulses reported a growth of 34% touching $358 million in 2021-22 from $265 million in 2020-21. Dairy products grew by 96% standing at $634 million in 2021-22 from $323 million in 2020-21, while buffalo meat registered a growth of just 4% as export of bovine meat increased from $3,171 million in 2020-21 to $3,303 million in 2021-22. Export of poultry products rose to $71 million in 2021-22 from $58 million in the previous year and sheep/goat meat export was up by 34% to $60 million in 2021-22 from $44 million in the previous year. Fruits and vegetables exports were up by 12% to touch $1,676 million in 2021-22 against $1,492 million in 2020-21, while processed fruits and vegetable exports were up by 7% to reach $1,202 million in 2021-22 against $1,120 million in the previous year. Exports of other processed food items grew by 34% during 2021-22 to touch $1,164 million against $866 million in 2020-21. The cashew exports also grew by 7% to $452 million in 2021-22 from $420 million in the previous year. Floriculture products reported a rise of 33% when they touched $103 million in 2021-22 from $77 million in 2020-21.
  • Nearly 25% increase in rice export bring relief to Haryana farmers, exporters

  • After heavy slump in export of rice in past about one and half years due to epidemic outbreak now farmers as well as rice exporters in Haryana state are having relief due to nearly 25% increase in rice export in past few weeks due to worldwide unrest as a result of war between Ukraine and Russia causing increase in demand of Indian rice. Information reveals, during year 2020-21nearly 16% drop in export of rice to various countries was witnessed. Farmers in Haryana grain markets are selling 1121 variety rice at the rate of Rs 4400 per quintal, Basmati rice at the rate Rs 4000 per quintal and 1509 variety rice at the rate ranging between Es 1600-1700 per quintal which is being sold at the rate ranging between Rs 3200-3300 per quintal at present. President of India Rice Exporters Association Vijay Setia told that Haryana state had export between 16 to 17 lakh ton rice of value worth Rs 16000 crore last year since there was nearly 16% drop in export due to unavoidable circumstances, whereas 25% growth in export has now been identified. Setia said in case Haryana state government had reduced market fee from 4% to 1% similar to being charged in Ghaziabad and Narela grain markets the export of rice would have increased to 20000 ton this year. Chairman of Haryana Rice Millers Association Jwail Singh told that demand of Basmati, 1121 and 1509 varieties rice has suddenly increased all over in the world due to present Ukraine-Russia war. Districts situated on G.T. Road belt which including Kurukshetra, Karnal, Kaithal, Panipat and Sonipat districts in Haryana are famous for production of paddy crop in the state in which Kuruksetra and Karnal districts are producing maximum quantity of Basmati, 1121 and 1509 variety rice being exported to large number of countries across the world including Saudi Arab, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Muscat, Dubai, Africa and Australia. Singla told that Saudi Arab is biggest buyer of all types of rice from our country. He said, the prices of Basmati being sold earlier at the rate Rs 3300-3500 per quintal is now being sold at the rate Rs 4400 per quintal, whereas 1121 variety rice earlier sold at the rate Rs 3500-3700 per quintal  presently being sold at the rate Rs 4100 per quintal. Similarly, 1509 variety rice earlier sold at the rate Rs 2500-2700 per quintal is available at the rate Rs Rs 4200 per quintal at present. In view of fast declining water level in underground in Haryana state government is offering beneficial schemes in case of change of crop pattern from paddy requires huge quantity to alternate crops consuming less quantity of water offering incentive of Rs 7000 each acre area.  
  • Rice Market Update: Uncertainty Remains Key Factor

  • The true nature of long grain plantings continue to be debated in the U.S., with the USDA showing flat to last year, and the industry being confident of a 10-15% cut. Time will tell, but futures prices are showing a suspected cut in acreage, and paddy prices would support the same. Uncertainty of both the market and weather continue to hover over farmers. Meterorologists at Colorado State University are predicting an “above average” 2022 hurricane season that begins June 1. Nineteen storms are forecast for the Atlantic basin. Above-average sea surface temperatures and the lack of El Nino developing that would suppress hurricane activity by increasing vertical wind shear is the contributing factor.

    Prices for long grain milled are priced at or just above $650 pmt, whereas prices in South America are at least $100 pmt below that. South America is in the peak of their harvest season, with several questions swirling around the drought situation in Brazil. We know that Uruguay has crested the high point, and is on the downhill slope of the last 20% of their crop. Argentina is just ahead of them. Brazil and Paraguay are the big swings that will be coming to light in the next few weeks.

    In Asia, prices have held steady despite the inflationary rise that so many other commodities have seen. For more than a quarter now, prices in Thailand and Vietnam have oscillated around $400 pmt, while India and Pakistan have been around $360 pmt. This can in large part be attributed to India, who hasn’t slowed exports over the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been responsible for its third record crop in as many years.

    India’s farm subsidies, which many speculate have led to their record crop, has blunted the inflationary impacts of rice world-wide. With rice being the most basic food calorie for human consumption that prevents hunger for the poorest nations, this can be viewed as a positive in the global environment. However, India’s rice subsidy violations have put a burden on many rice producers around the globe; these violations were front-and-center this week with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    India has been called out by the U.S. rice industry and others to stop creating an unfair playing field with their rice subsidy program. It is making rice from the United States and other origins uncompetitive on a global scale, and can have severe detrimental impacts on food security world-wide in the future.

    Prices on the ground show Texas in the lead at $17/cwt. Louisiana is strong at $15.25/cwt, while prices in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri are fluctuation between $14.75-$15.75 based on variety and qualities.

    The weekly USDA Export Sales report shows net sales of 8,300 MT this week, a marketing-year low, down 51% from the previous week and 81% from the prior 4-week average. Increases primarily for Mexico (13,700 MT), Haiti (7,300 MT), Jordan (4,000 MT), the Dominican Republic (2,000 MT), and Honduras (1,500 MT), were offset by reductions primarily for Colombia (22,000 MT).

    Exports of 80,300 MT were up noticeably from the previous week and up 98% from the prior 4-week average. The destinations were primarily to Mexico (32,700 MT), Colombia (22,300 MT), Haiti (15,300 MT), El Salvador (4,100 MT), and Canada (2,000 MT).In the futures market, May 22 prices are down just over 1% this week to $16.010. May 23 contracts are about flat from last week, now at $16.615. Average Daily Volume registers at 411, down 23% from last week, while open interest is flat at 9,701.

  • Rice exporters face twin challenges after record 17-mt shipment

  • The number of vessels docked at Kakinada port, a major rice loading point on the eastern coast, fell to three from 10 last year (file image)

    Higher freight, return of Thailand to international market weigh on supplies from India

    Exporters of Indian non-basmati rice, after shipping close to 17 million tonnes in 2021-22, are facing the twin challenges of higher freight cost and the return of Thailand, a major supplier, to the international market in the current financial year. This may lead to a decline of 10-15 per cent in shipments, exporters said. As per the latest official data available till end-February for the financial year 2021-22, non-basmati shipments grew by around 40 per cent to 15.61 million tonnes, from 11.17 million tonnes a year ago. In dollar terms, non-basmati rice shipments were up 35.2 per cent at $5.551 billion in April-February 2021-22 against $4.105 billion a year ago. “We will be touching close to 17 million tonnes for fiscal 2021-22, a new record over the previous year’s 13 million tonnes,” said BV Krishna Rao, President, The Rice Exporters Association. The export data for March comes with a lag. The target for the year was 16 million tonnesr. On the outlook for the new financial year, Rao said high freight costs remain a concern and supplies from Thailand have resumed, posing a challenge to Indian exporters.

    Govt needs to help

    “Last year, Thailand did not have a good crop due to bad weather. But this year, they have made a comeback and are giving a good fight,” Rao said, adding that Indian shipments will be lower this year by 10-15 per cent. “We are unlikely to maintain 17 million tonnes unless the Government helps other countries buy more rice, like it did for Sri Lanka,” Rao added. Freight rates have moved up from last year as fuel costs have surged, triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Rao said the higher vessel rates have forced buyers, mainly in Africa, to adopt a wait-and-watch approach. Freight rates have gone up from around $90 per tonne to around $140, while rice prices are largely stable. “The buyer is not keen on paying the extra $50 and would wait for vessel prices to come down,” Rao said. This is reflected in the decline in the number of vessels docked at the Kakinada port, one of the major rice loading points on the eastern coast. “Usually, at least 10 vessels in Kakinada were being loaded last year around this time. Now there are only three.” Trade sources said Indian rice shipments are already slowing, going by the numbers in February, when non-basmati shipments fell 1.4 per cent to 1.618 million tonnes (1.641 million tonnes a year ago). Free-on-board (FOB) parboiled rice from Indian ports is quoted at $365 per tonne ($370-380) . White rice prices are hovering at $335-340 per tonne, at around last year’s levels. Broken rice prices have moved up from $270 per tonne FOB to $315-320. “Only broken rice prices have moved up as it is witnessing good demand due to high corn prices,” Rao said. The demand for brokens, which is used for feed ingredients, is from China, Indonesia and Africa among other regions.
  • Cambodia to play key role in meeting global rice demand

  • A recent study published by nature.com showed that global demand for rice is expected to increase 30 percent by 2050, however, with a “limited scope available for other main rice-producing countries such as China and India”, it will become incumbent on the countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam to close the future deficit. “At present, the region accounts for 26 percent and 40 percent of global rice production and exports, respectively, being a major rice supplier for other world regions such as Africa and the Middle East,” it said. Over the past decades, countries in Southeast Asia were able to increase rice yields. However, there are concerns about whether future quotas can be met, as noted by a research analyst within the publication. “There is now evidence of yield stagnation in four of the six major rice-producing countries in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam)”. Aligning with reports that “the harvestable rice area has remained stable [within the aforementioned countries] or even declined slightly in some countries recently and is under growing threat of conversion for residential and industrial uses”. So, in the absence of land expansion, what can be done to make better use of the available land? A publication titled the ‘Use of Legume Cover Crops to Improve Soil Fertility, Rice Yield and Profits’, co-produced by the DALRM, GDA & CIRAD, details the story of Heng Hour, owner of a family-run rice farm in Boh Village, Rovieng District, who transitioned to Regenerative Farming practices to increase his yields. “We started farming rice in 1979. In the past, the soil was rich and the yield was high. From year to year, the yield decreased due to the loss of the soil fertility, higher weed pressure and diseases.” Heng explained that access to greater water controls helped his yield, but the remaining issue of soil fertility meant that “rice production was still not economically viable”. In November 2019, Hour was invited to a village meeting organised by the agronomists of the Conservation Agriculture Service Center and SmartAgro, a startup specialised in cover crops and bio-products. They presented the use of ‘legume cover crops’ to improve soil health in the community. According to organicgrowersschool.com, a ‘cover crop’ is a crop you “grow for the soil, instead of for your plate”, a practice dating as far back as the Roman Empire. Cover crops add “organic matter to the soil, and add nitrogen in a slow-release way that plants can handle, leading to less nitrogen volatilisation”. After implementing the legume cover crop strategy, Heng saw his yield grow by approximately 1 tonne per hectare compared with the previous year, noting a drastic increase in quality with over 60 percent of his yield being sold under the class one standard. “After the ploughing of the cover crops, I noticed the good smell of the decomposition of the cover crops. I observed many big earthworms and the soil was loose and soft when we walked into the field. After transplanting, the plants grew fast, the rice leaves were dark green, and I observed that the grains were well filled.” The cover crop practice is just one of many ‘Regenerative Farming’ methods that could be used to bolster rice yield and quality without dependence on high concentrations of chemicals. Regenerative Farming is a practice that actually rejuvenates Earth’s ecosystems, as opposed to just sustaining them.
     
