Thursday, January 15, 2015

15th January(Thursday),2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Argentina Exports 458,940 Tons of Rice in First Ten Months of 2014; Down 14% from Previous Year

Jan 14, 2015
Argentina has exported around 458,940 tons of rice in the first ten months (January – October) of 2014, down about 14% from around 467,995 tons exported during the same period in 2013, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture in Argentina.  Argentina exported around 11,607 tons of rice in October 2014, down about 25% from around 15,436 tons exported in September 2014; and down about 80% from about 56,701 tons exported in October 2013.  
Argentina exported around 4,503 tons of rice to Brazil (about 39% of total October 2014 exports), around 2,158 tons of rice to Bolivia (about 19% of October exports), and around 2,282 tons of rice to Chile (about 20% of October exports). It exported the remaining 23% or around 2,664 tons of rice to Costa Rica (875 tons), Italy (46 tons), New Zealand (20 tons), Canada (90 tons), Denmark (120 tons), Germany (100 tons), Netherlands (100 tons), Paraguay (105 tons), Uruguay (662 tons), U.K. (20 tons) and the U.S. (526 tons).
Argentina exported around 535,722 tons of rice in 2013, down about 16% from around 635,938 tons exported in 2012.USDA estimates Argentina's milled rice production at about one million tons in MY 2014-15 (April – March), against consumption of around 440,000 tons. It estimates Argentina to export around 600,000 tons of rice in MY 2014-15.

EU Allows Member States to Decide over GM Crops

Jan 14, 2015
Description: Description: European Union has given more freedom to its member states to decide over planting, field trials and commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops, including rice, according to the Financial Times.In a vote conducted in the European Parliament over the decision to allow or ban GM crops in the region, 480 members voted in favour of letting the individual governments decide over approving/banning GM crops, and 159 members, mostly Green lawmakers voted against the measure as they feared EU would turn to more bio-engineered crops. Based on the voting results, the EU passed a resolution to all its 28 member states giving them flexibility to approve/ban GM crops, which are highly restricted in Europe.
Member states have been divided over allowing GM crops within their borders for last few years after America and Asia have approved them citing them as a solution to fight food insecurity. However, many surveys across the EU found that consumers were concerned of health risks and environmental hazards associated with the GM crops.
Currently, only GM Maize developed by the U.S.-based Monsanto is being planted in the EU, mostly in Spain. As many GM crops are awaiting approval by the EU member countries, experts say, the present measure is to make it easier for them to pass through EU authorizations. However, some analysts said most of the member states that are against GM crops would ban them without scientific reasons.  The vote has helped EU solve years of deadlock over growing GM crops. However, the new measure applies only to crops and does not cover GM used on animal feed.

Brazil Exports 1.24 Million Tons of Rice in 2014

Description: Description: 14, 2015
Brazil has exported around 1.24 million tons of rice in 2014 (January – December), according to data released by the Rice Institute of Rio Grande do Sul (IRGA).Senegal remained the largest importer of Brazilian rice in 2014 with 165,062 tons, or about 13% of Brazil's total rice exports during the year. Cuba accounted for around 154,447 tons (about 12% of Brazil's total exports during the year); Venezuela accounted for around 141,524 tons (about 11% of  Brazil's total exports during the year); Sierra Leone accounted for 124,395 tons (about 10% of Brazil's total exports during the year); and Gambia and Bolivia accounted for 9% and 6% of Brazil’s total rice exports during 2014 with 115,057 tons and 74,506 tons respectively.
Brazil’s National Grains Supply Company (Conab) has forecasted the country's 2014-15 paddy rice production at around 12.198 million tons (around 8.29 million tons, basis milled), slightly up from around 12.122 million tons (around 8.24 million tons, basis milled) in 2013-14.USDA estimates Brazil MY 2014-15 (April – March) paddy rice production at around 12.28 million tons (around 8.35 million tons, basis milled), slightly up from an estimated 12.2 million tons (around 8.3 million tons, basis milled) in MY 2013-14. It estimates Brazil’s 2014-15 paddy rice acreage at around 2.45 million tons, up about 2% from an estimated 2.4 million hectares in MY 2013-14.  USDA estimates Brazil to export around 900,000 tons of rice and import around 700,000 tons of rice in 2014.
Global Rice Quotes
January 15th, 2015

Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade          415-425           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken    375-385           ↔
India 5% broken         395-405           ↑
Pakistan 5% broken    370-380           ↔
Cambodia 5% broken             450-460           ↔
U.S. 4% broken           510-520           ↔
Uruguay 5% broken    NQ      ↔
Argentina 5% broken NQ      ↔

Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken NQ      ↔
Vietnam 25% broken 340-350           ↓
Pakistan 25% broken 325-335           ↔
Cambodia 25% broken           430-440           ↔
India 25% broken       360-370           ↑
U.S. 15% broken         495-505           ↔

Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd            405-415           ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd    400-410           ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd         385-395           ↑
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%          925-935           ↑
Vietnam Jasmine         505-515           ↓
India basmati 2% broken        NQ      ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken   NQ      ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails             805-815           ↔

Thailand A1 Super      320-330           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken            325-335           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd    290-300           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super   355-365           ↔
India 100% broken stxd         300-310           ↑
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ      ↔
U.S. pet food 405-415           ↔
Brazil half grain          NQ      ↔
All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

