Wednesday, December 17, 2014

17th December (Wednesday),2014 Daily Exclusive ORYZA E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

India Rice Quotes Lower Today; Other Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged

Dec 16, 2014
India rice sellers lowered most of their quotes by about $5 - $10 per ton today. Other Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton, about $20 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $385 - $395 per ton. India 5% rice is quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $20 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice quoted at around $370 - $380 per ton.
25% Broken Rice 
Thailand 25% rice was last quoted at around $350 - $360 per ton, on par with Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $350 - $360 per ton. India 25% rice is quoted at around $350 - $360, down about $10 per ton from yesterday and about $20 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice quoted at around $330 - $340 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton. India parboiled rice is quoted at around $375 - $385 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $35 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice quoted at around $410 - $420 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is quoted at around $330 - $340 per ton, on par with Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $330 - $340 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $300 - $310 per ton,  about $10 per ton premium on Pakistan broken sortexed rice quoted at around $290 - $300 per ton.

Brazil Paddy Rice Index Declines Slightly from Last Week

Dec 16, 2014

Description: Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by CEPEA reached around 37.91 real per 50 kilograms as of December 15, 2014, down about 0.11% from around 37.95 real per 50 kilograms recorded on December 8, 2014.In terms of USD per ton, the index reached around $283 per ton on December 15, 2014, down about 3% from around $292 per ton recorded on December 16, 2014.

Global Rice Quotes
December 16th, 2014

Long grain white rice - high quality

Thailand 100% B grade           420-430           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken     385-395           ↔
India 5% broken          390-400           ↓
Pakistan 5% broken     370-380           ↔
Cambodia 5% broken 460-470           ↔
U.S. 4% broken           540-550           ↔
Uruguay 5% broken    595-605           ↔
Argentina 5% broken   595-605           ↔

Long grain white rice - low quality

Thailand 25% broken NQ       ↔
Vietnam 25% broken   350-360           ↔
Pakistan 25% broken   330-340           ↔
Cambodia 25% broken            435-445           ↔
India 25% broken        350-360           ↓
U.S. 15% broken         515-525           ↔

Long grain parboiled rice

Thailand parboiled 100% stxd             405-415           ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd      410-420           ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd           375-385           ↓
U.S. parboiled 4% broken       580-590           ↔
Brazil parboiled 5% broken     570-580           ↔
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken             NQ       ↔

Long grain fragrant rice

Thailand Hommali 92%           900-910           ↔
Vietnam Jasmine         515-525           ↔
India basmati 2% broken         NQ       ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken    NQ       ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails 820-830           ↔


Thailand A1 Super       330-340           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken             330-340           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd     290-300           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super    385-395           ↔
India 100% broken stxd          300-310           ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens   NQ       ↔
U.S. pet food   445-455           ↔
Brazil half grain           NQ       ↔

All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

Guyana's 2014 Rice Production Reaches Record 633,000 Tons; Up 18% from Last Year

Description: Description:'s rice production in 2014 has reached around 633,000 tons, up about 18% from around 535,212 tons from last year, local sources quoted the country's Agriculture Minister as saying. The Minister noted that output from the final crop reached around 300,000 tons. He expressed confidence that the country would be able to export over 500,000 tons of rice earning around $250 million in 2014. He noted that already 481,000 tons of rice has been exported so far this year.
Guyana exported around 394,000 tons in 2013. The government is keen on exploring new export markets without compromising on price, according to local sources. Guyana has export agreements with Venezuela and Panama and is in the process of finalizing deals with several West African countries.
Sowing for the first crop of 2015 has begun and is progressing well, according to the Head of the Guyana Rice Producers' Association (RPA). He noted that about 60% of paddy rice is already cultivated. He told local sources that the government is supporting farmers with several measures and has set aside around $500 million in the 2014 budget to help the country's rice sector increase its competitiveness.
USDA estimates the country to produce 620,000 tons of milled rice in the MY 2014-15 (January 2014 - December 2014) and export about 450,000 tons. The country's consumption needs during the year are estimated at 145,000 tons. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates Guyana to produce 570,000 tons of milled rice and export around 460,000 tons in 2014.

Thailand Attorney General Seeks More Evidence to Conclude Prosecution of Ex-Premier

Dec 16, 2014

Description: Description:'s Attorney General has sought more evidences from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to conclude the prosecution of the former Prime Minister (PM) Yingluck Shinawatra in the controversial rice pledging scheme, according to local sources. The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) spokesman and the Director-general of the OAG's litigation department reportedly told at a press conference that the Attorney General agreed with the findings of an OAG working group that the case in its present form was incomplete and more people needed to be questioned before indicting the former PM. They noted that information over government-to-government (G2G) transactions was not clear and so more evidence is needed in this regard.
Last week, the NACC Chairman told local sources that the investigation committee has completed all the formalities relating to gathering adequate evidences and questioning of witnesses, including the former Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and his then-deputy Phum Sarapol. The NACC accused that the former Ministers allegedly struck a G2G deal with the Chinese government to sell rice pledged under the rice pledging scheme.In this backdrop, the NACC Secretary General defended the evidences which the submitted by the Commission and has ruled out further questioning related to G2G contracts saying the OAG's request was irrelevant to the investigation into the former PM and her ignorance to their warnings. He reiterated that their investigation was complete in all respects. It is understood that the NACC Commissioner is in China to seek evidences from the Chinese officials who apparently signed G2G deals with Thailand during Yingluck's rein.
The former Prime Minister (PM) is also facing charges of ignoring warnings against misdealing in the controversial rice pledging scheme, which brought losses of over 500 billion baht (around $15.6 billion) to the exchequer.

USDA Forecasts 2014-15 Global Milled Rice Production

at 475.2 Million Tons, Slightly Down from Last Year

Dec 16, 2014

Description: Description: its December Rice Outlook report, USDA has forecasted 2014-15 global milled rice production at around 475.2 million tons, about 1.6 million tons down from an estimated 476.8 million tons in 2013-14, and slightly up from its last month's estimates of around 475 million tons due to estimated increase in production in China, Guyana and Vietnam.
USDA forecasts 2014-15 global rice acreage at around 160.6 million hectares, slightly down due to a slight expected decline in yield. It has forecasted the average global yield at 4.41 tons per hectare (on rough rice basis), almost unchanged from last year.
According to the latest projections, USDA expects higher output from China, South Korea, Vietnam and Guyana due to favorable weather conditions. But the higher output from these countries is likely to be offset by a decline in output from Indonesia.USDA estimates 2014-15 global rice consumption and residual use at 482.9 million tons, up about 2.7 million tons from last year, and almost unchanged from its last month's projections. USDA expects consumption to exceed production by about 7.7 million tons in 2014-15. Major increases in consumption and residual use are expected in Bangladesh, Burma, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the U.S.The U.S. agency estimates 2014-15 global rice ending stocks at around 99.1 million tons, down about 7% from last year's 109.3 million tons and slightly up from last month's projection of about 99.7 million tons due to  likely decline in India rice stocks. It estimates 2014-15 global stocks-to-use ratio at 20.5%, down from last year's 22.2%.   