  • Asia rice: India rates unchanged, Vietnam prices fall on rising supplies

  • BENGALURU/BANGKOK/HANOI/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Export prices of rice in India were unchanged this week amid prospects of increased supplies and an appreciation in the rupee, while an increase in stocks weighed on rates in Vietnam. Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $367 to $370 per tonne this week, unchanged from the last week. “Since the government has extended subsidised food grain distribution by six months, local supplies will rise and prices will remain under pressure,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice was offered at $400-$415 per tonne on Thursday, down from $415-$420 per tonne a week ago. “Domestic supplies are rising thanks to output from the winter-spring harvest,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding that quality has been affected due to prolonged rain during the harvest time. Preliminary shipping data showed 72,000 tonnes of rice were scheduled to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City port during the first week of April, with most of the grains were heading to the Philippines and Africa. Vietnam’s rice exports in the first quarter are estimated to have increased 24% from a year earlier to 1.475 million tonnes, raising revenue by 10.5% to $715 million. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices narrowed to $408-$410 per tonne this week, from $408-$412 quoted a week ago. Overseas demand for Thai rice has been muted due to insufficient ships and high freight rates, traders said. Prices, however, remained high on domestic demand for broken rice used for animal feed due to logistic problems with imports, a Bangkok-based rice trader said. The supply situation remains unchanged with the new harvest entering the market this week, traders said. In Bangladesh, domestic prices of rice rose for the week, despite good crop and reserves, as inflation in February hit the highest since October 2020.
  • Rice Exports to Sri Lanka Good Business for Myanmar

  • COLOMBO (IDN) — A recent statement by a Myanmar official has indicated that Sri Lanka has been buying rice from the country at a price higher than what others are paying for it. This has raised eyebrows in Sri Lanka that has prided itself for being self-sufficient in rice, its staple diet, for decades. In a statement attributed to the secretary of the Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Depot, U Than Oo, Myanmar’s national daily Global New Light of Myanmar has said that in the past year Myanmar has been exporting rice to Sri Lanka and it has been a very profitable business. “Sri Lanka is a neighbour of ours and it is easy to export rice from Myanmar by sea. We sell rice to other countries at USD 340-350 per tonne, but to Sri Lanka we have been able to sell at USD 440-450 a tonne,” U Than was quoted as saying.  While Myanmar has been fetching over $ 100 per tonne above the price paid by other countries, he has also said that the Sri Lankan authorities have not imposed any restrictions on the import of Myanmar rice. “While Sri Lanka imposes no restrictions, Europe and China have been imposing various tariffs and other restrictions to protect their markets,” says U Than. “So, it is somewhat complex to export rice to these countries.” Sri Lanka has signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar on January 7 to import 100,000 tonnes of white rice and 50,000 tonnes of brown rice this year and the next. Due to this agreement Sri Lanka would be spending $ 15 million extra on rice imports. According to a Sri Lankan commerce ministry statement, while Myanmar has quoted $ 465 per metric tonne, the Sri Lankan counterparts have been able to negotiate the price down to $445 per metric tonne. Agricultural industry observers here predict that the rice harvest this year (due for harvest in April) could be down by about 30 percent. Today the rice prices in the market have skyrocketed creating social tension in the country. After the fertilizer subsidies to farmers were lifted (after the organic farming policy was announced) and the guaranteed price for paddy was increased to Rs 75 per kilogram, it has made any price controls of rice in the market place impossible. Government has announced that due to domestic market necessities, Sri Lanka would need to import up to 600,000 tons of rice this year. This would be the biggest rice imports to the country for 5 years. The government has also allocated Rs 40 billion ($ 13.8 million) to compensate farmers for harvest losses due to the switch to the organic farming policy. Due to the import of processed rice, United Rice Producers Society (URPS) says that it is threatening the closure of up to 500 small and medium sized rice mills in the country. “Only 75 percent of more than 800 rice mills in our country are in operation right now,” says Kusumitha Muditha, president of URPS. After a long period of self-sufficiency in rice, on November 15 last year when rice imports began to flow in, it has created this situation, he added. It is estimated that only 2.8 percent of farming land in the country use non-chemical fertilizer. After the announcement of the organic farming policy (in April 2021) some businesses have used household waste to make so-called “organic-compost fertilizer” to sell to farmers, which agricultural sources are worried is a fraud misleading farmer. Most of this is compost of food waste and is not helpful to realize Sri Lanka’s organic farming dream. The Central Bank has estimated that the leadership given to the Sri Lankan economy by agricultural activity has been now reduced by 7 percentage points and it has given rise to an agricultural industry that cannot satisfy farmers or consumers. It has come to a situation that seeds and fertilizer necessary for farmers are hard to obtain. Most of the farmers in Sri Lanka do not own the land on which they farm. Out of the productive land in Sri Lanka, government owns 82 percent.  Many of the farm leases of farmers have expired or lapsed. There are fears that if the traditional methods of survival of the farmers are tampered with, Sri Lanka would need to depend on rice imports into the foreseeable future. The farm costs have gone up including labour and hire of farm equipment. It has also made the farmer a permanent debtor. The Peoples Bank that was set up to assist farmers has now distanced itself from the farm sector, while the government has shied away from assisting the farmer. Today it is estimated that 22.2 percent of Sri Lanka’s food needs are covered by imports. To address this Sri Lanka has imported rice from Myanmar without any checks on its standards and suitability (for Sri Lankan cuisine). Within the Sri Lankan rice production industry there has been a shift in power structures with very few people controlling farming and especially trading. This has had a serious impact on the consumer according to the National Audit Office. They attribute this to the dire straits of the rice farming sector in the country. They have also pointed out that the ownership of rice mills in Sri Lanka has been slashed from 2000 people two decades ago to 800 today. 'Economynext' news noted recently that the government has given the nod to the State Trading Corporation to import limited quantities of rice from Myanmar to help stabilize the price of rice in the local market, which has been pushed up by a milling oligarchy, after Sri Lanka banned rice imports earlier and imposed an import tax. [IDN-InDepthNews – 31 March 2022] * Deshan Maduranga is a media and communication student at the Sri Palee campus of the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Image: Myanmar inks G-to-G agreement to export rice to Sri Lanka. Credit: MMR IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.    
  • Rice worth Rs 3,300 crore yet to be lifted from Telangana by FCI

  • HYDERABAD: The procurement status of 70 lakh metric tonnes of paddy ready for the current yasangi (rabi) season is in limbo due to a dispute between the state and central governments. But, that is not all. As a result of unsolved issues between the state and the Centre, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) still has to lift Rs 3,300 crore worth rice from Telangana. Eleven lakh metric tonnes of custom milled rice (CMR) is yet to be lifted from the purchase season of April and September 2021. According to sources, the cost of this 11 lakh metric tonnes of paddy is Rs 3,300 crore at the rate of Rs 30 per kg. rice, Interestingly, rice mills have exceeded their capacity in milling 50 lakh metric tonnes of paddy during the same season. Approximately, 93 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was cultivated between October 2020 and March 2021 (kharif) season. This crop’s milling had resulted in 62 lakh metric tonnes of rice (purchase period was April-September 2021), while 11 lakh metric tonnes remains to be lifted. Union food minister Piyush Goyal’s charge that the state did not deliver the rice as promised pertains to this 11 lakh metric tonnes between October 2020-March 2021. Following the state’s request for purchasing extra parboiled rice, the Centre agreed to take three lakh metric tonnes of rice from the balance of 11 lakh metric tonnes but the commitment has not been kept. The state government accuses the Centre of causing transportation problems by failing to clear railway rakes and failing to provide storage space. There are approximately 3,000 rice mills in the state, with approximately 900 catering to parboiled rice and the remaining mills being small and fine rice mills. All these mills have the capacity to grind 50 lakh metric tonnes of rice in every cultivation season and receive 35 lakh metric tonnes of rice in return. “We have a heavy burden on the rice mills. Contrary to popular belief, we are still holding paddy and rice stocks. We have increased our capacity by 20%, but some rice is still not lifted,” said Gampa Nagender, president of the Telangana State Rice Mills Association.
     
     
  • Rice exports: interesting times ahead?

  • It’s the season of new records. Pakistan’s rice exports breached 3 million tons during the 8-month period ending February-22, a first in at least 12 years. If exporters are able to maintain the monthly run rate of 0.4 million tons between Mar-June, final export tally for FY22 may touch 4.5 million tons. That would be 10 percent greater than Pakistan’s highest-ever export volume, last achieved in FY16.
    Unsurprisingly, higher export earnings have accompanied the quantum jump in volume. However, while export volume rose by 22 percent, dollar earnings only rose 15 percent. As BR Research has previously highlighted, rice is the only major cereal which has remained immune to the charms of ongoing global commodity price boom, leaving Pakistani exporters at a disadvantage so far.
    According to the data released by PBS, rice exporters fetched 5.5 percent lower prices on average during Jul ’21 - Feb ’22, compared to the same period last year. Unit price for exports of both rice categories fell during 8MFY22, with average export price for basmati declining 11 percent, while coarse prices fell 6 percent versus the previous year. Nevertheless, full year earnings against rice exports may yet clock in above $2.1 billion, nearly three percent higher than last year. Interestingly, bulk of the jump in export value has emanated from basmati category, which added $80 million in incremental earnings over the previous year. Basmati export volume rose by 37 percent during the 8M period, but still remained significantly lower than the year earlier (FY20). Full year basmati exports may reach 0.7 million tons, only third-highest during last decade.
    Market watchers will appreciate that growth in basmati exports remains the key to unlocking country’s the cereal’s export potential. Historically, basmati export has fetched 2x the unit prices in international market than coarse varieties. Pakistan’s basmati export potential is estimated at 1 million tons per annum – one-fourth of total world basmati market – yet has remained conspicuously shy of that goal due to uncompetitive pricing relative to Indian exporters until recent past. However, another risk to basmati export thesis now looms large in near-term. According to preliminary data, Pakistan’s basmati production has fallen short by 10 percent during kharif FY22, clocking in at 3.7 million tons against 4.1 million tons the previous year. This is despite news of national rice output kissing a fresh record of 9 million tons during the ongoing year, primarily driven by record yields in coarse varieties. Wherein lays the rub. Local consumers remain fond of basmati rice – which is also one-third more expensive (on average). It bears emphasis that up to 80 percent of Pakistani basmati feeds into local consumption, whereas nearly 75 - 80 percent of coarse varieties (both IRRI and hybrid) – are exported. This implies that the decline in basmati output during the current year may inadvertently impact the exportable surplus.
    Ordinarily, this would not make news, except that it comes at a time when the country is all set to witness a significant wheat shortfall. Naturally, basmati is Pakistani’s second favorite cereal after wheat flour, and a basmati surplus could have very-well come in handy to fill Pakistani stomachs in case wheat prices ran amok. Although rice and wheat prices have historically not shown any correlation in at least the domestic market, 2022-23 marketing year shall offer interesting insights into the extent of substitution effect between the two grains. Especially, if basmati prices come under pressure locally, while maintaining their prevailing calm in the international market. Whether consumers shall switch to the cheaper coarse rice also remains to be seen, especially given the strong distaste local palate has for IRRI/hybrid rice.
    Meanwhile, will traders reduce basmati export volume to cater to greater domestic demand or not will be another curious event. Or, will they aggressively chase exports, raising prices back home? Interesting times ahead.
  • China provides 2,000 tons of rice as emergency food aid to Sri Lanka