Foreign Importers Blamed for Misusing Nigeria's New Rice Policy

Jan 14, 2015

Description: Description: Nigerian government had introduced a new rice policy in May last year, under which it would allow preferential import duty of 10% and a levy of 20% against an import duty of 10% and levy of 60% for foreign firms in order to encourage investment in local rice production and milling. However, the government made it clear that the importation of rice should be limited to the national supply gap (of around 1.5 million tons) for import-grade rice as determined by the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to the Agriculture Minister, after a thorough filtration based on their Domestic Rice Production Plans (DRPPs), around 1.3 million tons of rice import quotas were allocated at the preferential levy to deserving companies.
Now, five foreign-owned rice producing companies are alleged to have altogether exceeded the government set import quotas by about 70%. Agriculture Minister was quoted as saying that two of these companies were allocated an import quota of around 223,902 tons and the remaining three were not allocated any quota as they lacked DRPPs. However, all the five companies together imported around 732,556 tons of rice, nearly 70% more than their allocated quota of around 223,902 tons.
The Minister noted that the five companies need to pay N36.5 billion ($190 million) to the government as import tariff before January 15, 2015. "Nigeria cannot lose any revenue due to the economy. All companies who have imported rice above their allocated quotas must pay fully the amounts due to the treasury," the Minister was quoted as saying.He said the aim of the new rice policy was to encourage importers to invest in the country and contribute to an increase in local production. He added that the government would not spare any importer misusing the policy.
Nigeria is a net importer of rice and imports over 50% of its annual rice consumption needs. The government aims to reduce the national supply gap to zero by 2017 by achieving self-sufficiency in rice production.USDA estimates the country to produce 2.55 million tons of milled rice in the MY 2014-15 (October 2014 - September 2014) and import about 3.5 million tons. The country's consumption needs during the year are estimated at around 6.1 million tons.

India Rice Sellers Lower Some of Their Quotes; Other Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged Today

Jan 14, 2015
India rice sellers lowered their quotes for 100% broken rice  by about $5 per ton to around $295 - $305 per ton today. Other Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged today.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton, about $30 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $375 - $385 per ton. India 5% rice is quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton, 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, about $5 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $345 - $355 per ton. India 25% rice is quoted at around $355 - $365, about $30 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice quoted at around $325 - $335 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton. India parboiled rice is quoted at around $380 - $390 per ton, about $20 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice quoted at around $400 - $410 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is quoted at around $320 - $330 per ton, about $5 per ton discount to Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $325 - $335 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $295 - $305 per ton,  down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $5 per ton premium on Pakistan broken sortexed rice quoted at around $290 - $300 per ton.

Indonesia Hopes for Zero Rice Imports in 2015 due to Adequate Stocks

Jan 14, 2015

Description: Description:'s state buying agency Bulog is hoping that the country may not need to import rice in 2015 due to sufficient stocks with it, according to Bloomberg.According to Bulog, the country currently has around 1.7 million tons with it and is expecting around 600,000 tons of additional stocks in January 2015, around 1.2 million tons in February, around 3 million tons in March and around 1.9 million tons in April.
Also, there would not be any need for imports given the price stability and the government's aims to increase 2015 paddy rice production by about 4% to around 73.4 million tons (around 48.44 million tons, basis milled) from an estimated 70.61 million tons (around 46.65 million tons, basis milled) in 2014.The new President is keen on achieving self-sufficiency in rice production and ending rice imports within the next two years. For this purpose, the government has allocated around Rp 2 trillion ($163.8 million) and is planning to rehabilitate around one million hectares of tertiary irrigation channels for paddy production and distribute 25,000 tons of subsidized seeds and subsidized fertilizer for around one million hectares of paddy fields.
USDA estimates Indonesia to produce around 36.5 million tons of rice, basis milled (around 57.48 million tons, basis paddy) and import around 1.3 million tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (January 2015 - December 2015).

Oryza Overnight Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Open Lower as Bearish Grains Weigh on Prices

Jan 14, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery are currently listed 2 cents per cwt (about $0.44 per ton) lower at $11.425 per cwt (about $252 per ton) ahead of floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen lower this morning: soybeans are currently seen 0.4% lower, wheat is listed about 1% lower and corn is currently noted about 1.5% lower.U.S. stock-index futures signaled a lower open on Wednesday, as retail sales for December disappointed and weak oil prices hit copper and mining stocks. Already sharply lower, stock futures fell harder after the Commerce Department reported retail sales slid the most in a year last month, down 0.9%. Falling oil prices continue to weigh on global equity markets. On Tuesday, the commodity fell near six-year lows, extending losses after trading lower for seven straight weeks. Meanwhile, copper prices also hit five-and-a-half-year lows overnight, causing severe selling in miners.
European equities fell sharply in morning trade, with London's FTSE dragged over 1% lower. The Fed will also release its Beige Book today at 2pm ET. Import/export data and business inventories are also expected at 08:30 am ET and 10:00 am ET respectively. In other news, the World Bank on Tuesday lowered its global growth forecasts for 2015 and 2016 due to disappointing economic prospects in the euro zone, Japan and some major emerging economies that offset the benefit of lower oil prices. Gold is currently trading about 0.5% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 0.4% higher,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.5% lower at 8:30am Chicago time.

Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Tumble as Market Breaks through Support to Chart Fresh Lows

Jan 14, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery settled 29.5 cents per cwt (about $7 per ton) lower at $11.150 per cwt (about $246 per ton). Rough rice futures charted another leg lower, extending recent losses and charting a fresh contract low as prices broke through the recent low of $11.395 per cwt (about $251 per ton) which had held for nearly two weeks. Today’s move is seen as yet another bearish signal and indicates that the market will likely move to test psychological support at the $11.000 per cwt (about $243 per ton) level. The other grains finished with mixed results today; Soybeans closed about 0.5% higher at $10.0925 per bushel; wheat finished about 1.9% lower at $5.3775 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 1.2% lower at $3.8100 per bushel.
U.S. stocks fell sharply on Wednesday, continuing losses into a fourth day, but came off session lows after the release of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book. Already sharply lower, stock futures fell harder ahead of the opening bell after the Commerce Department reported retail sales slid the most in a year last month, down 0.9%. A later economic report came in as expected, with U.S. business inventories rising 0.2% in November. The ongoing decline in the price of crude extended to metals, with the price of copper stumbling as the World Bank reduced its global growth forecast, pointing to soft expansion in Europe and China. After a 348-point drop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lately down 326.01 points, or 1.9%, at 17,287.67.
 The S&P 500 dropped 32.39 points, or 1.6%, to 1,990.64, with materials and financials weighing the most among its 10 major industries, all of which were in decline. The Nasdaq shed 61.94 points, or 1.3%, to 4,599.53. Gold is trading about 0.4% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 4.5% higher, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.2% lower at about  1:00pm Chicago time.Tuesday, there were 576 contracts traded, up from 413 contracts traded on Monday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Tuesday decreased by 5 contracts to 8,443

Thai Rice Exports May Decline About 6.5% y/y to 10 Million Tons in 2015

Jan 14, 2015

Description:'s 2015 rice exports are expected to decline to around 10 million tons, down about 6.5% from around 10.7 million tons exported in 2014, as competitors lower prices amid competition as well as falling oil prices, Bloomberg quoted the President of the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) as saying. The TREA President noted that most of Thailand's export destinations in Africa depend on oil exports for their income and falling crude oil prices has been putting a toll on the their incomes. In this situation, they are expected to lower rice imports this year, he told media sources.He however, said that Thailand's rice export prices are expected not to decline significantly and to stay close to the current level of around $405 - $410 per ton due to existing stocks in the country as well as adequate global supplies.
The Office of the Agricultural Economics (OAE) estimated output from the 2014-15 secondary/off-season crop at around 6.7 million tons (around 4.4 million tons, basis milled), down about 31% from around 9.75 million tons (around 6.4 million tons, basis milled) last year. It estimates the country's paddy rice output for 2014-15 at around 33.8 million tons (around 22.3 million tons, basis milled), down about 8% from around 36.8 million tons (around 24.3 million tons, basis milled) last year.  USDA estimates Thailand to produce around 31 million tons of paddy rice (around 20.5 million tons, basis paddy) and export around 11 million tons in MY 2014-15 (January - December 2015).

Myanmar Begins Formalities to Export Rice Legally to China

Jan 14, 2015
Description: Myanmar government is preparing itself to export rice legally to China, according to local sources."Tasks for starting rice exports are currently on our plate," the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) General Secretary was quoted as saying. He noted that delegations from the MRF, the Rice Millers' Association, Myanmar Rice & Paddy Traders Association, the Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry and the Commerce Ministry had visited China early this month and finalized Memorandum of Agreements (MoU)s with companies that agreed to buy rice from Myanmar during the 25th ASEAN Summit in November 2014.
The MRF is again planning to send a delegation of 10 exporting companies along with related documents to China to attend a meeting with the officials of the China Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC), COFCO Group and the companies that signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the MRF earlier this month. The MRF reiterated that the CCIC is planning to set up an office in Rangoon soon in order to monitor the quality of Myanmar rice before exporting to China.Discussions about the new trade agreement between China and Myanmar came up after the Chinese Premier reportedly promised that China will import around 1 million tons of rice from Myanmar in 2015 at about $400 per ton as well as legalize rice imports through northern borders of Myanmar, which are currently considered illegal during the 25th ASEAN Summit.
China has been an important export market for Myanmar rice for the last couple of years. Myanmar's rice exports to China (mostly through northern borders) increased almost 125 times since 2011, according to a report by the World Bank in June this year. Myanmar's illegal rice exports to China reached about 800,000 tons in the first nine months of FY 2014-15, according to local sources. The South-East Asian nation expects to export over 1.5 million tons of rice in FY 2014-15, up about 25% from around 1.2 million tons exported in FY 2013-14. USDA estimates Myanmar to produce 18.98 million tons of paddy rice (around 12.15 million tons, milled basis) and export around 1.4 million tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (January - December 2015).

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Prices Continue Their Decline as Bids Drop with Futures

Jan 14, 2015
The U.S. cash market was materially weaker today falling in sympathy with the steep sell-off in the futures market.Most bids continue to soften amid unimpressive demand while many farmers remain confident that prices will recover and as a result there was very little trading to report.  