USDA Post Estimates India MY 2014-15 Rice Exports at 8.7 Million Tons; Down 16% from Last Year

Dec 16, 2014
Description: Description: Post has estimated India's MY 2014-15 (October - September) rice exports at around 8.7 million tons, down about 16% from an estimated 10.3 million tons last year due to anticipated decline in supplies from low production and competition from other rice exporting countries.Based on preliminary export figures, India's rice exports during January-October 2014 stood at around 8.8 million tons, down about 1% from around 8.9 million tons exported during the same period last year. The Post quoted market sources as saying that exports have been steady to Sri Lanka and the traditional markets in Africa and the Middle East. The Post expects India's rice exports in 2014 to reach about 10.5 million tons.
The Post estimates MY 2014-15 rice production at around 102 million tons based on government procurement and early market arrival trends. Harvesting of the Kharif rice crop is almost complete and planting for Rabi rice crop is just beginning in north-eastern states.
India government procured around 10.7 million tons of rice in kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2014-15 as of November 30, 2014, down about 4% from around 11.1 million tons procured during the same period last  year. Punjab (7.7 million tons) and Haryana (1.99 million tons) remained top contributors for the Central Pool so far, according to the Post. According to market sources, India government rice procurement in MY 2014-15 is likely to be 6-12% lower than last year's procurement of around 31.9 million tons, says USDA Post.
The Post expects the current-year new-crop rice procurement would be sufficient to meet the government's minimum requirement for its public distribution system and other feeding programs in 2014-15.India’s rice stocks in the central pool as of December 1, 2014 stood at around 21.57 million tons (including a milled equivalent of about 16.89 million tons of paddy), down about 23% from around 28.19 million tons recorded during the same time last year, according to data from the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

USDA Post Forecasts Ghana MY 2014-15 Rice Imports to Decline 7% y/y to 600,000 Tons

Dec 16, 2014
Description: USDA Post has forecasted Ghana's MY 2014-15 (October - September) rice imports at around 600,000 tons, down about 7% from around 644,000 tons last year due to increasing prices of imported rice resulting from the rapid depreciation of Ghana currency against the U.S. dollar.The Post finds that demand for rice has been increasing due to persisting shortfall in production. Share of U.S. rice in Ghana's rice imports has declined by about 77% to around $16.9 million in 2013-14 from around $73.3 million in 2011-12 due to high prices of U.S. rice. But due to increasing demand, the Post expects the U.S. to resume its exports to Ghana in 2015. Currently, Vietnam accounts for about 46% of Ghana's rice imports, Thailand accounts for about 22%, the U.S. accounts for about 18% and other countries such as China, Pakistan, India, and
Korea account for about 14%. Due to supply irregularities, Ghana markets are dominated by imported rice rather that the locally grown rice, according to the Post.Yet, to discourage imports, the government levies 20% duty, 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT), 2.5% National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL), 0.5% Export Development and Investment Fund Levy (EDIF), 1% Inspection fee, 0.5% ECOWAS Levy and 0.4% Ghana Customs Network fee on rice imports.
The Post forecasts, Ghana's MY 2014-15 rice production at around 300,000 tons, up about 3% from around 290,000 tons last year and about 9% lower than USDA's official estimates of around 330,000 tons due to adequate and timely rains in all rice-growing regions as well as the government support by way of introducing improved high yielding, disease resistant rice varieties to producers and assisting them to adopt low cost water management techniques.
USDA Post estimates Ghana's MY 2014-15 paddy rice acreage to increase to around 195,000 hectares, up about 3% from around 190,000 hectares last year, and about 2.5% down from USDA's official estimates of around 200,000 hectares.The Post rice consumption in the country to increase about 12% to around 950,000 tons from around 850,000 tons last year due to continuing increase in preference for rice. Ghanaians prefer imported rice despite higher prices due to its high quality and taste.

Mexico Government to Help Rice Farmers to Overcome Losses from Price Falls

Dec 16, 2014
Description:'s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Foodstuffs (SAGARPA) has decided to provide support payments to rice farmers to help them overcome losses from declining rice prices since August 2012, according to USDA Post. Rough rice prices on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) have declined about 14% to around $300 per ton in August-September 2014 from around $350 per ton in August 2012, says the Post.Also increased low-priced imports from Vietnam and Pakistan since 2013 have been pushing down local rice prices as well, severely impacting farmers, according to the Post.According to an announcement made on November 27, 2104, SAGARPA's Agency of Commercialization and Agriculture Markets Development (ASERCA) will provide payments to rice farmers/organizations who have produced and marketed rice during the 20131-4 fall-winter crop cycle and spring-summer crop cycle in specific states. It will provide subsidy to about 64,000 tons of rice, with direct grower support of 200 pesos (around $14.4) per ton.According to SAGARPA figures, rice production in the 2013-14 fall-winter crop cycle is estimated at around 50,167 tons; while Veracruz rice production for the 2014 spring-summer crop cycle is estimated at around 22,952 tons in the irrigated area.
Mexico produces only 17% of its annual consumption needs of around 890,000 tons and imports the rest. USDA estimates Mexico to import around 775,000 tons of rice (basis milled) in 2014-15 (October - September), up about 11% from an estimated 700,000 tons in 2013-14. 

USDA Forecasts 2015 Global Rice Trade at 41.9 Million Tons, Unchanged from 2014

Dec 16, 2014

Description: Description: its December Rice Outlook report, USDA has forecasted 2015 global rice trade to be strong at around 41.9 million tons, almost unchanged from estimated 41.9 million tons in 2014, due to large purchases by China and Sub-Saharan Africa and large exportable supplies by Asian exporting countries.On the exports side, USDA estimates Thailand to export a record 11 million tons in 2015 based on expected higher purchases by Indonesia. USDA expects Myanmar's exports to increase to around 1.4 million tons based on expected increase in shipments to China and Indonesia. It also expects China's exports to increase to around 400,000 tons based larger supplies.On the imports side, it is estimating significant increases in imports by Indonesia to around 1.3 million tons based on a smaller crop.In 2014, USDA is forecasting Myanmar's exports to increase significantly and on the import side, it is forecasting China, Indonesia, European Union, Sri Lanka, North Korea, Sierra Leone and Somalia to increase.