  • COLOMBO, March 26 (Xinhua) -- China decides to provide 2,000 tons of rice as emergency food aid to Sri Lanka, said the Chinese embassy here in a press release on Friday. The donation, which was valued at about 2.5 million U.S. dollars (including freight cost), was made at the request of the Sri Lankan government upon its current difficulty of food shortage in the island country, according to the embassy. As the continuously raging COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatically changing international situation have further worsened the global food shortage and shipping capacity, the technical teams from both countries will work closely to finalize the production and shipment arrangements, and deliver the aid to Sri Lanka at an early date, said the embassy. Noting that this year marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact, the Chinese embassy said the two countries have traditionally helped each other and shared weal and woe. China will continue to support Sri Lanka's social and economic development within its capacity, the Chinese embassy added.
  • Thailand expected to exceed rice export target of 7mn tonnes this year

  • BANGKOK: Thailand expects to export more than 7 million tonnes of rice this year, exceeding its initial target, an exporters association said on Monday. Rice exports are expected to be boosted by competitive prices due to the weak Thai baht, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Thailand, currently the world’s third-largest rice exporter after India and Vietnam, is expected to export about 2 million tonnes of rice in the first quarter of 2022, he said. “If we can keep this up, we could possibly reach 8 million tonnes of rice exports this year,” Chookiat said. Asia rice: Vietnam prices hit 3-month peak on firm demand The country has shipped a higher volume to markets in the Middle East such as Iraq, and observed consistent demand from African markets, he said. Asian markets are also turning to Thai rice over Vietnamese because of competitive prices, Chookiat said. Thailand’s 5% broken rice was trading at around $410 to $428 per tonne last week, similar to Vietnam’s rice of the same grade at $415-$420.
  • Angimex inks rice export contract with Sierra Leone

  • Angimex, a member of Louis Holdings Group has inked a rice contract export with the Republic of Sierra Leone. The MoU inked will see Angimex export 3 million tons of rice to Sierra Leone under a three-year rice export contract. This kind of international rice export contract exerts a substantial influence, helping Angimex access new markets and customer groups in the future. “Thanks to the strict quality control system, Angimex has been and will be able to provide the highest quality rice products to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of the market. The enterprise’s professional services will surely satisfy the diverse needs of customers. With the goodwill for the sake of mutual development, Angimex strongly believes in the good and long-term success in the cooperation between Angimex and our partners in the upcoming time. We look forward to accompanying our partners to create the best and sustainable values,” said Mr. Do Thanh Nhan, Chairman of An Giang Import-Export Joint Stock Company.
    Scope of deal
    Within the scope of cooperation, Angimex will transfer the sample rice field to the enterprises of the Republic of Sierra Leone. The sample rice field is Angimex’s first successful factor to ensure high-quality rice input. The expansion of the large sample rice field is one of the solutions to increase the value of rice for export, according to the policy of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). When farming on the large sample rice field, farmers will simultaneously sow each high-yield and high-quality rice variety in the same field. Therefore, this combination of high-quality rice production and rice field expansion brings practical benefits to farmers, including changing production mindset and improving economic efficiency. Aiming at improving the quality of rice seeds in the future, the agricultural services of Angimex give an emphasis on providing farmers with in-depth knowledge and cost-saving methods during varietal selection, cultivation, and harvest. Angimex’s experts with rich experience in the field of agriculture will train farmers to master cultivation techniques and answer the farmers’ questions during the farming process.
  • Asia rice: Vietnam prices hit 3-month peak on firm demand

  • BENGALURU/BANGKOK/HANOI/MUMBAI/DHAKA: Export prices of rice from Vietnam climbed to a three-and-a-half-month high this week on steady demand and elevated shipping costs, which dissuaded some traders from signing new contracts. Vietnam’s 5% broken rice were offered at $415-$420 per tonne on Thursday, compared with $410-$415 a week ago. “Demand is stable, but traders are hesitant to sign new contracts due to high shipping costs,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said, adding outbound shipping costs have risen significantly since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia crisis. “We are hearing the Philippines may soon lift its limit on rice imports from Vietnam,” another trader said. Philippines, Vietnam’s largest rice buyer, in November took steps to temporarily limit imports of the grain from Vietnam amid a big harvest at home. Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices fell slightly to $410-$428 per tonne from $415-$428 a week ago, their highest since late June. “The baht has weakened and domestic prices are seen easing in the coming weeks due to new supply,” one trader said. There is still strong demand for low-quality rice from domestic feed mills, which are looking to use more rice in their animal feed mix as prices of wheat and corn rally, traders said. However, foreign demand remained largely muted, except for exporting activities to Iraq, they said. Top exporter India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $371 to $378 per tonne, unchanged from the last week, as demand remained strong for broken grades for feed purposes. “Broken rice is in demand. Feed makers are replacing corn with 25% and 100% broken rice,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Rice Seeds Not Exempt from 17% Sales Tax: FBR Clarifies to NA Committee

  • FBR has clarified to the National Assembly Standing Committee of Defence Production that rice seeds are not exempt from 17 percent sales tax. The exemption was removed after the introduction of Supplementary Finance Bill 2022 on 16 January 2022. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had imposed a standard rate of 17 percent sales tax on all kinds of seeds, including rice, on 16 January 2022. Previously, The FBR has been directed by the Chairman Committee, Chaudhary Iftikhar Nazir, to clarify whether rice seed is exempt from sales tax under Sr. No. 19 of Table 1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990.
    The clarification received at the Parliament House revealed that rice seed had been removed from sales tax exemptions after the passage of the Finance (Supplementary) Act, 2022.
     
    Apropos, it was apprised that Sr. No. 19 of Table 1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990 has been substituted through the Finance (Supplementary) Act, 2022. Resultantly, rice seed, like other seeds, is no longer exempt from sales tax.
    In light of these details and under Pakistan Customs Tariff (PCT) Heading Number 1006.1010, the rice seed is not exempt from sales tax under Serial Number 19 of Table-1 of the Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990, as per the FBR’s clarification.
  • Cambodia achieves more than 100,000 tons of rice exports in January, February

  • Cambodia recorded an increase in this year’s rice exports for January and February compared to the same period in the previous year. This is according to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries released to local news in March 14. According to the statement from the Ministry, in the first two months of 2022, Cambodia exported 103,058 tons of rice, including all kinds of fragrant rice. This is an increase of 26,836 tons compared to the previous year’s exports for 76,222 tons. Rice exports in February 2022 amounted to 50,022 tons which is an increase of 8,073 tons or 19.24 percent compared to February 2021’s export of 41,949 tons. China is the main market for Cambodian rice export. On January and February of this year Cambodia exported 56,385 tons of rice. Cambodia also exports rice to 20 EU countries with a total volume of 26,507 tons and to three ASEAN destinations with a total 9,370 tons of rice export. The country’s exports to other 16 countries have seen a drop in volume with only 10,796 tons of rice exported, which is a decrease of 19.23 percent. Agricultural exports from Cambodia have seen a slight increase as the country begins to recover from the Covid-19 slump.
  • Rice Exports Surge By 11.61 Per Cent In Seven Months

  • ISLAMABAD  – Rice exports from the country during first 07 months of current financial year increased by 11.16% as compared to exports of the corresponding period of last year. During the period from July-January, 2021-22, over 2.179 million tons of rice valuing $1.286 billion was exported as against the exports of 2.179 million tons valuing $1.157 billion of same period last year. According the trade data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of Basmati rice also increased by 28.58% in last 07 months as 414,190 metric tons of Basmati rice valuing $362.183 million was exported as against the exports of 293,761 metric tons worth $281.675 million of same period last year. Meanwhile, country earned $924.668 million by exporting about 2.138 million tons of rice other than Basmati as against the exports of 1.886 million tons worth $875.959 million of same period last year. On year on year basis, the exports of rice also witnessed significant growth of 13.30% as 434,382 metric tons of rice valuing $220.078 million was exported in January, 2022 as compared to exports of 329,999 metric tons worth $194.245 million of same period last year. The exports of Basmati rice also grew by 08.97% in month of January, 2022 as 62,734 metric tons of above mentioned commodity valuing $58.086 million was exported as against the exports of 60,609 metric tons costing $53.305 million of same month of last year. It is worth mentioning here that food group exports from the country during first 07 months of current financial year increased by 20.87% as compared to the exports of the corresponding period of last year as different food commodities worth $2.952 billion were exported as against the exports of $2.444 billion of same period last year. The exports of food group from the country witnessed about 14.31% growth on year on year basis in January, 2022 as compared to same month of last year. During the period under review, the exports of all major food items recorded positive growth as exports of rice grew by 11.16%, fish and fish preparations 5.08%, fruits 11.60%, vegetables 11.36%, spices 22.94%, meat and meat preparations 1.68% respectively. Meanwhile, food group imports into the country also recorded increase of about 21.32% during July-January, 2021-22 as food commodities costing $5.629 billion were imported as against the import of $4.639 billion of same period last year. The food group imports into the country on year on basis also recorded about 13.05% growth in January, 2022 as against the imports of January, 2021. During month of January, 2022, different food commodities valuing $830.844 million were imported as compared to import of $734.953 million of same month last year. In last 07 months imports of soyabean oil increased by 34.70%, palm oil 55.75%, sugar 49.84%, pulses 14.94%, tea imports into the country grew by 5.48% as corresponding period of last year.
  • Odisha government to work on export plan for aromatic rice

  • The State government is exploring the possibility of exporting rice of traditional aromatic varieties beyond basmati to further enhance the income of the farmers. PDS rice BHUBANESWAR:  The State government is exploring the possibility of exporting rice of traditional aromatic varieties beyond basmati to further enhance the income of the farmers. The Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment department has been asked to constitute a resource team and frame a realistic work plan for giving a boost to rice export. Chairing a high-level meeting with different stakeholders for promoting export of rice from the State, Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra asked the Agriculture department to identify agro-climatic zones more suitable for cultivation of non-basmati aromatic varieties of paddy in cluster approach. The government has decided to send a team to Andhra Pradesh for gaining firsthand knowledge on the actual practices adopted there in export of aromatic varieties of rice. The Chief Secretary directed the department to frame a realistic work plan with the suggestions from technical sessions of the seminar, and inputs from the resource team so that those could be carried forward. “The State government is committed to enhance farmers’ income by boosting the rice export and the State will provide all possible support for the purpose,” Mahapatra added. Principal Advisor to Chief Minister Asit Tripathy said the rice aggregators in the State need to be mobilised, trained and given handholding support for export-oriented operations.  
  • Thai rice exports still untouched by Russia-Ukraine war, says association

  • The Thai Rice Exporters Association said recently that the Russia-Ukraine war has not shaken rice exports yet, though rising oil prices may affect the situation in the long run.