Vietnam Allocates $15 Million for Rice Sector Development

Jan 14, 2015
Description: Description: Vietnam government has allocated around VND322 billion (around $15.1 million) from the state budget towards the development of the rice sector, according to local sources.The Prime Minister reportedly decided to spend the amount in rice fields development and protection. The government has selected 18 regions across the country, including Ha Giang, Hai Phong , Nam Dinh, Ha Tinh and Ca Mau (VND24 billion), where rice fields need requisite development.
Recently, the Vietnamese government has been taking several measures to enhance the value of Vietnamese rice in the global market.In October 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) had released a draft plan of Vietnam's rice-production restructuring strategy 2020 under which it aimed to increase production of higher quality rice as well as help increase income to farmers. It is also targeting to cut down the rice area to around 7 million hectares in the next six years from the current 7.8 million hectares. In November 2014, the government planned to sign a contract with the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to work towards redefining and reforming the existing rice strategy for the country.

However, experts suggested that the government should focus on developing a national brand for Vietnamese rice to increase its competitiveness in the world market as well as increase incomes of rice farmers.According to MARD data, Vietnam's 2014 paddy rice production is estimated at around 45 million tons (around 28 million tons, basis milled), up about 2% from around 44.2 million tons (around 27.5 million tons, basis milled) produced in 2013. The South-east Asian nation exported about 6.316 million tons of rice in 2014, down about 6% from about 6.71 million tons of rice exported in 2013, according to data from the VFA.

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14th January(Wednesday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Rice coalition eyes Cuba

Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 12:00 am
For Tri-County Newspapers

The USA Rice Federation has joined with more than 25 prominent U.S. food and agriculture associations and companies to form a coalition that seeks to advance trade relations between the United States and Cuba.The U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba formally launched at an event in Washington D.C. on Thursday that was attended by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, a bipartisan group of members of Congress, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.The purpose of the USACC is to re-establish Cuba as a market for U.S. food and agriculture exports and address liberalizing trade between the United States and Cuba.The coalition will work to end the embargo and allow for open trade and investment.

"We know the Cuban market for rice is not theoretical. It is real, it is large, and it is compelling," said Betsy Ward, president and CEO of USA Rice, in a statement. "With rice imports valued at more than $300 million, Cuba is the second largest importer of rice in the Americas. And there was a time when Cuba was our number one export market — we look forward to a return to those days."The U.S. rice industry has been advocating for open trade and travel with Cuba since the mid-1990s and was the first U.S. commodity back in Cuba in 2001, exhibiting at the Havana Trade Fair, which led to the first U.S. rice sale to Cuba in more than 40 years.Throughout the last decade, USA Rice has sponsored numerous trade missions, led and participated in many forums, here and in Cuba, and participated in eight Havana International Fairs.Consequently, by 2004, U.S. rice sales to Cuba were valued at $64 million.

However, U.S. government policy changes reversed that trend, and by 2009, sales fell to zero, where they remain.
"We applaud the Obama Administration for their recent actions, and ask our leaders in Congress to normalize trade with this nation that we believe will once again become a major market for U.S. rice," Ward said. "Open trade with Cuba would be an enormous boon for U.S. rice farmers, and we look forward to working with the Cuban rice industry so together we may supply the Cuban people with high-quality, delicious rice."

Japan skips food wheat purchase tender this week

Tue Jul 1, 2014 8:11am GMT

TOKYO, July 1 (Reuters) - Japan's Ministry of Agriculture skipped buying food quality wheat via a regular tender this week. Since July has 5 weeks, the ministry decided to skip a tender this week and planned to start a regular tender from the following week, an official at the bureau said on Tuesday.Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of the country's second most important staple after rice and buys the majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month. (Reporting by Michio Kohno; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
Thai govt aims to sell 17m tonnes of stockpiled rice over 2 years
BANGKOK, Jan 13 (Reuters): Thailand's government plans to sell around 17 million tonnes of rice over the next two years from stockpiles built up under the previous administration's failed buying programme, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday, announcing a new series of tenders.
Thailand was the world's top rice exporter for decades until its grain became uncompetitive under the buying scheme brought in by ousted former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she won election in 2011.The scheme paid farmers well above market rates for their crops and the Finance Ministry, in its most recent estimate, said it caused losses of more than $15 billion to the state, although that would be reduced if grain is sold.

"We have set up a plan to sell 17.8 million tonnes of rice within a two-year timeframe," Chutima Bunyapraphasara, permanent secretary at the ministry, told reporters.The aim is to sell 10 million tonnes this year and 7 million in 2016, she added.Terms of reference for a tender for 1 million tonnes would be announced on Jan. 20, she said, adding that the ministry would hold two or three tenders from January to March.The authorities have held four, smaller tenders since the military seized power last May and have sold 681,740 tonnes for around 6.36 billion baht ($194 million), Chutima said.
Government-to-government deals have been done for larger amounts, of which 570,000 tonnes had so far been shipped or was about to be shipped this month, she added.An audit conducted after the military seized power in May suggested that only 10 per cent of the grain in the stockpiles was of standard export quality. The buying scheme effectively lapsed in early 2014 when political turmoil meant Yingluck's government was unable to pay farmers for their grain.Thailand's parliament began an impeachment hearing against Yingluck on Friday over her role in the subsidy programme. Critics denounced it as a wasteful handout to supporters of Yingluck and her brother Thaksin Shinawatra, another former premier ousted by the military.
The country exported around 10.8 million tonnes of rice in 2014, a record high, according to the commerce ministry.Its previous record of 10.4 million tonnes was reported in 2011, after which India took over as top exporter.Thailand is experiencing drought in eight provinces, which will cut its 2015 off-season crop output by more than 30 per cent, according to the latest report from the Office of Agricultural Economics.The smaller harvest is unlikely to have a big impact on global prices, which are still under pressure from Thailand's stockpiles and bumper output in rival exporters India and Vietnam.

