Saturday, January 10, 2015

9th January (Friday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Iftikhar Soomro made Director to Matco Rice BoDs
January 08, 2015

Description: Minister for Medical Education Dr. Sharan Prakash Patil (right) using the multi-exercise machine put on display at the industrial equipment expo at Gunj Kalyana Mantap in Raichur on Friday. Photo: Santosh Sagar.RECORDER REPORT
Pakistan's largest Basmati rice exporter, Matco Rice Processing (Pvt) Limited has appointed Iftikhar Ahmed Soomro as an independent, non-executive Director to its Board of Directors. Soomro brings along his vast corporate experience of leading many prominent private and public sector companies of Pakistan. He has previously served as the Chairman of APTMA and as a director of Pakistan State Oil, Pfizer Pakistan, Park-Davis, Wyeth Pakistan, SITE, KESC, Sindh Fine Textile Mills and other corporates. Soomro has also distinguished himself in the field of public service, previously as an elected member of the Sindh Assembly and member of Cabinet.

Currently he is the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Tunisia. Commenting on the appointment, Jawed Ghori, Chairman of Matco Rice said: "We are extremely pleased that Iftikhar Ahmed Soomro has joined the board of our company, bringing with him a unique mix of skills and experience that will help the board to guide Matco Rice to the next level of growth." Matco Rice is Pakistan's largest Basmati rice exporter. International Finance Corporate (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, is a shareholder of Matco Rice and invested equity in the company for capacity-building to cater to increasing exports, support trade, and to establish Matco as a global corporate in the region.-PR

Source with thanks: Business Recorder Pakistan


 Rice and pulses tech-expo begins in Raichur


Minister for Medical Education Dr. Sharan Prakash Patil (right) using the multi-exercise machine put on display at the industrial equipment expo at Gunj Kalyana Mantap in Raichur on Friday. Photo: Santosh Sagar.A three-day rice and pulses tech-expo, an exhibition of industrial machinery and equipments for rice and pulses production industry, began at Gunj Kalyana Mantap here on Friday.Over 30 leading equipment and machinery makers from different parts of India had put their products on display in around 40 stalls.

Minister for Medical Education and Raichur In-charge, Dr. Sharan Prakash Patil inaugurated the event that was organised by Raichur Millers Association (RMA) and Tender Today Groups, Kunigal. The minister called upon the industrialists engaged in rice and pulses production industry to keep on technologically upgrading their industrial units so that cost of production could be reduced.“Reducing the cost of production would not only help millers, it would also benefit farmers and consumers as well,” the minister said.
Investors' meet
The minister said that he was making plans to organise Investors’ Meet in Raichur for attracting more investments in agro-based industries in the district.“Raichur is blessed with two rivers and resultant vast network of irrigation canals. Paddy, cotton and pulses are grown on vast tracts of fields across the district. The district has a great potential for agro-based industries thanks to the abundant availability of raw material and water. We are planning to hold Investors’ Meet and the chief minister has also responded positively,” he said.

Raichur Lok Sabha member, B.V. Naik, Raichur Millers’ Association chairman and former MLA A. Papareddy, Tenders Today Group representative Srihari N. Garipur, Tungabhadra Command Area Development Authority chairman A. Vasanth Kumar, district president of Raichur Chambers of Commerce and Industries Trivikram Joshi and others were present.

Miller-hamali standoff hits rice milling in delta regions

The standoff between the millers and hamalis over payment of loading and unloading charges at the warehouses of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has hit the paddy milling in the Krishna and the Godavari delta regions.According to sources in Civil Supplies Department, the hamalis refused to lift rice stocks from the lorry sent in by the millers, demanding a hike in the charges. This has resulted in suspension of paddy milling in Guntur, Krishna, West and East Godavari districts for the past 10 days. Consequently, huge quantities of paddy are lying at the procurement centres.

The Civil Supplies Department sought to use the space in FCI warehouses for storage of food grains after procurement and milling. The department offers Rs 12.50 per quintal towards milling charges and Rs 2.5 as transport charges. Hamalis are demanding an increase in the lifting charges by Rs. 1 from Rs. 2 per quintal. “When the government is paying us Rs. 2.5 per quintal for transporting and unloading the stock, how can we pay Rs. 3 for unloading alone?,” asks Ganni Prasada Raju, a miller from Tadepalligudem.