    Chookiat Ophaswongse, the association’s honorary president, said Thailand exported some 6,000 tonnes of rice to Russia and about 2,000 tonnes to Ukraine last year.
    However, he said, the situation may change because wheat exports from Russia have been banned, which may result in pushing up the price of rice and other grains. This may impact orders from potential buyers. Chookiat added that the sea route from Thailand to key markets in Europe, especially France, and Africa have not been affected because it does not pass Russia or Ukraine. However, the cost of shipping may spike if the price of oil rises above US$100 per barrel. Then, he said, countries may choose to purchase rice from countries that are closer and cheaper than Thailand. Yet, he said, Thailand may still achieve the goal of exporting 7 million tonnes of rice this year thanks to the Middle East, where each country exports at least 1 million tonnes of rice every year. Though the Middle East market had slowed down, it began picking up again from the end of 2021. Meanwhile, Pitak Udomwichaiwat, director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade (DFT), said the department is adjusting its publicity strategy for rice in line with the current situation. It is planning to launch online campaigns to raise awareness about Thai rice and boost its popularity. DFT plans to focus on strengthening trade ties with China, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Apart from holding virtual meetings with potential buyers, the department will also look for ways to deal with Vietnam – Thailand’s No 1 competitor in rice exports. He added that Thailand’s export sector should do well this year because the container shortage problem is easing, though the cost of shipping is still high. Plus, he said, the price of Thai rice is still competitive thanks to the exchange rate and will remain so if the currency does not get stronger. DFT is planning to join international exhibitions and is eyeing the Saudi Arabian market. It has asked Thai diplomats to survey the demand and develop links with key rice exporters in Saudi Arabia. Pitak said once the Covid-19 situation eases, DFT will take Thai exporters to negotiate deals. As for government-to-government deals, DFT is waiting to sign a memorandum of understanding with Iraq even though the private sector is already exporting rice to the country.
  • Experts Discuss Study Findings to Boost Rice Yields

  • RESEARCH in agriculture has been described as a solid basis for increasing food production, including rice, whose consumption has increased significantly in recent years.

    This was stated by the Kilimanjaro Regional Administrative Secretary, Willy Machumu, during a meeting to present and discuss the technical manual for contributing water use efficiency at irrigation schemes, which was held in Moshi, Kilimanjaro recently.

    "All development issues are being implemented with great success after a thorough study, so this study you present today I believe will be the best foundation for increasing productivity in rice production in the country," he said in a statement read on his behalf by Mr Arnold Msuya from the Kilimanjaro Regional Secretariat.

    "I am very impressed and optimistic that the study would improve food production and improve paddy agriculture by helpingto create strategic plans for rain harvesting and preservation of water as well as its proper utilisation," he said.

    He appealed to the participants and the agricultural experts in general to use the results of the study effectively to increase rice production in the country.

    "I am optimistic that irrigation paddy fields will be improved and later on increase rice production, especially when put in mind that irrigation paddy fields accounts for 26 percent of the rice production area than the rain fed one," he noted.

    Earlier during a presentation through video from Japan, the Programme Director with the Japan International Research Centre for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), Dr Nakashima Kazuo, said the demand for rice was continuously increasing due to increasing population growth and the spread of rice eating culture.

    "Under these circumstances, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries instructed JIRCAS to conduct a study on improving water efficiency in irrigation schemes in Africa", he said.

    He said the study was aimed at increasing paddy production especially in Sub-Saharan Africa where rice production falls short of consumption, leading to an increase in the region's rice importations from Asia and North America.

    He said it was due to that factor that Japan started its support for rice cultivation in Tanzania in 1974, whereby their experts conducted activities which were aimed at establishing techniques of irrigated rice cultivation in Lower Moshi district.

    Speaking on behalf of the Head of the National Irrigation Commission, the Kilimanjaro Regional Irrigation Officer Eng Said Hussein Ibrahim, said the study involved Kilimanjaro Agricultural Training Centre (KATC), Arusha Technical College (ATC), National irrigation Commission, Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute Ministry of Agriculture and JIRCAS.

    KATC Head, Eng Nicodemus Shauritanga, thanked JIRCAS for its collaboration in the study, whereby he said KATC's mentors who participated in the project would now be competent in research works due to the experiences they gained in the project.

  • Pakistan’s Basmati rice exports up by 8.97%

  • Pakistan’s Basmati rice exports grew by 8.97% month-on-month to $58.086 million in January 2022, as compared with $49.161 million in January 2021, WealthPK reported. The country’s overall monthly rice exports declined by 8.40% and remained at $220.078 million in January 2022 compared with $240.264 million in December 2021, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The country’s overall food group exports in January 2022 were $471.500 million as compared with $533.565 million in December 2021, showing a decrease of 11.63%, reported WealthPK. On a year-on-year basis, food group exports increased by 14.31%  
  • Rice produced by multi-stakeholder partnership shipped abroad

  • Loc Troi Group, a leading provider of agricultural services and products in Vietnam, shipped more than 4,500 tonnes of rice worth over 3 million USD to markets in Europe, Americas and Asia in early 2022.

    Rice produced by multi-stakeholder partnership shipped abroad hinh anh 1
    Hanoi (VNA) – Loc Troi Group, a leading provider of agricultural services and products in Vietnam, shipped more than 4,500 tonnes of rice worth over 3 million USD to markets in Europe, Americas and Asia in early 2022. The products, which met all requirements set by each market, were produced with the partnership between farming households and the company. The cooperation is part of the Loc Troi agricultural ecosystem comprising cooperatives and 1,200 staffers working with rice farmers, which helps raise efficiency, save costs and benefit farming households who engage in the process./. 
  • Rice profits up around 15 pct

  • Rice profits up around 15 pct Major rice producers and exporters saw their after-tax profits last year increase around 15 percent against the previous year thanks to stronger domestic and overseas sales with higher export prices.

    Loc Troi Group JSC reaped the biggest-ever revenues of over VND10.2 trillion ($443.4 million) and after-tax profits of more than VND420 billion, up 36 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

    Vietnam National Seed Group JSC (Vinaseed) made revenues of over VND1.93 trillion and after-tax profits of more than VND225 billion, posting respective year-on-year rises of 18 percent and 16 percent.

    Both net revenues and after-tax profits of Trung An Hi-tech Farming JSC increased 15 percent to VND3.12 trillion and over VND100 billion.

    Vietnam exported over 6.2 million tons of rice totaling nearly $3.3 billion last year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    The average export price of Vietnamese rice rose 5.5 percent against 2020 to $526.8 per ton in 2021, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Loc Troi exported over 80,000 tons of rice worth over VND1 trillion, quadrupling in both volume and value against 2020. Vinaseed exported 60 tons of premium fragrant rice to the U.K. for the first time.

    Domestic sales also increased last year, partly due to social distancing measures imposed to curb Covid-19. Hoa Sen Rice told VnExpress its sales surged 45 percent in 2021.

    The Vietnam Food Association predicted Vietnam, which exported 505,700 tons of rice worth $246 million in January, would export over 6 million tons of rice this year. However, a sharp increase in prices of agricultural materials, especially fertilizers, will increase input costs and lowers farmer incomes.

     

  • Rice exports go up 11.16pc

  • ISLAMABAD: Rice exports from the country increased by 11.16 per cent to 2.179 million tonnes in the first seven months of current financial year (7MFY22) from 2.179m tonnes in the same period last year, trade data shared by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed on Friday. During July-January 2021-22, over 2.179m tonnes of rice valuing $1.286 billion was exported as against the exports of 2.179m tonnes valuing $1.157bn in 7MFY21. Exports of Basmati rice also increased by 28.58pc in 7MFY22. A total 414,190 tonnes of Basmati rice valuing $362.183m was exported in the period against exports of 293,761 tonnes worth $281.675m in 7MFY21. The country earned $924.668m by exporting about 2.138m tonnes of rice other then Basmati in 7MFY22 as against the exports of 1.886m tonnes worth $875.959m of same period last year. On year-on-year basis, rice exports witnessed significant growth of 13.30pc as 434,382 tonnes of rice valuing $220.078m was exported in January as compared the exports of 329,999 tonnes worth $194.245m of same period last year. The exports of Basmati rice also grew by 08.97pc in month of January as 62,734 tonnes of above mentioned commodity valuing $58.086m exported as against the exports of 60,609 tonnes costing $53.305m of same month of last year. It is worth mentioning here that food group exports from the country during 7MFY22 increased by 20.87pc as compared to the exports of the corresponding period of last year. Commodities worth $2.952bn were exported in the period as against the exports of $2.444bn in 7MFY21. The exports of food group from the country witnessed about 14.31pc growth on year on year basis in January as compared to same month last year. During the period under review, exports of all major food items recorded positive growth as exports of rice grew by 11.16pc, fish and fish preparation 5.08pc, fruits 11.60pc, vegetables 11.36pc spices 22.94pc, meat and meat preparation 1.68pc, respectively. Meanwhile, food group imports into the country also recorded an increase of about 21.32pc during July-Jan FY22 as food commodities costing $5.629bn imported as against the import of $4.639bn of same period last year. The food group imports into the country on year on basis also recorded about 13.05pc growth in January as against the imports in the same month in 2021. During month of January different food commodities valuing $830.844m imported as compared the import of $734.953m of same period last year. In 7MFY22 imports of soyabean oil increased by 34.70pc, palm oil 55.75pc, sugar 49.84pc, pulses 14.94pc, tea imports into the country grew by 5.48pc as corresponding period of last year.  
  • Pakistan’s rice exports to China increased 133% in 2021

  • Pakistan’s export of rice to China (HS Code 1006) crossed $400 million in 2021, up 133 percent year on year, and in the first five months of the last year once Pakistan remained the largest rice supplier to China. China Economic Net (CEN) reported this on Tuesday quoting official data from the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC). Commercial Counselor of the Pakistan Embassy Beijing Badar uz Zaman previously said that in the next few years, his target is to achieve one million tons of rice. He desires that Pakistan will become the largest player in this market. This year China imported about 973,000 tons of rice worth $437 million from Pakistan. The seven new Pakistan rice exporters have been added to the approved list which has risen to 53 last year, and China relaxed import restrictions on Pakistani rice which helped rice export to China. Commercial Counselor Badar uz Zaman told CEN that Pakistan has become the third-largest exporter of rice to China, added that they are using traditional and especially social media platforms to provide awareness about Pakistani rice in this market. “We are also in discussion with the Chinese government for the technology transfer of sea rice because huge saline land along the coastal districts can be used for rice cultivation. The Chinese have been successful in their experiments to use the saline land and we can learn this from China,” Badar added. This year semi or wholly milled rice (Commodity Code 10063020) crossed about $249 millio, increased 85% as compared to last year, which followed by broken rice (Commodity Code 10064020) reached $125 million, up 201% year on year. Badar further said that the number of Pakistani restaurants isincreasing in China that helped Pakistani Basmati rice improve exports here, and Middle Eastern restaurants like Lebanese and Turkish restaurants also use Basmati rice. Previously there was no presence of Basmati rice because Chinese normally like the other varieties of rice, but now the Chinesebuying power is being increased, and the tendency to use expensive products and special aromatic basmati rice will create a pull from the Chinese market. Miss Xie working as a manager in a Pakistani restaurant is amazed that more Chinese customers are coming to eat Basmati rice because it’s different from Chinese rice and it has a special fragrance. The grains remain separate after cooking. Asif Jalil, owner of Little Lahore a famous restaurant in China told CEN that Thai Jasmine rice is very popular here because they created the demand in the Chinese market and now, they are capturing & enjoying the market, he added Pakistan still needs to work hard to grab the whole market because the Chinese market is too big. “The quantity of Pakistani rice exported to China, at this moment does not represent the demand from the local consumers. It only tells that we let some of the consumers try Pakistani rice. When this export grows over a certain period, then basically, we will be able to see the number of returning consumers to rightly quantify the growth in demand for Pakistani rice,” he added. Pakistani rice exporters expressed that the shipping cost is too high due to COVID-19 and the price of rice in the domestic market goes up while the end-users are still buying on old rates. If they get subsidies or some incentives from the Chinese side, that would help increase much more exports of Pakistani rice to China. They also said that 1121 Basmati Rice has very high quality in Pakistan but the price of this type of rice is the same as Indian traders are getting in the Chinese market, while quality has a huge difference, adding that the Pakistani government needs much more effort to increase further exports of rice because China is a very big market. They also mentioned that right now IRRI-6, IRRI-9, semi or wholly milled rice and broken rice are the main varieties of rice that are exported to China while Basmati and other top varieties still need to work hard to capture the Chinese market. Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Fakhar Imam said that last year Pakistan has the best rice production of around 9 million tons, which has helped Pakistan earn $4.75 billion from rice exports, and he expected that 2022 will break all record of rice production and exports. It is also worth mentioning that the latest color sorter machines (technology) and seeds given by China to Pakistan to facilitate the sowing and improvement of rice grains helped increase rice exports to China and also around the world.  
  • India’s basmati rice exports hit 4-yr low as Iran trims buying

  • Workers lift a sack of rice to load onto a truck at a wholesale grain market in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh February 9, 2012. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/File Photo  

    MUMBAI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - India's basmati rice exports plunged a fifth from a year ago to the lowest level in four years in 2021 as top buyer Iran slashed purchases after its rupee reserves dwindled, government and industry officials said.

