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February 2024

Pakistan foresees surge in rice exports amidst India’s trade restrictions

Rice exports are expected to reach 5 million metric tons in FY2023-24, up from 3.7 million tons the previous year  

Pakistan is anticipated to achieve a record high in rice exports by June, driven by India’s decision to limit its own shipments.

The move has redirected buyers to source more rice from Islamabad, where prices are at their highest point in almost 16 years.

The record-breaking exports are helping to alleviate global rice supply constraints after India, the world’s largest exporter, imposed restrictions last year.

These increased exports will also contribute to bolstering Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, crucial for financing imports.

Chela Ram Kewlani, Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), highlighted the solid demand for rice in recent months, primarily due to India’s suspension of exports.

Pakistan’s rice exports are expected to reach 5 million metric tons in the 2023/24 financial year, up from 3.7 million tons the previous year.

Some industry officials are even more optimistic, suggesting that exports could reach 5.2 million tons, given the significant improvement in production this year.

Pakistan is projected to produce 9 to 9.5 million tons of rice in 2023/24, rebounding from the previous year’s 5.5 million tons, which was impacted by floods.

In December alone, Pakistan exported approximately 700,000 tons of rice, with higher production and elevated global prices enabling rapid exports.

Basmati rice exports are expected to increase by 60% to 950,000 tons, while non-basmati exports could surge by 36% to 4.25 million tons.

Traditionally, India offered non-basmati rice at a lower price than Pakistan. However, with India withdrawing from the market, buyers are turning to Pakistan.

Local prices are gradually rising despite higher production, with 5% broken white rice priced at around $640 per ton and parboiled rice at around $680 per ton, up from $465 and $486 respectively a year ago.

Pakistan’s current export destinations for non-basmati rice include Indonesia, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Kenya, while premium basmati rice is exported to the European Union, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, as reported by industry dealers. QR Code

Published Date: January 31, 2024

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