The FCI authorities, however, have resumed operations related to storage of food grains at its 11 warehouses in West Godavari district from Friday as the deadlock was resolved following the intervention of Collector Bhaskar Katamneni. The piquant situation is, however, said to be continuing in the other districts.“The strike by millers is unlikely to cause demand-supply problems in the market as there are sufficient rice stocks with the government,” according to District Supplies Officer S. Sivasankar Reddy. In West Godavari district alone, the government has procured 4 lakh tonnes of paddy when compared to 12 lakh and odd tonnes of procurement target last kharif . The growers disposed of the rest of the produce to millers, after retaining some for self consumption.The millers are allowed to sell away 75 per cent of the grains after milling in the open market, while giving away the remaining to the government according to the new levy targets.

  Hamalis seek hike in unloading charges to Rs. 3, while the govt. offers Rs. 2.5 for the same
  Milling suspended in Guntur, Krishna and twin Godavari districts for the past 10 days

Vietnam clinches one million tonnes of rice deal in 2015

Friday, 09 January 2015 03:51


Member enterprises of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) have already clinched export contracts for at least one million tonnes of rice with delivery scheduled for this year

The volume is 200,000 tonnes higher than the same period last year. (Image source: IRRI)

According to VietnamNet, most of the volume would be delivered to customers in 2015, based on the contracts that VFA’s member enterprises signed with importers last year.The volume is 200,000 tonnes higher than the same period last year.Huynh The Nang, general director of Vietnam Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2), however, said local rice exporters might face many more difficulties this year.The rice demand of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia is forecast to jump, but Vietnam would have to compete with Thailand, which wants to reduce its huge rice stockpiles, The Nang added.

Description: Vietnam riceChina, a major importer of Vietnamese rice in recent years, has signed an MoU to purchase two million tonnes of rice from Thailand in 2015.Concerns have also risen among domestic rice exporters for tougher competition from India and Pakistan as these two nations have cut prices of their low and medium-grade rice to compete with similar products of Vietnam.Currently, India and Pakistan sell five per cent broken rice at US$385-395 per tonne and US$380-390 per tonne respectively, compared to US$380-390 per tonne for Vietnam’s same type. Their 25 per cent broken rice is priced at US$350-360 per tonne and US$335-345 per tonne compared to US$350-360 per tonne of Vietnam.According to VFA, Vietnam had exported 5.96mn tons of rice from 1 January to 18 December 2014, falling 11 per cent against the previous year.

Up to 83 per cent was shipped to Asian and African countries and the rest to America, Europe and Oceania.In order to boost rice shipments this year, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade suggested rice exporters diversify markets and seek to make full use of the opportunities from bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, and follow updates on importing markets.

Yingluck urges fair treatment from NLA

 Pravit Rojanaphruk
The Nation January 10, 2015 1:00 am

Maintaining her innocence against allegations of corruption and dereliction of duty in the rice-pledging scheme, former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra urged the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) yesterday to be fair for the sake of national reconciliation, saying she had already been impeached three times and that she no longer held any political position.
Yingluck spent an hour defending herself to the NLA after National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) member Wicha Mahakhun accused her of dereliction of duty. Wicha said her actions had inflicted a Bt229-billion "loss" on the government. He said rice millers had exploited the scheme for their own benefits while more than 10 rice farmers had committed suicide because of delayed payments under the programme.
In urging the NLA to be fair to her, the former prime minister said "the country can only move forward if there's justice", adding that the unelected assembly should not be a political tool of anyone.
Yingluck said she had lost her position three times: first, when she dissolved the House of Representatives at the end of 2013, second when the Constitution Court impeached her, and third through the coup last May."How can you impeach someone who does not have any [political] position?" Yingluck asked the NLA yesterday, adding that the 2007 charter was also no longer in existence.
Wicha insisted that the NLA had the authority and legitimacy to conduct the impeachment proceedings. Impeachment could lead to Yingluck being banned from politics for five years.
At the beginning of his hour-long speech, Wicha said the junta-sponsored provisional constitution empowered the NLA to serve as both the upper and lower houses of Parliament, so its members could vote on the matter.Although Wicha acknowledged in his speech that there existed no evidence of Yingluck's involvement in any corruption related to the rice-pledging scheme, he said than as prime minister and chairwoman of the National Rice Policy Committee she should be impeached because she had allowed the severe losses and corruption to continue.
He said more than 10 farmers had committed suicide because of the failed rice-pledging scheme. He said the NACC had also warned the administration twice to stop the project but the government refused because it had been a major policy pledge to voters by the Pheu Thai Party.
Yingluck insisted she was clean and that the claims of damage incurred by the rice-subsidy programme was distorted and overblown. The former PM added that it was the government's duty to assist poor farmers and this was not the first such scheme in the Kingdom, and Thailand is not the only country to subsidise farmers.