    The country's basmati rice exports in 2021 fell 20% from a year ago to 4 million tonnes, the lowest since 2017, according to government data.

    Shipments to Iran, the biggest buyer of India's basmati rice, plunged 26% from a year ago to 834,458 tonnes, the data showed.

    "Iran wasn't active in the market for a few months last year after its rupee reserves with Indian banks depleted," said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading house.

    Iran previously had a deal to sell oil to India in exchange for rupees, which it used to import critical goods, including agricultural commodities, but New Delhi stopped buying Tehran's oil in May 2019 after a U.S. sanctions waiver expired.

    Tehran continued using its rupees to buy goods from India, but without crude sales, which brought down Iran's rupee reserves. read more

    There was slowdown in exports in the middle of 2021 but in the last two-three months buying from Iran, Saudi Arabia and other key buyers have picked up, said Vijay Setia, former president, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA).

    India, the world's biggest rice exporter, mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East.

    The country total rice exports jumped nearly 46% in 2021 from a year ago to a record 21.42 million tonnes as Bangladesh, China and Vietnam increased purchases.

    Basmati rice production in 2021 fell around 15% from a year ago because of lower area and untimely rainfall during harvesting season, Setia said.

    "Export prices of basmati rice have gone up by 20% because of lower production, but still demand is robust for February and March shipments," Setia said.

     

  • Pakistan can fulfill entire rice demand of Romania: Fakhar Imam

  • Ambassador of Romania to Pakistan Nicolae Goia called on Minister of National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam in Islamabad today [Thursday]. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said Pakistan has immense export potential in citrus fruits, rice, mangoes, onion, potatoes, fisheries and livestock sectors. He said Pakistan has eight million tonnes of rice production which can be used to fulfill the entire rice demand of Romania. Syed Fakhar Imam said Pakistan can benefit from Romania expertise in mechanization.
  • Non-Basmati rice exports likely to cross 17 MT this financial year: BV Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association

  • non basmati rice Exports of non-Basmati rice are poised to cross 17 million tonne (mt) for the current financial year. Exports have already crossed 12.53 mt for the current season against 13 mt for the entire 2020-21 season, BV Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association (REA), told FE. According to data released by the association, non-Basmati rice exports have recorded a 51.8% rise between April and December last year, over the previous year’s corresponding period, due to high purchases made by China and Bangladesh. Non-basmati rice shipments crossed 12.53 mt over April-December 2021, compared to 8.25 mt in the same period last year. In value terms, the non-basmati rice shipments were up by 46% at $4.48 billion compared to $3.07 billion same time last year. In the April to December 2021 period, Bangladesh imported 1.58 mt in the current year, as against 13,811 tonne for the same period the previous year. In value terms, this translates to $596 million for the April-December 2021 period as against $13.47 million for the April to December 2020 period. Rao said that although Bangladesh has been the largest purchaser of non-Basmati rice from India in the 2021 period, the country has not been buying from India for the last four months since their purchases are largely determined by government decisions. China has imported 0.9 mt from India in the April to December 2021 period valued at $275 million, while the imports from the April to December 2020 period were 33,705 tonne and the shipments were worth $ 10,29 million for this period. Rao stated that China may continue to purchase rice from India and the shipments from India are likely to cross 1.5 mt for the entire year. Other major buyers of Indian rice include Nepal, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Togo, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Russia, among others. Recently, the agriculture ministry said that the country’s exports of Basmati and non-Basmati rice are likely to touch 21-22 mt for the current fiscal.
  • Rising freight rates impact India’s basmati exports to West Asia

  • Doubling of freight rates for shipments to West Asia from the beginning of February has started impacting basmati rice exports to the region. As a result, basmati exports are likely to decline more than 10% year-on-year in this financial year, said industry executives. West Asia has traditionally been the largest buyer of Indian basmati rice, accounting for 85-90% India’s basmati exports. “In the first nine months of the current financial year, basmati exports were down by 38% compared to the same period last financial year,” Vinod Kaul, executive director, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA), told ET. “The trade was expecting exports to go up in the fourth quarter of FY22 as the Ramadan month of April was coming when the Middle East buys good quantities of basmati rice.” The surge in freight rates will hurt exports, said Kaul. “The freight cost has more than doubled in the last ten days beginning February. The freight rate was $1,100 per container at January-end which has shot up to $2,300 per container now,” he said. India exported 4.6 million tonnes of basmati rice in 2020-21. But this fiscal, exports are unlikely to cross 4.1 million tonnes, said Kaul. “The payment problem with Iran continues, though some exports are happening through third currency payments which are permitted by the Reserve Bank of India,” he said. However, while basmati rice exports are reeling under rising freight rates and exporters have no choice to send the rice to other destinations, non-basmati rice exports are doing exceedingly well. Exports of non-Basmati rice are expected to cross 17 million tonnes this fiscal, said BV Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association. Exports crossed 12.53 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2021-22, as against 13 million tonnes in the entire 2020-21. Non-basmati rice exports increased 51.8% year-on-year between April and December last year due to higher purchases made by China and Bangladesh.
     
     
     
  • Thailand rice exports expected to rise sharply

  • Rice Paddy Harvest BANGKOK, THAILAND — Thailand is forecast to export 8 million tonnes of rice in the 2021-22 marketing year, up 31% from the previous year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Attractive Thai prices, driven by the weakening of the Thai baht, are the reason for the sharp increase in exports, the report said. Rice production is projected to increase year-on-year from 18.8 million tonnes to 20.8 million tonnes, the USDA said. The report noted that the country’s wheat imports are expected to decline by 13% in 2021-22. Reduced domestic demand for milling and feed wheat due to a slow economic recovery from the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and high import prices for feed wheat are the primary reasons for the decline. An even sharper drop in corn imports is expected, as the USDA forecasts a 17% decrease due reduced demand for swine feed caused by the African swine fever outbreak. “Post forecasts swine feed demand to decline by 30%, in line with swine production shrinking from 19 to 20 million heads to 12 million to 13 million heads,” the USDA said.
  • REAP extends help to govt in research,model farming

  • LAHORE: Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has extended its cooperation to the Punjab government for research and model farming in the agriculture sector. This offer was made in a meeting held between Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal and REAP’s delegation led by Chairman Ali Hasaam Asghar here Sunday. Other members of delegation included Ch Samiullah Naeem, Kashif Rehman, Mian Wahab and Faisal Jehangir, while Secretary Agriculture Asad-ur-Rehman Gillani was also present on this occasion. Kamran Afzal told the delegation that the Punjab government was working on providing business-friendly atmosphere so that business activities could be promoted. The provincial government was also working on farm mechanisation in order to increase production of agriculture sector, maintained. Speaking on this occasion, Ali Hasaam said export of rice depended on agriculture sector’s production. He also appreciated the steps taken by PM Imran Khan to facilitate the exporters.
  • Minister: Rice prices soaring due to international market

  • The government has a roadmap to increase production through high yield rice breeds, Unb Rice 1630333402314

    Rice prices in the country are on the rise due to high demand and increased prices in the international market, says Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque. 

    “We are trying to figure out how to be self-sustaining in terms of grain food production,” he said during a meeting on Thursday. 

    The minister said that the government did not need to import rice until 2017 and any imports were made by private traders. 

    “Then the import tax was reduced due to the floods, which in turn led to rice prices falling,” he said. 

    He added that the government is undertaking initiatives to increase production in line with the demands. 

    “We have also discussed how to increase the production of Boro, Aman and Aush rice,” the minister said before adding Bangladeshi scientists have invented the Bri-89, 92 which yield high produce. 

     
  • Asia Rice: India rates slip on weak demand, other hubs muted on holidays

  • Rice export prices in India fell for a second straight week as buyers opted for cheaper offers from elsewhere, while activity in other Asian hubs remained relatively quiet due to the Lunar New Year holidays. Top exporter India's 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $370 to $376 per tonne this week, down from last week's range of $372 to $379. "Myanmar and Pakistan have been offering rice at a competitive price. Some buyers are moving to these destinations," said Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at leading exporter Satyam Balajee. Freight train availability is still limited, and that has been delaying shipments for deals signed last month, he said. Thailand's 5% broken rice prices were little changed at $408-$417 per tonne on Thursday, compared to $408-$415 last week. Thailand aims to ship 7m tons of rice in 2022 as outlook improves One Bangkok-based trader said the market was still muted from the Lunar New Year holidays and most businesses have not resumed. Some orders made before the new year were fulfilled last week and some new deals have been made with buyers from Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, another trader said. Thailand aims to export 7 million tonnes of rice this year, 14.6% more than 2021. Markets in Vietnam were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays this week. In Bangladesh, domestic rates for the staple were high despite good crops and hefty reserves, hitting consumers. "Prices of food grains has increased in the international market. People are eating more rice to cope with the high global prices of wheat. That is affecting rice prices," the country's agriculture minister Abdur Razzaque told reporters.
  • 6.7% growth in 2021 rice export pushes Thailand up in world ranking

  • Thailand became the world’s third-largest rice exporter by shipping 6.12 million tonnes of rice last year, up 6.7 per cent year on year, Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said on Monday.