16th December (Tuesday),2014 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Ricepplus Magazine

PH allows traders to import 187,000T rice

Posted at 12/15/2014 7:29 PM
MANILA - The Philippines' state grains procurement agency said on Monday private traders can import 187,000 tonnes of rice and shipments must arrive on or before Feb. 28.The volume is on top of the expected purchases by the National Food Authority (NFA), which is looking initially at importing 600,000 tonnes to boost its stockpile for next year's requirements.Traders may apply for import permits starting Dec. 28 until Jan. 31, the NFA said in a statement.They can bring in rice under the government's Minimum Access Volume - Omnibus Rice Importation programme, which allows each importer to buy up to 5,000 tonnes from any country.

The programme covers only high-value varieties such as glutinous rice, jasponica rice, basmati rice, and other aromatic varieties. They can also import 5 percent broken, 10 percent broken, and 15 percent broken varieties.In June, the government said it would loosen restrictions on rice imports starting next year, cutting tariff on grain shipped in by the private sector to 35 percent from 40 percent for a maximum annual volume of 805,200 tonnes.The NFA bought more than 1.8 million tonnes from Vietnam and Thailand over the past 12 months, the biggest annual volume in four years, to shore up its buffer stocks as local retail prices soared to record highs amid tight domestic supply.

Palay prices drop, but farmers not worried
Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:00 AM | Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Pangasinan—The buying price of palay has dropped from P24 per kilo to between P20 and P21 this month, but rice farmers are not worried.Ponciano Onia, a farmer from this town in Pangasinan province, says the break-even cost for palay production is P12 per kilo, so farmers will still net at least P8 if they sell their harvest to traders. But their profit will be only P5 if they sell to the National Food Authority (NFA) as the agency buys at P17.However, traders who bought palay in September and October are complaining. One of them, Roger Tan, a rice mill owner in Rosales town, said he acquired his stock at P23.50 per kilo in September and P22.50 in October.

“With the buying price at P20.50 or P21 a kilo now, we are at the losing end. Rice millers did not expect that the harvest would be so much that prices are dropping. Perhaps we could just stock the palay and wait for better prices,” Tan says.The dealer price of a 50-kilo bag of rice used to be between P2,000 and P2,050, but it is now down to P1,650 and P1,700. Retail prices are marked up by P2 so a bag costs from P1,750 to P1,800, Tan says.Commercial rice, which used to cost P42 a kilo, is now sold at P36.Onia and Tan note a slowdown in the market of commercial rice, citing complaints from traders and retailers. Ramon Cuaresma, manager of the NFA in eastern Pangasinan, attributes this to the agency’s decision not to limit the amount of rice that could be bought at retail stores.

“We opened the sale of NFA rice because of the low prices of commercial rice. If we don’t, we may not be able to sell anymore. But NFA rice is comparable, in terms of quality, with commercial rice,” he says.The sale of commercial rice has been slow because farmers still have stock as the harvest season is just ending, Cuaresma says.Ninety-five percent of the 124,000 hectares of rice lands in eastern Pangasinan had already been harvested while the remaining farms would be harvested by the end of December, he adds.“We are lucky this year that no serious calamity hit the province, that is why we have a bumper harvest,” Cuaresma says.The NFA in eastern Pangasinan has 50,000 bags of rice in its warehouse and is waiting for a shipment of 80,000 bags from the NFA Ilocos regional office. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon
BJP Sees Govt-Miller Nexus for Distress Sale of Paddy
By Express News Service Published: 16th December 2014 05:59 AM Last Updated: 16th December 2014 05:59 AM
BHUBANESWAR: The State BJP on Monday slammed the Government for leaving farmers at the mercy of rice millers for sale of their paddy.Alleging nexus between the State Government and millers in paddy procurement during the current kharif marketing season (KMS), chief spokesperson of BJP Suresh Pujari said the farmers are not getting minimum support price announced by the Centre for paddy due to non-participation by Government agencies in the procurement business.While the Government has fixed paddy yield per acre at 12 quintals in the procurement policy of the current KMS, the actual production is in the range of 22 to 32 quintals, he said.

Describing the food policy of the State Government faulty, Pujari said farmers are now forced to go for distress sale of the balance 10 to 20 quintals of paddy per acre. This led to a standoff between the farmers and the Government in Koraput and Nabarangpur districts where harvesting of paddy is over much earlier, he said. He further alleged that the Government not only delayed the procurement by 10-15 days but also left the process to the whims of the millers by not engaging its agencies. The unwanted delay in paddy procurement has badly hit the farmers.
Taking advantage, millers are exploiting the farmers by finding faults with the quality of paddy and denying them the MSP, he said.The paddy procurement scam will be worse than the chit fund scam, Pujari said and blamed Revenue Department, Civil Supply and Consumer Welfare Department, district administration and rice millers for cheating the farmers.

Access road dispute hampers rice business

By Josephine Marianne Querubin Ignacio | Dec. 16, 2014 at 12:01am
BALAGTAS, Bulacan—Rice and palay traders at the Intercity Industrial Estate, a major grains center of the country along the boundary of Bocaue and Balagtas towns, are caught in a land dispute over one of their two access roads.Owner’s title. Arturo Mendoza shows to ManilaStandard documents of ownership to the property,which serves as Gate II of the Intercity Industrial Estate. JOSEPHINE MARIANNE QUERUBIN IGNACIO  
The traders explained to Manila Standard that the cross-claim on Gate 2 access road in Balagtas has been closed and opened by either of the contending parties.The case involving Arturo Mendoza and Verbo Realty Development Corp. has been pending in court for several years.Mendoza, 74, said the access road was inside his property swapped for a lot inside the industrial estate.
Since the deal failed to materialize, he stuck to his parcel of land and closed portion from MacArthur Highway leading to the different rice mills of the trading center.The traders in Intercity wrote a letter in the vernacular to Mendoza on the last week of November to allow traffic to the estate located in Barangay San Juan in Balagtas.No buyers have been going to their ricemills because it was a long turn to Gate I, they said.Mendoza agreed to open the gate for a “road terminal fee” based on size of the vehicles.But Verbo Realty said there was an exchange of property for the right of way over his claim.The same stalemate happened in 2011, causing undetermined loses to rice millers near the Gate II of the trading center.Recently, the land developer was able to get a court order upholding the right of way inside Mendoza’s property.

Palay prices drop, but farmers not worried

Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:00 AM | Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

UMINGAN, Pangasinan—The buying price of palay has dropped from P24 per kilo to between P20 and P21 this month, but rice farmers are not worried.Ponciano Onia, a farmer from this town in Pangasinan province, says the break-even cost for palay production is P12 per kilo, so farmers will still net at least P8 if they sell their harvest to traders. But their profit will be only P5 if they sell to the National Food Authority (NFA) as the agency buys at P17.However, traders who bought palay in September and October are complaining. One of them, Roger Tan, a rice mill owner in Rosales town, said he acquired his stock at P23.50 per kilo in September and P22.50 in October.