Officials prepare for rice exports to China

Published on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 16:15
To facilitate rice exports to China, the China Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC) will open an office in Yangon.
The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) will send a list of 10 rice exporting companies and other 
documents to China. The CCIC will hold talks between the Myanmar government, COFCO Group and the companies that signed the memorandum of understand with the MRF over rice trading."Tasks for starting rice exports are currently on our plate. A meeting will be held this month.
Wewill assist in opening the CCIC office, too," said Ye Min Aung, general secretary of MRF.At the invitation of China early this month, delegations from MRF, the Rice Millers' Association, Myanmar Rice & Paddy Traders Association, the Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry and the Commerce Ministry talked with their Chinese counterparts about rice trading agreements proposed in 2014 and finalised the deal.Negotiations between the Myanmar Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry and China's Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine have also taken place.Myanmar is thriving to export its world-class quality rice to China.
Current exports are of mediocre quality.  World Bank studies claimed the price of rice in Myanmar is the most unstable among Southeast Asian rice exporting nations.The studies explained the 40-per cent hike in Myanmar rice prices as the result of weak market structures, poor accessibility of information, limited product variety and costly storage charges.In the 2013-14 fiscal year, Myanmar’s exports of 1.1 million tonnes of rice earned US$400 million; in 2014-15, Myanmar is expected to reap $500 million from 1.5 million tonnes in rice exports.

Iraq submits a tender for the purchase of 30 thousand tons of rice

Photo Credit:Reuters/Ajay Verma
The Iraqi Ministry of Trade announced on Tuesday launching a tender to process the ministry with an amount of 30 thousand tons of rice to cover the requirements of the ration card, while economists justified it and said that production would not fill the growing need for several conditions.
Iraq is one of the major importers of grain in the region to cover the ration card program that has been applied since the nineties of the last century.
The Ministry of Trade stipulated that the origins must be from America, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Vietnam and Thailand with the specifications of " White Grain."The ministry said in a statement reported for "Shafaq News" that " offers will be open up to 29/1/2015 but the presentations must be accompanied by an initial insurances by a bank guarantee or a check certified for the General Company for Grain Trade in the ministry.Analysts and economists believe that Iraq's move towards the global market is to meet the needs of its population of grain for many economic conditions.
The economist , Falah Hassan told "Shafaq News" that "Iraq has a great potential in the production of agricultural crops, but the conditions experienced in the country affected local production significantly."He explained that "local production in Iraq began to diminish year after a year due to economic factors as well as political factors , although it has recently improved, but of course still modest in spite of the many possibilities that exist in Iraq."Hassan added, "there has been a clear deficit in the coverage of such crops as wheat barley and rice, so that Iraq covers domestic demand through imports .. For example, rice needs large amounts of water while Iraq is going through a crisis in irrigation projects and this is a big challenge due to lower levels of Tigris and Euphrates rivers by the impact of upstream countries "Turkey and Syria.
© Shafaq News 2015
Nigeria: Govt Alleges Sabotage of Rice Policy By Investors
By Femi Adekoya
FOREIGN investors who have exceeded their preferential allocation quotas for imports thereby incurring N36.56 billion debts payable to the nation's treasury are sabotaging the new rice policy, the Federal Government said yesterday.According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the Federal Government may also wield its big stick on importers who were re-bagging locally produced rice as imported one while receiving waivers for such.Besides, the Federal Government noted that it had concluded plans to establish and manage a National Domestic Rice Production Fund (NDRP Fund) that would be used to support farmers and millers in expanding production and milling operations in the relevant states of previously intended investments by defecting investors.
The Fund is expected to be generated from recalled bonds from any of the 26 investors who defaulted from their investment plans while enjoying preferential allocation quotas under the Domestic Rice Production Performance Bond amounting to $195 million or N35.3 billion.Already, the ministry, citing data from Nigerian Customs, identified Popular Farms and Mills as well as other importers as responsible for exceeding their import quotas under the new policy.
Furthermore, the ministry identified three other companies including Conti-Agro, Central Trading and Export and African firms as having imported 98,285 metric tonnes of rice without approved quotas, thereby owing the treasury N8.16 billion.A statement from the ministry stated that the companies without waiting for determination of the supply gap by the inter-ministerial committees or issuance of quotas had imported 634,270.16 metric tonnes of finished rice. This represents 56 per cent of the total imported finished rice under the new policy as at December 3, 2014.
Adesina was quoted as saying: "Nigeria cannot lose any revenue due to the economy. All companies who have imported rice above their allocated quotas must pay fully the amounts due to the treasury. With the devaluation of the Naira, all hands must be on deck to ensure that all leakages are blocked. Nigeria is not for sale."I will not be intimated, bought or corrupted. I will not sell my country to any foreign company. The President has given us a clear matching order to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice and we will fully achieve this. All who owe the Federal Government must pay what they owe and Nigeria must lose no single naira. No amount of malicious representation will derail the new policy.
"According to the Customs, the importers agreed to pay any duty and levy differential if their eventual quota allocation turned out to be lower than what they have imported."As at December 3, 2014, Popular Farms and Mills had exceeded their approved quota by 300,204.53 metric tonnes and Olam by 110,163.63 metric tonnes, a combined total of 410,368.16 metric tonnes."
According to the new rice policy, Popular Farms and Mills owes N19.379 billion in unpaid levies while Olam's indebtedness is N9.02 billion. Together, the two Asian companies owe the federal Government about N28.39 billion.
"Rather than pay the levies owed, the two firms wrote letters to the Minister asking for a revision of their rice import quotas; Olam asked for 400,000 metric tonnes rice import quota, to cover the quantities of rice that they had gone ahead to import (or still desire to import) without any approved quotas or Domestic Rice Production Plans (DRPP) as required, but a mere agreement with Nigerian Customs that they would pay the duties due once the quota allocations are out", the statement read in part.
The ministry expressed optimism of the national supply gap of import grade rice declining from the present 1.5 million metric tonnes to one million this year, with a further projected decline of 0.3 million MT in 2016 and zero in 2017 when the country is expected to become self-reliant in rice production and when rice mills purchased by investors become operational.
The ministry explained that the new rice policy had stated that importation of brown or polished rice should be limited to the national supply gap for import-grade rice to be determined by an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the Agriculture Ministry, with membership drawn from the Ministries of Finance, Industry, Trade and Investment and the National Planning Commission.
It added that rice import quotas were issued on a conditional basis to guarantee that the DRPPs are met to achieve Federal Government's goal of rice self-sufficiency."Specific qualifying criteria to receive the quotas were stipulated and they include: applying companies must be a registered firm in the country and a member of relevant trade association; only new investors officially known to the Ministry via submission of a DRPP will be allocated a quota; applying companies must have a minimum planned investment in rice production and processing of $10 million.
"Basically, in order to qualify for a final quota allocation, all qualifying companies had to deposit a Domestic Rice Production Performance Bond ("the Bond") as a means of demonstrating a clear commitment to domestic investments in rice production and processing. For each investor, the Bond value will be equivalent to 30 per cent of the value of the quota received. This Bond must be secured at a qualifying bank approved by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
"Investors' rice investment plans will be strictly monitored against key milestones. Failure to execute on these plans will lead to a 'call' on the Bond by the Ministry."The goal is to turn importers into local producers and that is being achieved. No one is hoodwinking anybody. A detailed assessment of existing rice millers, importers and new rice investors has also been undertaken", the ministry explained.
However, when The Guardian tried to reach some of the identified investors who have overshot their quotas, they stated that the Nigerian Customs was yet to communicate their financial obligation to them in terms of the excess imports, adding that they continue to await Customs' response to them.