    6.7% growth in 2021 rice export pushes Thailand up in world ranking hough the export volume has increased, the total value of exported rice in 2021 dropped 7.1 per cent from the previous year, or from $3.7 billion [THB116.04 billion] to $3.4 billion [THB107.75 billion],” he said. Meanwhile, India still remains the top rice exporter for four consecutive years with 19.5 million tonnes of rice exported in 2021, up 33.9 per cent year on year. Vietnam came in second with 6.24 million tonnes exported last year, dropping 5.2 per cent year on year. Pakistan and the United States, meanwhile, are in fourth and fifth places, with 3.93 million tonnes and 2.85 million tonnes of rice exported in 2021, respectively. The Thai Rice Exporters Association also reported that in December 2021, Thailand exported 729.12 tonnes of rice valued at THB12.5 billion, down 3.5 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively from the same period in the previous year. “Rice export dropped towards the end of last year in both quantity and value because buyers tend to slow down after they have built up a stock of rice,” Charoen said. Thailand’s biggest rice buyers in 2021 include China, Japan, United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, Congo, Syria, Benin and Angola. “We expect rice export in January to be around 700,000 tonnes, while the target for 2022 is set at 7 million tonnes,” said Charoen. “Positive factors for rice export this year include the recovery of the global economy, increasing demand in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and our estimate that the baht will stay steady at THB33 per US dollar, which will make our price competitive against other exporters.”
  • Agricultural rice exports making Lake Charles a major player internationally

  • Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Port of Lake Charles has become an international hotspot for one specific export, as tons of rice are being shipped out of the port and involves hundreds of stake holders here in the United States.

    Rice is one of the biggest exports that the Port of Lake Charles handles, and the rice is grown locally here in Southwest Louisiana and East Texas.

    “Six years ago, we didn’t know what we’d be doing today and it’s just an exciting adventure that we’re on,” said Mark Pousson, manager of the South Louisiana Rail Facility.

    The rail facility is one of the 200 partners involved in rice exporting out of the Port of Lake Charles. Pousson said even with in the three years, rice exports out of the port have taken off with each grain of “rough rice” having an impact on a global scale.

    “Annually, we’re running or average around 175,000 tons a year,” Pousson said. “We’re exporting to South America, Central America. We have a vessel on the way Tuesday that will go to Columbia. The first time we go to that country.”

    From growing it on regional farms to shipping it out of the Gulf.

    “It’s a huge accomplishment you know that we’ve produced it, we’ve marketed it, we logistically delivered to the buyer,” Pousson said.

    Now, partnerships that continue to bring economic growth to Southwest Louisiana are reaching Asia.

    “In 2019, a company from India approached us to partner in a rice milling facility, and so we are currently under construction of a rice mill in Lacassine,” Pousson said.

    The mill is another step forward in expanding the possibilities to produce more exports and developing economic growth within the region. Pousson adds that all those involved from rice produces to the stakeholders are proud of all they’ve done and are looking forward to future expansion.

  • Rice prices on the rise as exports suffer from disruption to supply

  • rice close-up Rice prices are boiling over due to severe supply chain disruption. Prices have increased on the back of logistics bottlenecks that are limiting rice exports from India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, Mintec market analyst Zanna Aleksahhina told The Grocer this week. As India was facing a shortage of freight trains there was “approximately 1.5 million tonnes of rice stuck at the ports, that India had planned to export this month”, Aleksahhina added. “Unfortunately, there is no option to switch to alternative transport – road transport – since truckers have increased their freight charges too,” Aleksahhina added. Traders were “quoting higher prices for overseas shipments to cover demurrage charges [and] high vessel rates”, she explained. This is translating into higher retail prices. Assosia data for the 12 weeks to 26 January shows a raft of rice SKUs – many from the biggest brands – have been hit. Tilda Basmati 500g and Tilda Basmati Brown Rice 500g, for example, rose from £2.65 to £2.85 in Tesco, while Ben’s Original Golden Vegetable Microwave Rice 250g and Mexican Style Microwave Rice 250g grew 15% to £1.15 in Sainsbury’s. Veetee Heat & Eat Pilau Rice Pots x2 250g and Veetee Heat & Eat Sticky Rice Pots x2 260g were subject to a 10% price increase from £1 to £1.10 in Sainsbury’s. Tilda and Ben’s Original declined to comment. Tesco confirmed it had seen a rise in the wholesale price of rice but said it was trying to minimise the impact on retail prices.
  • CRF all set to market fragrant rice in European countries

  • The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) sets a plan of bold promotion of Cambodia’s fragrant rice in some European countries in a bid to spread out the quality of milled rice to the bloc’s consumers. The plan has been prepared amid the EU ending the three-year import tariff on the country’s long-grain white rice last week.
     
    The CRF sets a plan to join exhibitions in the EU countries to push direct sales to customers, said CRF president Song Saran. “Per our strategy, we will join exhibitions to sell directly to customers. Now, the rice import tariff has ended. We will go to sell and promote our rice directly to regain support,” Saran said. CRF plans to promote fragrant rice in France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and other countries such as the US, Australia and China’s Hong Kong, he said, adding that the promotion is made based on the CRF’s budget available and support from development partners. The CRF also pushes farmers to select quality rice seeds to plant so that they produce quality rice for export. The CRF plans to promote the quality rice seed to farmers to provinces in the main rice production province around the Tonle Sap Lake, Saran said.
     
    The EU market accounted for more than 50 percent of Cambodia’s total milled rice export in 2016 and this amount dropped sharply to around 20 percent last year, mainly due to the import tariff on Cambodia’s long-grain white rice. With the import tariff removed, Cambodia expects to see at least 200,000 tons of rice exports to the EU this year. “Rice export reaches about 150,000 tonnes to the EU, so after the import tariff ends, we expect to see at least 200,000 tonnes by this year or up to 250,000 tonnes according to high demand of Cambodia’s rice,” Saran said optimistically. Currently, China is the biggest market for the country’s rice export, followed by the EU.
  • First Thai rice shipment delivered using Laos-China railway

  • A first shipment 1,000 tonnes of Thai rice has been delivered using the Lao-Chinese railway to Chongqing, marking a new chapter in exports to China, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry announced on Thursday. Exports of other farm products using the new rail link would follow, Alongkorn Polabutr, adviser to the agriculture minister, said. He said the initial shipment of rice was carried in 20 carriages and had already reached Chongqing. More would follow. The railway, which commenced service early last month, opened the possibility of extending export routes to other Chinese provinces and farther, to Central Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Europe. The government was looking into exporting fruit, orchids, rubber, cassava, palm oil and fishery and livestock products on the new railway, Mr Alongkorn said. Thai fruit could reach Chongqing in 1-2 days, retaining freshness thanks to the railway. This would enable expansion to markets in China, he said.
  • ASIA RICE-STRONG RUPEE, TIGHT SUPPLIES LIFT INDIA RATES TO OVER 6-MONTH PEAK

  • * Vietnam's 2021 rice exports fell 0.2%- govt. data * Bangladesh domestic rates up despite good crops, imports- trader By Kavya Guduru Jan 14 (Reuters) - Rice export prices in top exporter India this week touched their highest levels since last June, supported by tight supplies and a stronger rupee, while an uptick in demand buoyed rates in nearby Thailand to their highest since mid-July last year. India's 5% broken parboiled variety <RI-INBKN5-P1> was quoted at $367-$375 per tonne, a peak since the week of June 24 last year, up from last week’s $359-$363. "Mills are mainly focusing on milling white rice. Parboiled supplies are very limited, and that's why prices are moving higher," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
     
    Prices are also firming because of an appreciation in the rupee, he said, which trims traders' margins from overseas sales. Thailand's 5% broken rice <RI-THBKN5-P1> prices rose to their highest since mid-July 2021 at $404-$405 per tonne from $390-$402 last week. Bangkok-based traders said an uptick in demand among exporters who had to fulfil orders made before the New Year’s holidays raised prices slightly. Thailand exported 5.39 million tonnes of rice between January and November 2021, up 2.6% from the same period a year earlier, according to the country’s commerce ministry. Vietnam's 5% broken rice <RI-VNBKN5-P1> was offered at $395-$405 per tonne, widening from a range of $395-$400 a week ago. "Sales are slow, and local traders have scaled down their purchases from farmers," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said. Government customs data released on Thursday showed Vietnam’s rice exports in 2021 fell 0.2% to 6.24 million tonnes. Exports in December fell 13.4% from November to 490,219 tonnes. Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, domestic rice prices went up again this week despite good crops and huge imports, traders said. Bangladesh, the world's third-biggest rice producer, imported nearly 1.36 million tonnes in the previous year that ended in June. (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru, Patpicha Tanakasempipat in Bangkok, Khanh Vu in Hanoi, Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai and Ruma Paul in Bangladesh; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
  • Rice exporters warn of losing $400 million due to high freight charges

  • China Rice import Pakistan KARACHI: Pakistani rice exporters warned the country could lose $400 million in export revenue due to high freight charges and lack of container availability, Arab News reported. The global shortage of containers and high freight charges have affected Pakistan’s rice exports, making people associated with the business seek government intervention to restrict the exit of empty containers from the country. “Due to the lack of availability of containers and high fright costs, 250,000 tonnes of rice could not be exported last year and this quantity may increase to 500,000 tonnes this year due to the severity of the situation,” Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) senior vice chairman Muhammad Anwar Mianoor said during a news conference. “The county is likely to lose $400 million in export revenue if timely steps are not taken through policy measures by restricting the movement of empty containers,” he said, adding, “The government should come up with policies for return of empty containers and should bound shipping companies to cap a fixed percentage of empty containers which will be available for export purposes.” The Reap official noted that India had already taken such steps to facilitate its export sector by allowing imported containers to remain in the country for re-use. Rice exporters said the container charges had gone up over 1,500 per cent by shipping companies which had been steadily increasing the cost of the commodity. “Over a year, container charges which were $70 to $80 last year have increased to over $1,300 per container for their Chinese destination,” Mianoor said. The Pakistani rice exporter called for a complete audit of shipping companies and freight forwarders, saying they were making money by disturbing the export sector. “Shipping companies have made a cartel and are blackmailing us,” he continued. However, the government officials said that the rice export was continuing from the country, adding that 55,000 tonnes of it had already been exported this week from the Karachi port. They also maintained that appropriate measures had been taken to make containers available for exports. “Around 5,000 containers at the ports are stuck up and we have asked the Federal Board of Revenue [FBR] to clear them,” special assistant to the prime minister on maritime affairs Mahmood Moulvi told Arab News. Pakistan exported around 1.6 million tonnes of rice worth over $826 million, up by 13 per cent, during the July-November 2021 period of the current fiscal year. The country’s exports fell by six per cent to over $2 billion, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
  • Rice export surges by 19pc to $594.5m in 4 months

  • Rice export surges by 19pc to $594.5m in 4 months ISLAMABAD    -  The export of rice surged by 19.04 percent during the first four months of current financial year (2021-22) as compared to the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
     
    At a time when rice exports of the country were on escalating trend, the production of the rice crop has also been estimated at over 9 million tons during current season as compared to the output 8.4 million tons of same period of last year. Pakistan exported rice worth $594.528 million during July-October (2021-22) against the exports of $499.442 million during July-October (2020-21), showing growth of 19.04 percent, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Among the rice commodities, the exports of Basmati rice increased by 27.44 percent as these surged from $161.654 million last year to $206.013 million during the current year. The exports of other rice commodities also grew by 15.02 percent by going up from $337.788 million last year to $388.515 million during the current year, the PBS data revealed. In terms of quantity, the overall rice exports grew by 22.60 percent including Basmati rice by 39.59 percent and other rice commodities by 18.59 percent, the PBS data revealed.
     
    Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the rice exports witnessed an increase of 22.99 percent in October 2021 as compared with the export of the same month of last year. The rice exports in October 2021 were recorded at $171.335 million against exports of $139.306 million in October 2020. During the period under review, the exports of basmati rice increased by 28.09 percent whereas that of other rice commodities went up by 20.88 percent. On month-on-month basis, the rice exports increased by 19.87 percent when compared to the exports of $142.933 million in September 2021. On month-on-month basis, the Basmati exports grew by 32.19 percent whereas the exports of other rice commodities increased by 28.03 percent. The overall food exports from the country increased by 26.91 percent during the first four months of current year compared to last year.
     