“With the buying price at P20.50 or P21 a kilo now, we are at the losing end. Rice millers did not expect that the harvest would be so much that prices are dropping. Perhaps we could just stock the palay and wait for better prices,” Tan says.The dealer price of a 50-kilo bag of rice used to be between P2,000 and P2,050, but it is now down to P1,650 and P1,700. Retail prices are marked up by P2 so a bag costs from P1,750 to P1,800, Tan says.Commercial rice, which used to cost P42 a kilo, is now sold at P36.Onia and Tan note a slowdown in the market of commercial rice, citing complaints from traders and retailers. Ramon Cuaresma, manager of the NFA in eastern Pangasinan, attributes this to the agency’s decision not to limit the amount of rice that could be bought at retail stores.

“We opened the sale of NFA rice because of the low prices of commercial rice. If we don’t, we may not be able to sell anymore. But NFA rice is comparable, in terms of quality, with commercial rice,” he says.The sale of commercial rice has been slow because farmers still have stock as the harvest season is just ending, Cuaresma says.Ninety-five percent of the 124,000 hectares of rice lands in eastern Pangasinan had already been harvested while the remaining farms would be harvested by the end of December, he adds.“We are lucky this year that no serious calamity hit the province, that is why we have a bumper harvest,” Cuaresma says.The NFA in eastern Pangasinan has 50,000 bags of rice in its warehouse and is waiting for a shipment of 80,000 bags from the NFA Ilocos regional office. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Govt’s ineptness harming agrarian economy of Sindh

December 16, 2014
Due to tug-of-war between powerful lobbies of growers and millers sitting in Sindh government over the dispute of sugarcane price and ineptness of PPP-led government causing losses to the agrarian economy, the spine of national economy. The longest delays of more than two months in the commencement of sugarcane crushing season on the one hand causing huge losses to the growers while at the same harming the cash crops - wheat and cotton.The federal government has refused to mediate in the price dispute between mills owners and growers, saying that under the 18th Amendment the matter belonged to the provincial government.The high court intervened and compelled government to fix cane price.

The government fixed price less than the last years. Later it was revised to the level of last year, but millers are not ready to pay the government fixed price
The desperate sugarcane growers of Sindh crying hoarse and holding protest demonstration at the mills located in their areas as their sugarcane crop was losing weight which will caused huge losses to them.On the other, the rice growers also raising hue and cry and calling upon the government to purchase rice at the support price of Rs1,400 per 40 kg through the Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation (PASSCO) and the Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to save growers from suffering colossal losses.

The Sindh Assembly in its recently prorogued session has adopted a resolution on the issue urged the government to rescue the paddy growers.Rice growers said that last year the paddy of coarse rice was sold at the rate Rs950 to 1000 per 40 kg and rice with 25 per cent broken grains was being sold at Rs1,400 to Rs1,450 per 40 kg in Karachi market. But this year the paddy price was pegged at Rs800 to Rs780 per 40 kg at rice mills and open market, which was quite unfortunate for the growers, who had spent Rs30,000 to Rs35,000 per acre to grow the crop.
Growers lamented that government was taking no interest in setting up procurement centres while the Rabi season was drawing close and the growers needed money to purchase seeds for new crops.When contacted Abdul Majeed Nizamani, President Sindh Abadgar Board, a leading growers’ body said that Sindh has produced around 400 million tones of sugarcane this year which is being dried due to price dispute, thus causing loses to the growers and at same time hampering the production of wheat and cotton crops. The delay in harvesting the cane would prolong the period of crop which will consume more water and expenses.

He said small land owners having 50 acres of lands or more are the worst sufferers of the delay in cane crushing season as they were unable to cultivate Rabi crops on time.Talking about the prevailing situation of agrarian sector, Nizamani said that the governments of rice producing countries have rescued their growers by purchasing their whole crops thereby saving agriculture sector.He said that our neighbouring country India has granted Rs550 million subsidy to the agrarian industry.Pakistani growers were paying Rs135 billion to the government on account of GST whereas the Indian government has granted $66 billion subsidy to the growers’, he added. 

Citing another comparison, he said a bag of urea is available in India at a rate of $6, while the growers of Pakistan paid $18-19 for a bag of urea, what to talk of other subsidies given to the agriculture sector in electricity and other inputs.He said agricultural economy of province was at stake and in the prevailing situation the agro-based industries especially the textile industry so the government ought to intervene in the matter.Commenting on the situation, political observers are of the view it seems that the government seems unable to exercise the executive powers handed to it by the 18th Amendment.

Rice farms could provide offsets in carbon market

Written by Karen Ross, California Agriculture Secretary
Category: California News
 Published: 15 December 2014
Sacramento, California - Sometimes it takes a crisis like climate change to reveal a golden opportunity. Our rice farmers in Northern California have long been exemplary stewards of their land, both in terms of providing habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife and for their ongoing efforts to work with environmental and research organizations to improve their farming practices. Now, in response to climate change, they stand ready to take the next step.This week, the California Air Resources Board will hear a staff proposal for a set of management practices that will give rice growers incentives that could be used to reduce the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. For these farmers, who grow more than 95 percent of California’s rice within 100 miles of our state capital, it presents a proactive opportunity to contribute to the state’s climate change objectives.
The proposed Compliance Offset Protocol Rice Cultivation Projects would allow rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley to generate greenhouse gas offsets that can then be sold in the state’s carbon trading market. Rice would represent the first crop-based agricultural offset protocol, paving the way for additional agriculture-based protocols to be developed.The management practices listed in this protocol are based on sound science and have proved successful around the world. We know that these practices will be adopted slowly at first, but we are hopeful for increased participation in the future as more growers learn about the benefits of these practices.I am pleased to see progress toward this voluntary incentive program for rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley, where they have already made tremendous strides on other environmental issues.
For example, rice farmers here provide their agricultural fields during the winter months as valuable open space and habitat for 230 species of wildlife and 7 million ducks and geese that migrate along the Pacific Flyway each year.It is worth noting that, in developing these practices, the ARB took precautions such as excluding the Butte Sink Wildlife Management Area, which has the highest concentration of waterfowl per acre in the world, to ensure that this important wildlife habitat is unaffected by the implementation of any rice cultivation projects.Even more importantly, the ARB has elected to exclude program options that could lead to reduced winter flooding throughout the Valley, a practice that now provides critical habitat to millions of waterbirds in a state where 95 percent of original wetlands are gone.
 Additionally, the development of this protocol has exemplified what collaboration is all about by bringing together the rice industry, environmental groups, multiple state agencies, national organizations and federal partners.We at the California Department of Food and Agriculture call the multiple benefits to nature provided by farmers and ranchers beyond food production “Ecosystem Services.” These services include valuable open space and wildlife habitat and farming practices that enhance environmental quality, provide recreational opportunities and offer social benefits.The protocol provides financial incentives for growers to help the state reach its emission-reduction goals by 2020.
 It’s timely, and recognizes rice farmers for one of the many ecosystem services they provide. Similar carbon crediting initiatives are taking place all over the country. For example, the USDA worked with Chevrolet to purchase almost 40,000 carbon dioxide reduction tons generated on working ranch grasslands in the Prairie Pothole region of North Dakota.As the magazine Modern Farmer put it, “everyone agrees that climate change has and will have a disastrous or at least dramatic effect on agriculture.” With California’s rich history of innovative farmers who promote environmental stewardship, provide ecosystem services and strive for sustainability, it makes sense that the California rice industry is at the forefront of incorporating climate-friendly practices.
This protocol has the potential to move early innovators in the industry to get involved and start moving the needle on climate change. My department will continue to work across agencies to encourage its implementation, along with technology-based verification techniques. Any protocol proposed to the ARB for consideration must have real, quantifiable, verifiable and enforceable metrics, without compromising crop yields.California agriculture is incredibly resilient and innovative, and our farmers offer many benefits beyond food production. Voluntary incentive programs, such as the rice protocol, offer farmers in California meaningful opportunities to ensure that as they produce food, they are also providing important environmental benefits.