Major Grant Awarded to Rice Industry, DU for Habitat Conservation Efforts

From left:  LA rice farmer John Owen,
USA Rice CEO Betsy Ward, and
NRCS Chief Jason Weller
WASHINGTON, DC -- Today Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced approved grants from the first round of proposals to the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The USA Rice Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU), and more than 40 collaborating partners are pleased that the "Rice Stewardship Partnership - Sustaining the Future of Rice" project was selected for support.
This project will help rice producers conserve natural resources such as water, soil and waterfowl habitat, while having long-term positive impacts on their bottom line.
 The RCPP application process was very competitive; less than half of all applications were awarded funding, and no proposal was fully funded.  However, the USA Rice and DU national request was deemed to have significant merit, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) - the agency responsible for administering RCPP - awarded the partnership a grant of $10 million, one of the largest awards given under the program.
"The Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Texas' and Louisiana's Gulf Coast, and California's Central Valley are critical landscapes for waterfowl and therefore ranked as some of DU's top priorities for habitat conservation," said DU President and Arkansas rice producer George Dunklin.A 2014 study conducted by DU scientists for The Rice Foundation demonstrated that rice agriculture provides 35 percent of the food resources available to migrating and wintering dabbling ducks in the regions where rice is grown in the United States.
"U.S. rice farms are valuable, not just for the nutritious commodity they produce and their positive impact on the economy, but also as important contributors to the entire ecosystem, and today's announcement from NRCS and USDA recognizes that fact," said USA Rice Federation Chairman Dow Brantley, an Arkansas rice farmer.  "Wildlife and waterfowl depend on our farms as much as any of us do."
 Across the board
Established in the 2014 Farm Bill, the RCPP competitively awards funds to conservation projects designed by collaborating partners."The USA Rice Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and all of our partners commend the USDA for their vision in creating partnership-driven conservation initiatives, and we especially appreciate each of the six state NRCS offices who were instrumental in crafting a competitive proposal," said Betsy Ward, President and CEO of USA Rice. "This is a giant step forward for conservation in ricelands with many more steps to come."
"We applaud the many rice producers who integrate extra conservation measures into their rice production to maintain water quality and provide much-needed waterfowl habitat," said USDA NRCS Chief Jason Weller.
  "The partnership between DU, USA Rice, and USDA offers increased technical and financial assistance to help producers accomplish these goals on their land, and the tangible benefits to farmers, the environment, and all Americans will be felt for a long time."The Arkansas NRCS has scheduled a meeting Friday, January 16, to announce the state's RCPP project participants, and to invite local rice farmers to an informational session with RCPP Project Sponsors. All 50 states and Puerto Rico received NRCS funding for conservation projects and have scheduled similar events in the coming week.
Contact:  Michael Klein (703) 236-1458
Louisiana Rice Receives RCPP Funding    