    The food exports from the country were recorded at $1434.398 million during July-October (2021-22) against the exports of $1130.250 million during July-October (2020-21). It is pertinent to mention here that the country’s total merchandise exports surged by 24.94 during the first four months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year. The exports during the period were recorded at $9.462 billion against the exports of $7.573 billion during same period of last year. On the other hand, the imports into the country also surged by 65.40 percent by growing from $15.176 billion last year to $25.101 billion during the current fiscal year, the PBS data added.
  • Containers: Rice exporters urge govt to ensure timely availability

  • KARACHI: Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) Tuesday urged the federal government to take immediate measures to ensure the timely availability of the containers for export purposes. A high-profile delegation of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) led by Abdul Rahim Janoo, Former Chairman Reap had a meeting with Mahmood Baqi Moulvi, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Maritime Affairs yesterday at KPT Head Office Karachi. Muhammad Anwar Mianoor Senior Vice Chairman REAP, MC Members Dr. Muhammad Hafeez, Hasab Abdul Rauf along with Rasheed Jan Muhammad, Jawed Jilani, Ashfaq Ghaffar, Anis Majeed, Usman Shaikh, Noman Arif, Faisal Anis, Shoaib Rauf and others were the part of the delegation. In addition, Muhammad Sohail Shahzad, Director Technical Quarantine Department of Plant Protection Department, government of Pakistan along with his team was also present during the meeting. Anwar Mianoor said with a bumper rice crop this year, Pakistan has great opportunity to boost the rice exports. “We have good orders for China in coming months,” he said. However, exporters are facing a severe challenge of non-availability of containers for export purposes, he mentioned. He also drew the attention of the Advisor towards exorbitant increase in freight charges. He requested the federal government for immediate measures for the availability of containers for export of goods, particularly rice. “The federal government should issue a notification that forbids shipping lines from taking away empty containers or put a percentage on the movement of empty containers from our country,” he suggested. He mentioned that in some countries, their government implemented this practice. Further, he complained that shipping agents and companies are charging high exchange rates as compared to prevailing rates. He requested his support to facilitate rice exports to work with peace of mind. Mianoor also appreciated the role of DPP for the betterment of import export trade of Pakistan. He said that despite the shortage of staff, DPP staff has worked day and night and provided excellent services to business and trade. He requested Mahmood Moulvi to extend every possible support to DPP to continue their services. Abdul Rahim Janoo congratulated Mahmood Moulvi and said that he is the first leader of rice industry who have reached this position and we are proud of you for representing the rice sector everywhere. Sohail Shahzad, Director DPP thanked for the support to Reap, Ministry of National Food Security & Research and Government of Pakistan and informed that previously DPP was facing a critical shortage of staff to perform our duties to inspect import export containers at all sea ports. However, after consistent efforts MINCOM appointed a good number of Staff on Contractual basis and also provided suitable funds, so that DPP can continue to work with zeal. He requested to provide support to get these staff permanent. He requested Mahmood Moulvi to again hand over the office to DPP to work smoothly at Port premises. Sohail Shahzad added that there should be dedicated space at seaport to inspect the import export containers properly for sensitive countries, so that exports could not be stopped.
  • Rice export has huge scope

  • Paddy shipments to Beijing may rise as agri-cooperation deepens farmers plant rice seedlings in a paddy field on the outskirts of lahore july 10 2011 photo reuters BEIJING: Will Basmati rice, the pride of Pakistan, appear on the dining tables of more Chinese consumers? Customs data showed that China imported 1.95 billion yuan worth of paddy and rice from Pakistan in the first 10 months of this year, 3.9 times higher than the same period of last year. Pakistan is the third-largest rice supplier to China. In addition, Pakistan became China’s largest rice supplier in the first five months of this year. As China and Pakistan further deepen agricultural cooperation, rice exports to Beijing may increase. The world’s leading rice exporters, India, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan compete and cooperate with each other. India used to be the largest exporter of Basmati rice, however, due to the strict European Union restrictions on tricyclazole and carbendazim, India lost a lot of Basmati rice orders from European clients. Meanwhile, Pakistan has become the biggest beneficiary thanks to its organic farming of Basmati rice. Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan Senior Vice President Faisal Jahangir Malik said that three years ago, India sold 400,000 tons of Basmati rice in the European markets while Pakistan’s share was less than 40,000 tons. “From 2020 to 2021, Pakistan’s rice exports to European countries reached 470,000 tons, while India’s share dropped below 40,000 tons,” he said. Read ‘Agriculture sector vital for growth’ “This was made possible thanks to Pakistan’s traditional farming method. Although Pakistan’s farming methods are not modern, they are close to organic production, hence the world has confidence in the locally produced rice.” Smog affects rice yield For a long time, Pakistan has followed a formula for rice export – rice export equals output minus domestic consumption. Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan told China Economic Net that Pakistan exports all it could offer. The only way to enhance exports is to increase the rice yield. Zhang Jiegen, the Associate Researcher at the Centre for Pakistan Studies at Fudan University, believed that China’s rice market is open to Pakistan in a way that other countries do not enjoy. “China will provide as much quota as possible to Pakistan in order to promote the healthy development of two-way trade but Pakistan’s production capacity cannot keep up,” he said. He cited sugar exports as an example. In 2020, Pakistan announced a subsidy for exporters to promote sugar export to China, however, this was followed by a spike in sugar prices as Pakistan’s domestic sugar production capacity could not keep up. Many factors affect rice yield. Read more Australia to provide agri-training Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku Director Muhammad Rafiq was of the view that smog is a major culprit. “When Basmati rice is not dried in time, exposure to the air produces aflatoxins. If these factors are excluded, the average yield of crops per acre will increase by 10-15 maund (40 kg),” he said. In Pakistan, many farmers consider rice as a cash crop. They use wheat harvesters to harvest rice due to the lack of specialised rice harvesters. Shamsul Islam Khan believed that the use of inappropriate combine harvesters affected the rice yield. “This leads to grain loss and increases breakage rate. When specialised rice harvesters are used, the yield will increase and the quality of crops will improve.” Agricultural technology limits rice production and also has an impact on rice processing. Khan said that 40-50% of rice is broken during processing. Rice exporters in China In the first five months of this year, Pakistan became China’s largest rice supplier. The main reason behind this is that China has relaxed its import restrictions on Pakistani rice in recent years. China has allowed seven new Pakistani rice exporters to do business in the country. So far, the number of Pakistani rice exporters that have got permission to enter the Chinese market has risen to 53. “There are 1,800 active members in Pakistan’s rice exporters association and currently, over 800 companies export rice from Pakistan,” said Malik. Comparing 53 approved exporters to 1,800 active members, he stated that “there is still much room for improvement in the exporter quota”.
  • Pakistani rice export to China has huge potential perts