Cambodia to begin rice exports to various countries

Tuesday, 16 December 2014 10:07

Cambodia’s minister of commerce has announced that the country will step up efforts to export rice to Africa, Middle East and the European Union

Cambodia exported 335,925 tonnes of rice in the first 11 months of 2014, up from 332,009 tonnes in the same period last year. (Image source: Department of foreign affairs and trade/Flickr)
“We have to diversify our market, we cannot put all our rice into one basket,” said Sun Chanthol. “We have to export our rice beyond the European market, so we can improve the livelihood of our farmers.”In his three-day visit to Kuwait in December 2014, Chanthol aimed at opening new avenues for Cambodian-made agricultural goods to enter the Middle East region.“We want to open the new market in the Middle East because we have not focused too much on the region in past times. And we want to expand our export destinations,” said Ken Ratha, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce.
“It will also to pave the way for our private sector because the Ministry of Commerce also set up a department to handle Middle East related issues, which will facilitate commercial relationships, similar to that of the European Union,” he added.Khaled Al-Khaled, member of the Kuwaiti Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that Cambodian keenness on encouraging foreign investment had positive effects on
Kuwaiti investors and prompted them to carry out projects there.According to Kuwait’s Central Statistical Bureau, Cambodian exports to Kuwait reached US$4.84mn in Q2 2014.Cambodian rice has already been gaining a positive reputation overseas. In 2012 and 2013, Cambodian jasmine rice won the prize for best rice from the Rice Traders World Rice Conference.

NFA opens importation of 187,000-MT rice

By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) | 

MANILA, Philippines - The National Food Authority (NFA) has opened to the private sector the importation of 187,000 metric tons (MT) of high-quality rice under the minimum access volume (MAV) omnibus importation program..The opening of the private sector importation under the MAV was done pursuant to the resolution passed by the NFA Council on Dec. 9.Each importer would be allowed to bring in a maximum of 5,000 MT for the entire allocation from any country of origin. No more allocations would be issued when the omnibus origin volume has already been exhausted.Imports would be levied a tariff of 40 percent which has be paid in advance through the LandBank of the Philippines. The final assessment of payment shall be conducted by the Bureau of Customs.Under the MAV omnibus importation program, importers would only be allowed to import high quality rice varieties such as glutinous rice, Jasponica, Basmati and other special and aromatic rice varieties.
Regular rice with five percent brokens, 10 percent brokens, and 15 percent brokens may also be imported under this program.Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 All NFA-licensed importers may apply to import under this program starting Dec. 28, 2014 until Jan. 31, 2015. All imports must arrive on or before Feb. 28, 2015.The complete list of requirements may be found at the NFA website.Interested importers must submit to the Grains Marketing Operations Department-Foreign Operations Division of the NFA a letter of intent together with all the documentary requirements.Corporations and cooperatives interested to participate in the program must designate, through a board resolution, an authorized representative to act on behalf of the corporation or cooperative during the application process.Farmers’ organizations must present an original certificate of good standing from the government agency where it is registered such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform or National Irrigation Administration.

 They must likewise authorize a representative.The Philippines has agreed this year to increase the volume of rice that could enter the country under the MAV to 805,000 MT from 350,000 MT in exchange for the extension of its special tax treatment on rice by the World Trade organization (WTO).For now, the country still implements the old MAV scheme under which, 187,000 MT may be of omnibus origin while 163,000 MT should be of country-specific origin. Under the country specific program, rice may only be imported from the following source countries with the respective allocations: Thailand (98,000 MT), India (25,000 MT), China (25,000 MT) and Australia (15,000 MT).Food security chief said Francis Pangilinan said the NFA Council would review and make recommendations on the enforcement of the country’s commitment with the WTO.“The NFA Council imports committee created last August has been tasked to review and make recommendations regarding out WTO commitments. We will await their recommendations,” he said.
Who influences the rice market?
VietNamNet introduces the third part of the roundtable discussion on “A quarter century of Vietnam’s rice exports”, with the participation of Prof. Dr. Vo Tong Xuan, Dr. Vu Trong Khai, and Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhi.

From the left: Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhi, Dr. Vu Trong Khai and Prof. Vo Tong Xuan.

VietNamNet: There is the fact that rice exporters and farmers are most afraid of an unexpected suspension of rice exports for "food security" reasons. In 2008 when the demand for rice in the world market was high and the rice price was rising to benefit farmers, there was suddenly a ban of rice export issued to ensure "food security". The rice prices in the domestic market increased by 2- 3 times. In HCM City, supermarkets only allowed each customer to buy 50kg at a time and they had to show their ID cards.Then officials sternly "learned from experience" from this case. But the question is whether the rice market has been swayed by an interest group for a long time?

Dr. Vu Trong Khai: At that time I strongly opposed the suspension of rice exports for two reasons. Firstly, the rice crop is only three months, so Vietnam only needed to keep a rice reserve for three months. The suspension caused heavy damages for farmers.Thailand immediately took advantage of the situation to raise the rice price to a record of $1,200 per ton. Then, domestic prices were also pushed up by threefold. People queued in very long lines in front of rice stores and supermarkets to buy rice.

