REAP expects record rice export of $3 billion in 2023
ISLAMABAD-Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) expected that this year, the export of rice will be above the record $3 billion, which is very encouraging.
Last year, the rice crop was destroyed due to the floods, because of which the export of rice decreased, Chairman REAP, Chela Ram Kewlani told APP. Last year, he said the production of rice crops improved and there were also new opportunities in the emerging markets of different regions.
He said that facilities are given to rice exporters by the government, but due to the high tariffs in different countries, the export of rice has become a problem, so agreements with these countries are needed.
Kewlani said that during the finalization of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with different countries, the rice sector should also be included so that the tariff lines will come down for rice exporters. He said that this would have a positive impact on rice export and new opportunities will be created for the exports in the sector. Chairman REAP said that by increasing the export of rice, the exchange rate will be stable, but overall the country’s economy will be strengthened.
Meanwhile, talking to the APP, former Chairman Rice Export Association of Pakistan and rice exporter Ali Hasan has said that rice exporters in Pakistan are looking for global markets, but there are also some challenges facing them such as high tariffs and other duties in the rice exporter markets.
He said that rice should be included as a product for the export of rice in all free trade agreements so that the original potential of rice export can be achieved. Ali also expressed the hope that this year there will be an increase in rice production and stocks and a record increase in its exports. Replying to a question, he said that after the approval of the Global Indication (GI) law in the country, Pakistan will have significant opportunities to increase its economic and trade activities in the international market.
The rice exporter said that now after this legislation; a level playing field will be available for the export of various agro-trade goods including rice in the international market. He said that Geographical Indication would serve as a potential economic tool to promote and increase national and international trade by attracting global demand and premium prices for Pakistani products in the international market.
Meanwhile, over 340,237 metric tons of rice worth $233.991 million was exported during the first two months of the current financial year as compared to exports of 507,144 metric worth $283.056 million in the corresponding period of last year.
During the period from July-August, 2023 rice exports from the country decreased by 17.33 per cent as against the exports of the same period of the last year, according to data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
However, during the period under review exports of Basmati rice grew by 8.29 per cent as 79,257 metric tons of rice valued at $94.733 million was exported as compared to the exports of 84,709 metric tons costing $87.480 million the same period last year. Meanwhile, the country earned $39.338 million by exporting about 20,539 metric tons of fish and fish preparations as compared to the exports of 15,922 metric tons of fish and fish products worth $38.086 million in the same period of last year.
It may be recalled here that food group exports during the first two months of the current financial year decreased by 1.65 per cent as food commodities valued at $711.748 million were exported as compared to the exports of $723.696 million of the same period of last year.
On the other hand food group imports into the country during first two months of current financial year decreased by 26.91 per cent as compared to the imports of the corresponding period of last year. During the period from July-August, 2023 food imports into the country came down from $1.783 billion to $1.303 billion.
Published Date: September 24, 2023