She said that in appraising the programme, profit or loss should not take precedence over benefits to farmers who are the backbone of the country. She said the trickle-down effect on the economy, including the resultant increase in the spending power of farmers and tax collected, should also be considered.The former prime minister added that her government had made attempts to tackle corruption, citing the ban on 12 rice mills from the programme on top of 276 legal cases filed against those who had allegedly committed irregularities.In his remarks to the assembly, Wicha stressed that the NACC had sought Yingluck's impeachment fairly and honestly, adding that the ex-PM was given all opportunities to defend herself.However, Yingluck described the NACC-led procedure as rushed compared with other impeachment cases, which had taken years. She said no NACC subcommittee was set up and some defence witnesses were denied a chance to be heard.

Wicha said the Yingluck administration's mismanagement of the subsidy programme had led to Thailand's rice exports falling by 35 per cent, bringing the country down from the world's top rice exporter to No 3. Yingluck argued that this had happened because of massive dumping of rice by one major rice-producing nation and not the pledging scheme. Yingluck predicted that Thailand would this year regain its position as the world's top rice exporter, adding that this would be due to the rice stocks stored under the pledging programme.

After her defence arguments, Yingluck told the media that she had done her best and felt relieved. Wicha later told the media that no one could make up for the loss of farmers' lives who had committed suicide because they were not paid by the government in time.The NLA's inquiry panel is scheduled to question the NACC and Yingluck next Friday. Later, both sides will be given a chance to make their closing arguments, either in person or in writing. The assembly tentatively is scheduled to vote on the matter on January 23. Police and some military officers were present in front of the Parliament Building yesterday, although only a few people showed up to offer their support to Yingluck. A Pheu Thai source who asked not to be named said the party had dissuaded Yingluck's supporters from gathering to show the public that one woman had the guts to confront a group of men.

Blogger Event Reaches Thousands of Consumers in Turkey       

 Blogger blast features

U.S.-grown rice 

ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- Last month, the USA Rice Federation invited 25 key food bloggers and health specialists to a New Year cooking event here featuring celebrity chef, Fikret Ozdemir.  During the half day event, attendees worked alongside Chef Ozdemir, cooking healthy and delicious dishes featuring U.S. rice and wild rice.The bloggers took photos and video of their hands-on cooking experience that were used to generate tweets and Facebook posts, ramping up interest in U.S. rice and providing an opportunity to have a direct conversation with Turkish consumers.


"By exposing the food bloggers to the versatility, unique flavor, and heatlth benefits of U.S. rice, they then encourage their followers to use more U.S. rice and wild rice in their recipes," said Jim Guinn, USA Rice vice president of international promotion.  "These social media platforms have great influence on consumers."   The U.S. is the number one rice exporter to Turkey with 40 percent market share.  However, wild rice is a new product for Turkish consumers and promotional activities, such as the food blogger event, are specifically designed to introduce wild and white rice dishes to the media and consumers.