The unexpected suspension of rice exports has happened quite often in Vietnam. State-owned firms that hold a monopoly in rice export can do something to stop rice exports at harvest time in order to press the price. They did any trick from selling rice exporting quotas in the past to swaying the policies to seek profits for themselves.

Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhi: Those tricks are not strange to me. These firms are not good at competing in the world but good at infringing upon farmers to buy their rice at low prices.
Until now, the 25th year since Vietnam resumed exporting rice, private firms are still "crying" that they cannot compete equally with state-owned rice exporters, as advocated by the Party and the State’s policies.
Dr. Vu Trong Khai: Private companies have never been able to compete equally with State-owned firms in rice export. Initially, private firms were requested to have huge capital to be allowed to export rice. Other barriers have appeared since then to maintain monopoly for state-owned corporations.
There are rules "making it difficult" for private rice exporters such as they must have factories, warehouses and sources of supply. Meanwhile, state-owned corporations receive capital from the state budget to build factories and warehouses. Why can’t private firms hire warehouses or association with the firms that have warehouses? Such rigid regulations have prevented private companies from exporting rice. The monopoly is still very strong now.
Even state policies for the annual temporary storage of rice are also inflexible. In fact, the goal of the state is not achieved, and the farmers do not enjoy anything. State-owned corporations have never bought rice at harvest time. They only wait until prices fall to the bottom to buy.
VietNamNet: We would like to ask Dr. Khai said about the concept of "food security". Based on world criteria, has Vietnam ensured food security yet?

Dr. Vu Trong Khai: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food security "exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life".  Vietnam just balances on a national level by multiplying the per capita food output with the population to have the total demand. Even though Vietnam is a big rice exporting country, there are still hungry people who do not have money to buy rice in Vietnam. Therefore, Vietnam does not really have "food security".

There are many countries importing food but they always ensure food security as the UK and Malaysia. The people of England even have one of the highest standards of living in the world.
There are two issues here. The first is that food prices should be reasonable and the second is the income of the people must be enough to buy food every day. Vietnam fails to meet these two conditions.
Prof. Dr. Vo Tong Xuan: The term "food security" has been corrupted by interest groups.
For example, to ensure "food security," hundreds of million of US dollars were used to turn alum water into freshwater in Ca Mau peninsula but the results were very bad. The rice output did not increase while the aquatic resources were harmed.

I have repeatedly recommended that with the current great food output, we do not have to worry about loss of food security. Rice is harvested after only three months so let farmers and businesses export rice.

Prof. Dr. Vo Tong Xuan: Food security policy has been used in corrupt ways by some interest groups. The policy was used to prevent the initiatives of diversifying agricultural produce because the state did not invest in these crops. But if we keep growing rice and the rice output keeps rising, the rice prices will fall dramatically.

VietNamNet: This year the state allowed farmers to plant crops that yield higher profit than rice. However, farmers are confused because they do not know who will buy their products. What should we do?

Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhi: Vietnam’s "food security" is calculated the same way as GDP per capita. A wealthy family uses 1kg of rice per meal while a poor one eats 1kg of vegetable, not rice. But we combine the volume and divide in two to have each family with 1/2kg of rice and 1/2kg of vegetable and these figures look okay.

There is one factor that I find impossible to ignore - the Chinese market. We need to organize and map out a specific plan for this market to protect our farmers and businesses.This is a huge market and if they want to buy a kind of agricultural product, they can push the prices up but if they stop purchasing, our farmers could only throw away their product. This way of business has placed our farmers in a passive status.

Building rice trademark urgent for Vietnam: official
Building a national rice trademark is a crucial and urgent task, stressed Duong Quoc Xuan, Deputy Head of the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region (SCSR), at a conference on the future of Vietnamese rice held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on December 11.Although Vietnam is the second largest rice exporter in the world, its rice value is not high as the country is yet to build its own trademark in the global market, he said.The Mekong Delta, the rice bowl of the country, lacks investment in rice development and many localities in the region have not fully tapped their potential, he said, stressing the importance of building a national rice trademark to enable the local product to lead the world market.
Sharing Xuan’s views, Vice Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee Dao Anh Dung, said it is necessary for the region to increase rice productivity and quality as local people remains poor although they contribute 90 percent of the country’s rice export volume.Many experts held that domestic rice production has failed to maintain its sustainability, attributing it to the lack of high-quality rice varieties, high post-harvest losses, and poor regional connectivity and collaboration among the government, scientists, businesses and farmers.Developing the rice market is a long-term measure to stimulate and stabilise production, reduce risks for farmers, and increase profits, they said, adding that the application of advanced technologies is needed to find out high yield and quality varieties that can be resistant to diseases and adapt to climate change.
Tags:rice export,vietnamese rice,rice farmers,mekong delta,
NFA release
Posted on December 15, 2014
NFA releases guidelines for importation of 187,000MT under the Minimum Access Volume Program

From the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization
The National Food Authority (NFA) has opened the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) – Omnibus Rice Importation program to the private sector with a total volume of 187, 000 metric tons. The MAV was opened after the NFA Council, chaired by Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan, ordered the imports committee to review and amend the importation guidelines to make the process more transparent and give all industry players a level playing field. The MAV is the only way by which the private sector can bring in rice into the country since private sector rice importation was prohibited in 2010.

Under this program, each importer is allowed a maximum of 5,000 metric tons that can be sourced from any country. Importers are only allowed to import high value rice varieties such as glutinous rice, jasponica rice, basmati rice, and other aromatic rice varieties. 5% broken, 10% broken, and 15% broken rice varieties can also be imported under this program.All NFA-licensed importers may apply to import under this program starting December 28, 2014, until January 31, 2015. All importation must arrive on or before February 28, 2015. For the complete guidelines, please visit the NFA website


Food exports 'to keep surging next year'

Petchanet Pratruangkrai


The Nation December 17, 2014 1:00 am

The value of Thailand's food exports, which has already passed the Bt1-trillion mark, should grow by nearly 7 per cent next year, as lower fuel prices reduce the costs of production and logistics, the baht weakens, and higher demand is seen in new markets, particularly Russia, experts say.However, some worrying factors remain. These include low crop prices, the poor economy in many countries causing consumers to watch their spending, and the cancellation of tariff privileges by the European Union.


This year, food exports are expected to surge by 15.4 per cent year on year to reach Bt1.01 trillion for the first time in history, thanks mainly to higher shipments of rice, tapioca, chicken, and higher-value-added and processed foods. Shrimp exports are still suffering from the impact of early mortality syndrome (EMS).