From left: Donald Berken, Kevin Norton, Jeff Durand and Randy Jemison

BATON ROUGE, LA - The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced four new conservation projects today, two of which will directly benefit the state's rice producers."We set out to deliver conservation programs that would work on rice, waterfowl, water quantity, quality, and sustainability, and we've done just that," said Kevin Norton, the NRCS State Conservationist for Louisiana. "This is quite special, bringing big new resources to Louisiana that will translate into real conservation."
 The state received approximately $1.5 million for the three state conservation programs, and Norton says the lion's share is going to the Rice Stewardship Program in Southwest Louisiana, proposed collaboratively  by Ducks Unlimited, the Louisiana Rice Growers Association, and others.  That region represents about 70% of rice growing in the state, but rice producers in other areas of the state will be eligible to participate in Description: Description: Ducks in Rice Fieldthe national USA Rice-DU RCPP program (see lead story above)."Rice is good for ducks and conservation is critical," said Alicia Wiseman, Rice Stewardship Program Coordinator for Ducks Unlimited Southern Region. "These programs will help feed people, support families, and provide habitat for waterfowl."
 "This is a good day for Louisiana rice producers who are excellent stewards of the land, and play an important role in our state's economy and in helping to feed us all sustainably," said Jeff Durand, a Louisiana producer and co-chair of USA Rice's Conservation Stewardship Partnership who spoke at the event.The programs are continuing to take shape and develop and all rice RCPP programs are expected to be major areas of discussion at state meetings next month.

Contact: Michael Klein (703) 236-1458
California Rice Commission Secures State-Specific RCPP Funding  
  SACRAMENTO, CA - In a separate conservation proposal, the California Rice Commission (CRC) received an RCPP grant of $7 million. This program will support many of the same practices offered by the highly successful Waterbird Habitat Enhancement Program and efforts to develop a viable nesting cover crop system for idled ricelands."Having these additional resources should provide a big boost to our industry's longstanding wildlife conservation efforts," said Paul Buttner, Manager of Environmental Affairs for the CRC. "California ricelands provide habitat to nearly 230 wildlife species - millions of birds that fly along the Pacific Flyway, and the value of winter waterfowl habitat in California Rice is estimated at $2 billion."

Contact: Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444 

Western Rice Belt Conference and Texas Rice Council Annual Meeting set for Jan. 21

Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 4:00 am
The annual Western Rice Belt Production Conference will be held on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at the El Campo Civic Center. The conference will begin with an Early Bird Session on Precision starting at 7:30 am. Registration for the conference will begin at 8:00 a.m., with the remainder of the program to follow. After a catered lunch, provided by area agribusiness sponsors, the program will conclude around 2:00 pm.

This joint effort of local rice committees, The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, U.S. Rice Producers Association, and Texas A&M AgriLife Research will offer growers and others the opportunity to hear presentations from the top Extension and Research scientists from Texas and Louisiana as well as respected individuals from the rice industry. Topics and speakers will include: Rice Policy Update, Dr. Joe Outlaw; Rice Market Update, Dennis Delaughter; Localized Effect of Carryover Rice, Jay Davis; Rice Disease Mgmt Update, Dr. Don Groth; Pesticide Laws and Regs Update, Greg Baker; Groundwater Update, Neal Hudgins; and Insect Management in Rice, Dr. Mo Way.

 The Texas Rice Council will also conduct their Annual Meeting in conjunction with the 2015 Western Rice Belt Conference. The Texas Rice Council will conduct their producer elections during the lunch hour, following the announcement of the Rice Poster Contest.For more information, contact the Texas AgriLife Extension office in Matagorda County 979-245-4100 or Wharton County 979-532-3310, or go to and click on Events to view a flyer for the Rice Conference. 2 CEU’s (1 L&R and 1 IPM) for TDA Pesticide Applicators will be awarded at this event. CCA hours have been applied for and will be offered pending approval.

Compete on quality

India should not oppose Pakistan's bid to call its rice basmati
Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  New Delhi  
January 13, 2015 Last Updated at 21:38 IST
India's bid to protect its basmati-rice growers through getting a geographical indications (GI) registration has come up against formidable hurdles. These come not just from basmati growers in Pakistan, but also Madhya Pradesh, which it did not list among traditional basmati-growing regions. TheAgricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) wants to thwart other countries from selling their scented rice as basmati globally. Many attempts have been made in the past by foreign rice-trading companies to confuse consumers by using similar-sounding names, such as Jasmati and Kasmati. 

Apeda has spent crores of rupees on court cases abroad to preserve the basmati epithet for the typical Indian long-grained, non-sticky aromatic rice. The GI registration at home would strengthen its case in international litigation.Apeda's woes are rooted in the fact that it has sought the GI status for basmati grown only in the contiguous region spanning Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, and parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Madhya Pradesh's rice industry has claimed that its state is also located in the Indo-Gangetic belt, part of which is suited for basmati cultivation.

Pakistan's Punjab and adjoining regions, especially the foothills of the Himalayas, are well known for producing basmati rice - which, in fact, is the main competitor of the Indian basmati in the international market. The Geographical Indications Registry, which grants the GI status, had observed in an order issued in December 2013 that it was duty-bound to guard the interests of producers of all the areas from where a product came. Apeda is, however, now contesting this plea in the Chennai-based Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).