 Contact:  Eszter Somogyi, 011-49-40-4503-8667

Source with thanks: USA Rice Federation

Rice Investors Laud FG’s Import Quota Policy

Description: rice and scheduled to arrive the Lagos Port Complex (LPC),The Nigerian Rice Investors’ Group has lauded the import quota allocation given to rice investors in the country as a step in the right direction.The group, which addressed the press in Abuja, yesterday, said that the rice import quota policy of the federal government was geared towards self-sufficiency in rice production in the country.It said this was the first time import quota was being allocated to the right people with verifiable investments in rice production.
 The former minister of justice and Attorney General of the Federation, and secretary, Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN), Michael Aondoakaa, emphasised that prior to the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration nobody had ever wondered who gets what quota.“The truth is that many have had witnessed the old system where some highly connected people influenced the rice quota allocation. This administration made sure it went to rice farmers with visible investments,” said Aondoakaa.
The president of the Nigerian Rice Investors Group and managing director of Elephant Group, Tunde Owoeye, said that the rice policy of the present administration is visible for all to see.“If you travel through Zamfara, Niger, Benue, Sokoto and many other states in the country, you will see vast plantations of rice in the last two year. We have also seen some of our members who were traders make huge investments in local rice production. We have seen increase in employment and value creation in the rice sector, said Owoeye.He further stated that the federal government has provided rice investors with improved seedling and that is the reason rice production is getting better.
On his part, the president of Rice Millers, Importers and Distributors’ Association of Nigeria, Abubakar Mohammed, noted that five years ago, there was only one processing mill in Nigeria but the number grew to 24 by 2014. He said that before President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, rice paddy produced from Nigeria was one of the worst in the world, noting that this has changed.“We process 800,000 tonnes of paddy rice annually and the government is putting measures in place to produce additional 360000 tonne. All these happened with the help of President Goodluck Jonathan and the minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina,” said Abubakar.

Ag Coalition Seeks End to Cuba Embargo

DANIEL LOOKER01/08/2015 @ 3:28pmBusiness Editor
Major U.S. farm groups, Cargill, and CoBank were among nearly 30 organizations that launched the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba in Washington Thursday.The new group drew support from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and members of Congress who support liberalizing trade and travel to the island nation of 11 million people 90 miles from Florida.The Obama Administration announced in December that it intends restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and will ease some Treasury Department restrictions on the sale of agriculture commodities and medicine, a loophole in the trade embargo which Congress approved in 2000.
Description: DANIEL LOOKER
But businesses and commodity groups still can’t compete as well with complicated cash-only rules that Congress needs to change, the group said Thursday.“We can’t offer any credit and our competitors can,” said Betsy Ward, CEO of USA Rice Federation.Vilsack said that Cuba imports about 80% of its food and is a $1.7 billion market.Yet, according to Grant Kodavy, who heads Cargill’s sales in the Americas, the U.S. ships very little grain to Cuba despite some early successes after the easing of restrictions on food sales in 2000. While the U.S. supplies Mexico with 95% of its corn, in Cuba, “the United States does not cmpete on an even footing.

”Members of Congress, including Representative Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said that easing the trade embargo further won’t be easy and may have to be done in incremental steps. “We can do it with a short leash,” he said.The American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association are among the groups launching the coalition.
“It’s time we have a chance to better compete for Cuba’s business,” said NCGA president Chip Bowling in a statement. “NCGA has long supported normalized trade relations with Cuba, as part of our efforts to expand markets for U.S. corn and feed the world. We are proud to join this coalition. We will work closely with our fellow coalition members to advance a trade relationship with Cuba that is efficient, globally competitive, and benefits both nations.”"Like any new and developing market, Cuba represents a great opportunity for soybean farmers in the U.S.," said ASA president, Wade Cowan. "We are proud to be part of the USACC because expanding our relationships with markets like Cuba generates concrete value for American farmers by increasing demand not only for soybeans, but also for the livestock and meat products that make up our largest customer base.”

Vietnam cuts rice export floor price to $360 per tonne - Food Association

HANOI Fri Jan 9, 2015 2:20pm IST

Jan 9 (Reuters) - Vietnam has lowered its floor price for exports of 25 percent broken rice by 5.3 percent to $360 a tonne amid thin demand for the commodity in the world's second-largest exporter.The floor, set by the Vietnam Food Association, will come into effect on Jan. 12, according to a statement from the association to traders seen by Reuters on Friday.The previous floor for the grade was set at $380 a tonne in late November.
The agriculture ministry said last month that Vietnam's rice exports in 2014 were expected to have dipped slightly to an estimated 6.53 million tonnes, putting the Southeast Asian country far behind top exporters Thailand and India. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh and Mai Nguyen; Editing by Alan Raybould)

Bulog revives role as buffer stock agency, gets new 


Khoirul Amin, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, January 09 2015, 8:23 AM
Business News
to its old function as a buffer stock agency for the country’s main commodities, which was removed under the reform program mandated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in late 1998.As part of the change, the government has recently appointed a senior banker Lenny Sugihat as Bulog’s new president director to replace Sutarto Alimoeso.“Under the new management, Bulog will not only become a buyer for local farmers’ products but also a price stabilizer of main commodities,” said State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Rini Soemarno following the appointment of the new president.Lenny, who has previously worked at state-owned lender Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) for over 30 years, obtained Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Houston, Texas, US in 1993.
 The 58-year-old woman held a position as credit risk management director at BRI as her latest position prior being appointed Bulog CEO.Rini said that under the leadership of Lenny, the government would extend the number of foodstuffs that Bulog had to oversee, from five to seven.Bulog would have obligation to maintain supply and stabilize prices of rice, corns, soybeans, sugar, onions, chili and beef.