"The value of food exports is expected to continue growing next year amid the weakening baht, and producers have focused more on processed foods and value-added products, while lower oil prices will encourage more consumption. Exports should grow strongly to emerging markets like China, Russia, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates," said National Food Institute president Petch Chinabutr.

In the first 10 months of 2014, food exports grew 11.5 per cent year on year to Bt851.22 billion. Major export products were rice, which was up by 37 per cent to Bt139.81 billion; tapioca, which rose 24.5 per cent to Bt76.05 billion; chicken, which was up 24.3 per cent to Bt66.31 billion; seasoning, which increased 15 per cent to Bt115.86 billion; and fresh and canned pineapple, which expanded 10 per cent to Bt13.91 billion.

Petch said rice, tapioca, chicken, shrimp, canned tuna and seasoning would show stronger exports next year. Shrimp shipments should increase considerably as EMS is eliminated and hatcheries have more shrimp to supply to the world market.In 2015, rice export is expected to grow by 2.4 per cent, tapioca 9.4 per cent, chicken 7.1 per cent, shrimp 20.4 per cent, canned tuna 0.7 per cent, and seasoning 7.4 per cent. Export of seasoning will expand strongly, thanks to more demand for Thai food and a rising number of Thai restaurants overseas.

But shipment of canned pineapple is expected to decline 3 per cent next year and sugar to drop 5.4 per cent as import markets for those products shrink, while drought risks make production uncertain.China, Vietnam, the UAE and Russia will be highlighted markets for Thai food exports next year. China has a trade deficit in food every year because of its large population and economic growth in its large cities. Products that will see strong demand in China are processed foods, energy drinks, dried fruits, fresh fruits, infant foods, frozen goods, food supplements and snacks.

Export to UAE will increase strongly next year, since that country serves as a distribution centre to other parts of the Middle East and is also home to a lot of foreign labourers. Halal foods will have high potential for export to that market.Shipments to Russia will also increase significantly next year as it imports more from Asian markets. Pornsilp Patchrintakul, chairman of the Board of Trade's farm and food business committee, said the value of agricultural products was expected to increase slightly next year, while lower fuel prices would benefit food exports.To promote growth of the food industry, Pornsilp urged the government to revise rules and regulations to facilitate exports, particularly under the upcoming Asean economic integration. He claimed that some regulations, such as those involving customs and the Food and Drug Administration, were out of date. The government should update those laws to increase competitiveness and streamline shipment of foods, as most are fresh and need to be shipped quickly.

Govt agencies procure over 11.4 MT rice this season

By: Sandip Das | New Delhi | December 16, 2014 6:03 am
Government agencies till Monday have procured more than 11.4 million tonne of rice in the current marketing season (2014-15) which is marginally lower than the volume purchased from the farmers during the same period of previous year.The rice purchase drive by Food Corporation of India (FCI) in collaboration with state government-owned agencies, which commenced on October 1, has been completed in Punjab and Haryana, the two biggest contributors to the central grain pool.
The government has a procurement target of 30 million tonne of rice during October-September 2015 season.In Punjab, rice procurement this year has been 7.7 million tonne against 8.1 million tonne achieved during 2013-14 marketing year. In Haryana, the agencies have purchased two million tonne of rice which is marginally lower than 2.4 million tonne purchased during same period last year.

A food ministry official said the rice procurement has just commenced in Telangana and Odisha.However, in Chhattisgarh, which contributed more than four million tonne of rice to the central pool last year, agencies have not commenced purchase operations which was slated to start on December 1.
As per the latest data, 7.6 lakh tonne of rice has been purchased by farmers in Telangana while only 62,000 tonne has been lifted in Andhra Pradesh so far.In Odisha and Madhy Pradesh, where rice procurement has began a couple of weeks ago, only 1.2 lakh tonne and 2 lakh tonne respectively have been purchased by agencies.The FCI and state agencies undertake procurement of rice and wheat to ensure that farmers get a minimum support price (MSP) and sufficient foodgrain is available for the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and buffer stocks.

Meanwhile, the foodgrain stocks held with the government agencies have declined to 49.4 million tonne at the start of the month from 51.6 million tonne reported last month and 57.3 million tonne reported three months back.The lower foodgrain stocks are going to ease storage crunch faced by the FCI and state agencies to a large extent.However, as the rice procurement drive for 2014-15 is expected to pick up pace in the next few months, the grain stocks with the government are expected to see a sharp rise.
TAGS: Rice

Chinese, Cambodian Firms Sign Trade Deals

Six pairs of Chinese and Cambodian firms signed off on a half-dozen business deals over the past two days in Phnom Penh worth more than $1.5 billion, the bulk of it for a five-year stone crushing project.“Some Chinese companies signed business deals to buy products from Cambodian companies, while some signed deals to sell products to Cambodian companies,” Chheav Pha, who heads the Commerce Ministry’s marketing department, said Monday at the start of a four-day trade expo.
Mr. Pha said Cambodia’s King Crushing Stone Company signed a five-year deal worth $1.5 billion Monday with China’s Yong Jun Stone Crushing for a project in Cambodia, but had no further details about the agreement.He said deals were also signed at the expo to export 200,000 tons of cassava chips to China for $49 million, to import wood drying machines from China for $1.2 million, and for the development of a Chinese-backed condominium project in Cambodia worth $17 million.
At a separate event in Phnom Penh on Sunday, Khmer Brewery Limited, the maker of Cambodia beer, inked a deal that will see China’s Fuzhou Newgroup Industry distribute the beer across China.Sok Chantha, business development manager for the Chip Mong Group, which owns Khmer Brewery, said Monday that the deal would last one year, but declined to say how much beer would be exported or reveal the value of the agreement.“The importer was interested in our beer and thought that the quality of our beer was good enough to compete with others in the Chinese market,” Mr. Chantha said. “So they asked for a deal with us to export our beer over there and we are happy to do it, because it’s a good opportunity to expand our market.”
Also on Sunday, Cambodia’s Mekong Oryza Trading penned a tentative deal with a Chinese firm to export 30,000 tons of milled rice over the course of the coming year.Mekong Oryza director Hun Lak said the price was still under negotiation.“I think that China will keep importing more milled rice from Cambodia because the importers recognize the quality of our milled rice,” he said.In August, Cambodia’s state-owned Greed Trade agreed to a deal with China to export 100,000 tons of milled rice.

Saudi- Rice prices expected to fall 102 in Kingdom  

 MENAFN - Arab News - 15/12/2014 

(MENAFN - Arab News) A prominent rice importer has predicted that rice prices in the Kingdom are expected to go down by 5-10 percent in the coming months local media said.Meanwhile an Indian rice dealer told the media that rice prices in India have remained stabilized for the last period and therefore alleged price hikes in the Saudi markets are unjustified.Mandeep Singh Bindra an Indian rice dealer and a key figure in the Emirates Grain Products Company (LLC) ruled out any price hikes in India as production is nearing 90 million tons and growing remarkably.