  • Pakistani rice export to China has huge potential: Experts BEIJING, Nov. 25 (APP):Customs data showed that China imported RMB 1.95 billion worth of paddy and rice from Pakistan in the first 10 months of this year, 3.9 times that of the same period last year. Pakistan is the third largest rice supplier to China. In addition, Pakistan once became China’s largest rice supplier in the first five months of this year. As China and Pakistan further advance agricultural cooperation, Pakistan’s rice exports to China may increase, according to a report published by China Economic Net. Zhang Jiegen, an associate researcher at the Center for Pakistan Studies at Fudan University, believes that China’s rice market is open to Pakistan in a way that other countries do not enjoy. “China will provide as much quota as possible to Pakistan in order to promote the healthy development of China-Pakistan trade, but Pakistan’s production capacity cannot keep up.” Many factors affect rice yield. Ch. Muhammad Rafiq, Director of Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku, holds that smog is among the culprits. “When basmati rice is not dried in time, exposure to the air produces aflatoxins. If these factors are excluded, the average yield of crops per acre will increase by 10 to 15 maund (1 maund is about 40kg). “ In Pakistan, many farmers take rice as a cash crop. They use wheat harvester to harvest rice due to the lack of specialized rice harvesters. Shamsul Islam Khan believes that the use of inappropriate combine harvesters affects rice yield. “This leads to grain loss and increases breakage rate. When specialized rice harvesters are used, the yield will increase and the quality of crops will improve.” Agricultural technology limits rice production, and also has an impact on rice processing. Shamsul Islam Khan said that 40-50% of rice is broken during processing. In the first five months of this year, Pakistan once became China’s largest rice supplier. The main reason is that China has relaxed its import restrictions on Pakistani rice in recent years. China has approved seven new Pakistani rice exporters to do business in China. So far, the number of Pakistani rice exporters that have got permission to enter the Chinese market has risen to 53. “There are 1,800 active members in Pakistan’s rice exporters association, and currently over 800 companies export rice from Pakistan,” Faisal Jahangir Malik said. By comparing 53 approved exporters with 1,800 active members, he expressed his expectation that “there is still much room for improvement in the exporter quota”. China adopts tariff quota policy for corn, wheat and rice, levying a 1 percent tariff on imports within the quota and a 65 percent tariff on imports exceeding the quota. In 2021, import tariff quotas are 9.636 million tonnes for wheat, 7.2 million tonnes for corn and 5.32 million tonnes for rice, including 2.66 million tons of long-grain rice. Guo Jiapeng, a businessman engaged in global rice trade in Hong Kong, said. “Pakistani rice is mainly mixed with domestic rice according to a certain proportion to get the best taste.” As domestic rice harvest season has started, the arrival price of Pakistani rice in Hong Kong this year fell all the way from the highest USD 480 per ton to USD 310 per ton. China’s per capita consumption of rice has been declining year by year. Guo Jiapeng, based on years of trade experience, concluded that the rice that Chinese people have for staple food is decreasing at the rate of 3.5 per year, while the rice used for industrial production is increasing at the rate of 5%. Among them, broken rice for industrial use is not included in the quota, and the tariff levied on Pakistan’s broken rice export to China is 10. International sellers have set their sight on this “blue ocean market”. If the quota is a threshold, the preferences and habits of Chinese consumers determine the export prospect of Pakistani rice. Through more than ten years of experience in the Chinese market, Shamsul Islam Khan believes that the appearance of rice plays a key role in the Chinese market, “Chinese consumers’ preference for milled and polished rice leads to an increases in breakage.” Aman Ullah Khan, a Pakistani trader who has lived in China for over ten years, said that one reason for the poor sales of Pakistani rice in China is the characteristics of basmati rice. “Cooking basmati rice is demanding. The texture of cooked rice will be affected when it’s cooked in electric cookers, so the sales are not satisfactory in China.” Compared with foreign quality rice, cooked basmati rice gives a soft texture with superior aroma. As cooking it is demanding, currently, basmati rice in China is mainly served in foreign restaurants. Meanwhile, short-grain rice is still the main variety consumed by Chinese people at home. Thailand is a traditional rice supplier to China. Kesrin Ariyapongse, deputy secretary-general of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in China, holds that one reason why Thai rice has gained a good reputation in the Chinese market is that the eating habit is similar in China and Thailand, so Chinese people accept Thai rice easily. Fortunately, the Chinese have high recognition and acceptance of foreign food. Shamsul Islam Khan came to a Pakistani restaurant in China in 2018 and saw an amazing sight, “There wasn’t a single Pakistani except me. All were Chinese. They were eating samosas and having a good time. They were tasting Pakistani food, which was a good thing for us. “ If basmati rice wants to gain more recognition in China, high-end positioning is the top priority. Moreover, how to help Chinese consumers make a choice between Pakistani basmati rice and Indian basmati rice is also particularly important. A search for “basmati rice” on a Chinese e-commerce website shows that more than 70% of the products are “Pakistani basmati rice”, and the rest are produced in India. This has been made possible by the efforts of Chinese and Pakistani rice traders. Badar uz Zaman, Commercial Counsellor of Pakistani Embassy in Beijing, appreciated, “importers have started using e-commerce platforms to sell Pakistani rice, and Pakistani Embassy and Consulates in China have organized several rice related events.” “Our exporters start to comprehend Chinese taste for rice, participate and exhibit in different exhibitions and trade fairs actively, and learn about packaging requirements for products sold in the Chinese market,” said Badar uz Zaman. Kesrin Ariyapongse also suggested that Pakistani exporters should make adjustments for the habits of Chinese consumers. “Packaging improvement and constant product upgrading will allow the Chinese to accept easily.” “China is a large rice importer. Our exports can be increased many folds!” said Imran Sheikh, a Pakistani rice trader. Sino-Pak agricultural cooperation is all-round. Pakistan is eager not only to export its agricultural products to China, but also to bring Chinese investors with capital and technology to improve its agricultural sector. “Chinese technology can be seen everywhere around the world now.” He has been engaged in cooperation with Chinese companies. “We have made new machines by mixing local machines with those imported from China, Thailand and other countries. We have reached an agreement with our Chinese counterparts to cooperate in setting up a rice processing plant,” said Shamsul Islam Khan. Before Chinese agricultural machines entered Pakistan, high prices kept farmers away and hindered the development of agricultural mechanization. “In the past, the prices of these machines were quite high. For example, color sorter machines from Japan were extraordinary expensive. Now we import them from China because of lower cost and good rejection quality,” Shamsul Islam Khan said. The combine harvester mentioned above is also a good aspect of cooperation. Faisal Jahangir Malik said that Pakistan needs Chinese rice harvesters and transplanters. “Like the tray paddy transplanter, rice seedlings can be spread on the tray. Furthermore, it can increase yield by 5% to 7%. Pakistani farmers need equipment, education and training to modernize agriculture.” Chinese agricultural machines enter Pakistan relatively late, but they cost less and are in line with the habits of local farmers. In this way, upgrading of local agricultural technology and realization of agricultural machinery localization can come true in Pakistan. In response to Pakistan’s agricultural technology, Hussain Haider, Consulate General of Pakistan in Shanghai, holds that Pakistan needs to modernize its agricultural sector. In this case, Chinese assistance, investment and expertise can play a key role in mechanization of agriculture, use of modern technology and improvement of productivity. Pakistan has about 10 million hectares of saline alkali land. In this regard, Ch. Muhammad Rafiq is more interested in cooperation with agricultural colleges. “A large portion of our land is under the effect of salinity. We are still running breeding programs with old traditional methods and are not using the genetic engineering aid. We hope to cooperate with Chinese agricultural colleges.” Deep processing is a good opportunity for Pakistani rice to overtake if it wants to stand out from the fierce competition in the rice export market. As carbon constraints tighten, the gap in China’s starch market is widening, and the production of industrial products such as fast food boxes made from corn starch and rice starch is expanding. Guo Jiapeng believes that by using Chinese fermentation technology, the added value of Pakistani rice can be improved through deep processing biodegradable materials in China after initial processing in Pakistan. According to Shamsul Islam Khan, in addition to agricultural technology, he hopes that China can make extensive investment in Pakistan’s agriculture sector, and that more Chinese companies will “contract land” in Pakistan, as it has a large area of open, uncultivated land due to lack of agricultural technology. “After Chinese and Saudi companies went to Africa, they turned it into fertile land. 22% of Pakistan’s area is cultivated land, but there are still a wild stretch of land that is uncultivated. If China’s drip irrigation technology is adopted, it may also yield rice.” However, not all Pakistani farmers will accept Chinese technology. Zhang Genjie told CEN reporter a story, “Once an entrepreneur from a Chinese agribusiness talked about cooperation with a big landlord in Islamabad. The Chinese entrepreneur said that if the production technology was applied, the yield increased two to three folds, but the Pakistani landlord showed no interest. He said that the current practice could ensure an annual income of tens of millions of rupees. Why to change?” Zhang Jiegen believes that with the introduction of international cooperation and capital, an action forcing mechanism will be formed to accelerate the adaptation of local agriculture sector to international market demand. Traditionally, seed industry, agricultural machinery, agricultural materials, and product processing have been the main areas of agricultural cooperation between China and Pakistan. Pakistanis involved in rice business have started imagining scenarios of applying information technology to agricultural farming. Shamsul Islam Khan proposes to develop an application for rice farmers that would allow them to stay in touch with the agriculture department in real time, and the agricultural department would advise them on watering schedules and others. Pakistani rice is harvested by Chinese harvesters and then exported to the Chinese market according to Chinese packaging standards… This is the pursuit of countless Pakistani rice practitioners. As Badar uz Zaman said, “In the next few years, I think Pakistan will become the largest player in the Chinese rice import market.”
  • Rice exports to set new record this year

  • Rice exports rose an impressive 10.5 per cent between April and October over the record exports in FY21 A man works in a paddy field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, Friday, Nov. 19. (AP Photo) Chennai: Despite the pandemic demand waning out, rice exports rose an impressive 10.5 per cent between April and October over the record exports in FY21. A new record in rice exports is expected this year. In value terms, rice exports grew 10.5 per cent, increasing from $4,777.35 million in April-October 2020 to $5,278.95 million in April-October 2021. Between April and October, rice exports have almost touched 60 per cent of last year’s exports in value. Rice exports fetched $8.8 billion in FY21. Of this, non-basmati rice revenues more than doubled to $4.8 billion. However, basmati rice saw a drop of 7 per cent to $4 billion. Even in volume terms, rice exports had almost doubled to an all-time high of 17.7 million tonnes last fiscal, against 9.5 mt a year ago.  In the pandemic year, several countries have been stocking up food items prior to going into lockdown. Scarcity and export restrictions in some of the exporting countries saw demand for Indian rice going up. Further, Indian rice is becoming popular in the global market for its lower price and better quality. Even after the pandemic, the demand for Indian rice is high. In volume terms, the country has already exported 8.3 mt of rice between April and September, up 11.44 per cent over 7.5 mt a year ago.
  • rice export: cautious optimism

  • Pakistan’s rice exports staged a comeback during Q1-FY22, rising against low base from Covid quarter during same period last year. Exports of all varieties have shown marked improvement, with basmati rice exports recording a particularly impressive performance, marching ahead by one-third in volume terms. But beyond the obvious low base impact, rice exports are struggling to get off the rollercoaster ride they stepped on three years ago, failing to inspire confidence. Exports remains significantly lower than Q1-FY20, when impact of currency devaluation made commodity export temporarily very attractive. Since then, volumes have struggled to maintain momentum, with annualized basmati volume well-under million tons target, whereas non-basmati varieties are also trailing under peak performance.
    Although rice exporters have pointed fingers at the oceanic container shortage, much more seems to be at play that explains below-par performance. Exporters are struggling to fetch attractive pricing in the global commodity market, as rice prices have turned out to be the only laggard in the ongoing global commodity price spiral. International prices of most rice varieties are trailing well below their pre-pandemic levels, and refusing to change gears from downward trajectory. Domestically produced rice varieties are also no exception to this global trend, which is an outcome of a glut in rice supply from East Asian countries.
    It must come as little surprise to readers that Pakistan is a price taker in the international rice trade, especially due its tiny share in non-basmati varieties production. Since non-basmati varieties are mainly produced for export markets, export volume has demonstrated resilience (as suppliers struggle to sell in local market). But pricing has certainly taken a hit, in line with international trend. In case of basmati, global demand remains steadfast at roughly 5 million tons per annum, of which 0.6 to 0.8 million tons originates from Pakistan. Exporters from India meet more than 80 percent of the global demand, and thus enjoy unchallenged pricing power.
    News reports from across the border suggest that India’s basmati exports may remain restricted close to 4 million tons in the ongoing fiscal year, due to lower production forecast in its local markets. Pakistani exporters thus have a golden opportunity to maximize volume exported, but some risks to thesis persist. Exporters insist that ‘ocean freight gone wild’ risks hurting prospects, as buyer destinations are not entirely averse to higher prices. Ex-farm prices have already adjusted upwards in response to lower production across the border, further diminishing mills’ margins. On the other hand, buoyant demand for local consumption means millers are happy to offload their output in the domestic market, especially if price of substitute cereals (such as flour) also rise. Given the complex dynamics, the recent round of currency depreciation has offered some encouragement to exporters, which may be dampened due to change in macro-settings: the possibility of an upward correction in Rupee as a result of an agreement with IMF. If that happens, Pakistan’s rice exports breaching $2.5 billion in FY22 shall remain a mirage.
  • Chinese help sought for rice industry

  • Beijing allowed imports from 7 more rice units, taking total number of firms to 53 photo reuters ISLAMABAD: The future is bright for Pakistan’s rice sector with China being one of the major markets for the country, noted Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan Senior Vice President Faisal Jahangir Malik. In an interview, he said that Pakistan is an agricultural country where rice is cultivated on a large scale. Speaking on how Pakistan’s rice could make its way into the Chinese market, he said that the first step was to secure approval for export. China has allowed seven Pakistani rice units to export rice to Beijing this July after they met the international food safety and security standards. This takes the number of total companies having the approval to export rice to China to 53 and it is expected to increase Pakistan’s rice exports and help local exporters penetrate the market of the neighbouring nation. As per Malik, his experience of business with China was excellent. “We did not face any issue with payment or securing orders,” he said. China should approve more Pakistani companies for export, said Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan. He was of the view that Pakistani exporters should be listed in the Chinese import quarantine as much as possible for healthier competition. On top of gaining approval for exports, Pakistani traders are also trying to renew the industry through cooperation with Chinese counterparts. Building brands would be a good choice in this regard. “The income of the middle class in China has increased tremendously in the last 30 years,” said Khan. “The country tries everything new including foreign textiles, garments and cars and now Beijing is trying new foods from abroad.” He stressed upon Pakistani firms to promote local brands in China to attract customers. He was of the opinion that in future the demand for Pakistani food in China would increase. Besides this, Chinese farming equipment, fertiliser and cultivation can prove vital in boosting agricultural yield. “China has efficiently jumped in the international market by making quality and standard machines,” Khan mentioned, adding that Pakistan imports colour sorter machines from the neighbouring country because they are attractive in price and quality. “Our capacity is low and China is a huge market,” Khan added. “Under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, both nations are cooperating in many fields including agriculture; we are looking to enhance the collaboration.” Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku Director Muhammad Rafiq highlighted the importance of cooperation in scientific research. “A large portion of our land is facing salinity and China is working on the issue,” he said. “It would be appreciable if China exchanges material and collaborate with Pakistan.” He added that Pakistanis are still practicing breeding schemes using old traditional methods and lamented that the country is yet to adopt genetic engineering aid. “To meet the food standards of China, we have to make strenuous efforts,” said Galaxy Rice Mills Project Manager Imran Sheikh. “If we succeed, it will present a huge opportunity to us and our exports can be increased manifold.” The company is among the seven Pakistani firms that attained approval to export rice to China in July.