Lenny, who will start assuming office on Jan. 2, commended that she would first determine scale of priority under her leadership and carry out efficiency programs in a bid to guarantee supply of main commodities to the public.The three commodities which we will likely prioritize are rice, soybeans and onions,” she said.Bulog had to make sure that it would buy the seven food commodities from local farmers at good prices, so the farmers could earn decent income, Rini said.In addition, Bulog had to be allowed to import the commodities should the move was needed to maintain the commodities’ prices in local market, she went on.
To support the firm in carrying all of the tasks, SOEs Ministry would propose the President to add the number of Bulog’s directors to a maximum of seven people from the current five people, she said, adding that it would require a revision of a presidential regulation.Bulog, which has total assets of Rp 25.9 trillion (US$2.05 billion) in 2013, was initially established in 1967 as a buffer stock agency, whose main task is to stabilize prices of main commodities such as rice, sugar and soybean. It then started becoming a state-owned enterprise, just like today, in 2003.While the state enterprise has been since its inception tasked to stabilize certain commodities’ prices, its current role seems less significant, with prices of commodities like onions and chili sometimes peaking up without control.
In 1995, Bulog was tasked to stabilize prices and maintain supply of rice, sugar, wheat flour, soybeans and other foodstuffs.The role was, however, narrowed down in 1998 under of the economic reforms mandated by the IMF as part of the agency’s bailout program to help Indonesia cope with the financial crisis.“Under the current government, we want to make sure that Bulog can contribute in both helping farmers earn decent income and stabilizing foodstuffs’ prices,” Rini said. As of December last year, Bulog absorbed 2.5 million tons of local rice or 84 percent of its total target of 3 million tons in 2014.For this year alone, Bulog has previously stated that it targeted to absorb 3.2 million tons of rice produced by local farmers as rice production is forecast to surge.

Incentive Boost for Rice Millers

By Express News Service
Published: 09th January 2015 06:03 AM
Last Updated: 09th January 2015 06:03 AM
BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has announced incentives to encourage rice millers in paddy procurement and export of surplus rice.While the Government exempted two per cent Central Sales Tax (CST) on inter-State trade of rice, the millers can reimburse two per cent market fee paid to regulated market committees on equivalent paddy traded outside the State. According to rice millers, the waiver of CST will boost the trade of surplus rice in a transparent manner.The State Government has made a provision of `one crore for reimbursement of market fee to the millers.
Description: Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department has requested district Collectors to ensure that levy rice due from millers is collected before they dispose of any stock in the open market. The millers are required to deliver 25 per cent of levy rice to the Food Corporation of India out of the paddy procured by them from mandis or directly from farmers.With the exemption of CST and market fee, the Odisha traders will be able to compete with traders of other States. Odisha being a rice surplus State, millers can sell the surplus rice to registered dealers through fair means, official sources said.
Neighbouring States like West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar have already allowed free trade of rice.The State was at a disadvantage due to the prevalent tax structure. As surplus rice could not be moved out of the State, Odisha was facing acute shortage of storage space.For paddy procurement under levy route, the millers have to pay the entire cost. The Government, however, debarred defaulting rice millers from taking part in the paddy procurement process.
As per procurement guidelines for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2014-15, the millers can participate in procurement process only if they have delivered 100 per cent custom milled rice for the paddy taken by them during 2013-14.In order to implement the decisions, the Government has decided to have a facility to store paddy on temporary basis. It has decided to store 10 lakh tonne of paddy during KMS 2014-15 in CAP (cover and plinth) storage locations under the open sky.

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures  
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for January 9

Net Change
January 2015
+ $0.030
March 2015
+ $0.020
May 2015
+ $0.010
July 2015
+ $0.010
September 2015
+ $0.010
November 2015
+ $0.010
January 2016
+ $0.005

Source with thanks:USA Rice Federation

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