Saudi Arabia's rice imports from India are ranging between 1.5-2 million tons annually and imports are poised to grow Bindra told Al-Eqitsadiah daily.India rice exports to the Kingdom account for 20 percent of the Indian total exports to all countries he said.

For his part Mohamed Abdulrahman Al-Shaalan one of the key rice importers said rice prices have stabilized since last Ramadan with minor price reduction levels in some parts of the year.He said the majority of the Kingdom's rice imports from India is 'Besmati' brand which represents 70-80 percent of the overall imports.Al-Shaalan said Indian rice production in the current season was good with surpluses reaching 20 percent compared to last year's production levels. He affirmed investment relations with their Indian counterparts were excellent and refuted alleged price exaggerations by the Indian traders.Saudi markets are expected to witness a remarkable stability in rice prices over the coming months with a decline to range between 5-10 percent on the back of oil price falls he said.

Ombudsman junks cases vs top Customs officials
Posted at 12/16/2014 11:56 AM
MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman junked the cases filed by a suspected illegal rice importer against top officials of the Bureau of Customs over the latter's refusal to release its rice shipments.In a joint resolution, the Ombudsman dismissed Bold Bidder Marketing and General Merchandise's complaint against Customs Commissioner John Sevilla, Deputy Commissioners Maria Edita Tan, Agaton Uvero, Ariel Nepumoceno and Jessie Dellosa, as well as Ernesto Benitez, Jr, Acting District Collector, BOC-Port of Batangas, because the "refusal to heed a court order must be addressed by the Court, not by [the Office of the Ombudsman]."Bold Bidder had filed cases against the Customs officials for alleged violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, citing the BOC's refusal to release their rice importation despite the issuance of the December 10, 2013 Writ of Preliminary Injunction by a court in Lemery, Batangas.
The company also filed administrative cases against the said officials for violating Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.evilla welcomed the dismissal of the cases, saying the bureau was only doing its job.
"Our laws are very clear: the importation of rice must be supported by the required NFA permits and we have strictly and consistently upheld this policy. Bold Bidder and other rice traders who imported rice without the required NFA permits have danced around our legal system to try to get their smuggled rice out of the ports. Filing cases against us cannot and will not stop us from doing our job," Sevilla said.The BOC has already filed smuggling-related cases against Bold Bidder representative Ivy Souza and the firm’s customs brokers Denise Kathryn Rosaroso, John Kevin Cisneros, Francis Rudolph Forneste and Elbert Lusterio for illegally importing over 12.8-million kilograms of rice through ports in Manila and Cebu.Last September, the Batangas Regional Trial Court had also dismissed Bold Bidder’s petition for declaratory relief against the NFA and BOC, for lack of jurisdiction

HEALTH MATTERS: Radiographer launches Indian food business

Head of Published on the16December 2014
12:00 catering Colin Chapman with radiographer Ananda Logishetty and some examples of her culinary skills
A RADIOGRAPHER with a passion for cooking has teamed up with chefs for the day to share the authentic taste of Indian cooking.
Ananda Logishetty, who works part time as a senior radiographer in the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s breast screening unit, has launched a start-up online business which is based in the Tees valley.It is called Ananda’s Gourmet and it delivers either spice packs or entire meal-kits, including spices and vegetables to the doorstep of customers.But in a new twist for one day only, Ananda supplied the spices and recipes to the restaurant chefs at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.She worked with them to carefully follow the meal kit instructions and helped them to serve up the perfect Indian dishes.
Ananda said: “I love working in the NHS, but I also have a real passion for cooking. The recipes offered by Ananda’s Gourmet are the very same handed down through generations of my family.“My cooking is very much influenced by Moghul cooking which has its own distinctive traditions and flavours.
“I spent my childhood in a big joint family where food was a central part of life and learnt to cook from the age of ten. My parents are my leading inspiration, combining their passion for great flavour and their zest for providing fantastic food for guests.”Ananda said her aim was “to give people an unforgettable experience of Indian food, which is influenced by different regions of India. I want you to experience the taste of my kitchen in your own home.”Her meal kits contain a pre-packed box of fresh ingredients and spices with easy instructions for home cooking.
The kits contain fragrant Basmati rice and all that customers need to do is buy the meat or fish. Alternatively, people can also just buy the spice packs and the products are delivered to their doorstep.”Ananda added: “It was excellent to experience working in the kitchens with the chefs and then to see everyone enjoying the food.”Head of catering Colin Chapman: “It was a fantastic opportunity for Ananda and the chefs to work together and bring something new to the restaurant. It was so popular, we will be bringing Ananda’s Gourmet back to the restaurant in the New Year. We had queues coming out of the door and everyone was talking about how good the food tasted.”

University of Arkansas Research Team Receives Excellence Award   

Team Leader, Dr. Trenton Roberts in the lab

FAYETTEVILLE, AR -- In recognition of the importance of their work for the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the rice industry, a team of scientists at the University of Arkansas has been selected to receive the school's Division of Agriculture John White Team Award.  The researchers developed a nitrogen soil test method for rice (N-STaR) and carried that process through wide-scale producer adoption and implementation.

 Development of the new N-STaR soil test provides producers with the ability to manage inputs on a field-level basis. Nitrogen fertilizer accounts for a significant portion of the variable input costs associated with rice production and is directly linked to producer profitability. Farmers who have implemented the N-STaR program report cost savings as high as $120 per acre by using less nitrogen fertilizer while at the same time increasing rice yield.


"The development and implementation of N-STaR is a great example of basic science being applied to a real-world problem to achieve results, and it is a testament to the importance of interdisciplinary research," said USA Rice Federation President and CEO Betsy Ward. "I applaud the team, and on behalf of U.S. rice producers, thank them for putting another tool in the toolbox to improve efficiency and sustainability."

 Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444 

Japan Announces Results of 9th Ordinary Import Tender in FY 2014     

Country of Origin
Number of Importer
Quantity (MT)
Participated Bidders
Amount of Bids (MT)

Non-glutinous milled rice (medium grain)
Non-glutinous milled rice
(long grain)

Grand Total


Avg Price for Successful Bids

JPY 79,675/mt

JPY 86,049/mt
(tax excluded)

(tax included)

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Preliminary):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for December 16

Net Change

January 2015
- $0.350
March 2015
- $0.375
May 2015
- $0.380
July 2015
- $0.320
September 2015
- $0.320
November 2015
- $0.335
January 2016
- $0.335