Technically, the GI label is meant to set apart a product whose quality, reputation and other traits are attributable to its geographic origin. This definition applies perfectly only to the desi basmati, such as Basmati 370, whose photosensitive nature allows it to be grown only in a region having a particular day-length during the basmati-growing season. That limits basmati cultivation to only the northwestern part of undivided India. However, the new evolved basmati types, including the high-yielding dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, are, by and large, not photosensitive and can, thus, be grown in areas outside the traditional basmati belt as well.

 These varieties have now almost totally replaced the desi basmati in the domestic and export markets. It would, therefore, be unfair to deny them basmati status irrespective of where they are grown.It was indeed Pakistan's folly that it did not accept India's offer in the past to jointly seek global GI registration for basmati. Now that Pakistan's basmati industry has, on its own, come forward for similar cooperation, Apeda should not drag its feet. India can compete with Pakistan in the global basmati bazaar on the basis of quality. A denial of Islamabad's claims may not, in any case, withstand the scrutiny of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Source with thanks:The Business Standard

Buffalo meat beats basmati rice in export market

Ajay Modi       Last Updated: January 14, 2015  | 17:08 IST
Buffalo meat exports have overtaken those of basmati rice for the first time. Both fall in the category of agriculture/processed exports, with the latter dominating the scene for the last several years.  According to Commerce Ministry data, India exported buffalo meat worth $3.22 billion in the April to November period of the ongoing financial year [2014/15], up over 16 per cent from corresponding period of last year (2013/14).In the same period, the figure for basmati rice remained unchanged at $2.96 billion. Basmati rice exports in 2013/14 was $4.87 billion as compared to buffalo meat's $4.35 billion.
Buffalo meat exports saw a phenomenal growth of 31 per cent in quantity and 36 per cent in value last year (2014).Among the top export destinations were Vietnam, Malaysia, Egypt, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.Russia has recently opened up its market for Indian buffalo meat and four plants have been certified by Russian authorities.

It is interesting to note that all this has happened within the first year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi tenure.As BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate prior to the elections last year, Modi, in his election campaigns, had attacked the then Congress-led UPA government for promoting a 'Pink Revolution' by encouraging meat exports.
Description: Description: Buffalo meat beats basmati rice in export marketNaturally, there was a fear among meat processors that exports will take a hit if the BJP-led NDA coalition came to power. This, however, has not happened. The government has made no hostile move towards this sector and exports continue to boom.The country has successfully built an enviable reputation of being a reliable and competitive exporter of buffalo meat. So far, there has been no incidence of livestock-related diseases such as foot and mouth disease from any of the importing nations. 

Source with thanks:Business Today

Rural India slowdown threatens Modi's promise of "better days"

Description: Description: Rural slowdown poses threat to promise of 'achhe din'Rajendra Jadhav, Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Suvashree Chaudhury    Mumbai/New Delhi/Padali   Last Updated: January 15,
Sugarcane grower Nilesh Kadam has abandoned plans to buy a tractor. He doesn't have enough money, like many farmers hit by erratic weather and sliding prices for the cotton, soybean and rubber they produce. Tougher times in rural communities spell bad news for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who swept to power last May with a promise of "better days" - new jobs and development to lift hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty.
"I was expecting a hike in cane prices this year, but mills are paying 20 per cent less than last year. I don't have enough money to buy even a motorcycle, let alone a tractor," says the 29-year-old Maharashtrian farmer.It's not just the weather gods and capricious markets that are to blame for the hardship besetting Kadam's village of Padali, 280 kilometres south of Mumbai. A shift in government spending ordered by Modi is also hitting rural consumers and the industries that serve them."Rural consumption was one of the pillars holding up growth," said Aditi Nayar, senior economist at Icra, the Indian arm of ratings agency Moody's.

She expects weak demand in rural areas to have contributed to a slowdown in economic growth in October-December from 5.3 per cent in the previous quarter.Tractor maker Mahindra & Mahindra is idling its factories for a few days a month after sales slid by nearly a third towards the end of last year. Consumer goods firms and auto makers have also reported weak sales.More than 800 million of India's 1.25 billion people live in the countryside, accounting for 35 per cent of the economy. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faces the verdict of voters towards the end of this year in Bihar, a large state in the Hindi belt where many of the rural poor live. West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are among major states that go to the polls in 2016.

Seeking to woo rural voters, the last government raised grain purchase prices, bailed out indebted farmers and promised 100 days paid labour a year to anyone who wanted it.The measures boosted the spending power of rural consumers and cushioned business from a fall in urban demand after the 2008 financial crisis. Eventually, though, they stoked inflation and forced the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to hike interest rates.To cap inflation and state borrowing, Modi has limited rises in farm support prices to below the inflation rate and scaled back the jobs scheme.

He wants to invest savings in infrastructure and skills to boost India's long-term growth.While inflation has eased with these policies, firms that profited from booming rural demand are struggling due to the sudden slowdown.Rajesh Jejurikar, chief executive of the farm equipment and two-wheeler division at Mahindra & Mahindra, said delayed rains, poor crops and reduced disposable incomes had hit tractor sales at the market leader.Trends show a striking divergence between town and country sales of two-wheelers: motorcycles - more popular in the countryside - fell 3.5 per cent in December while scooters, ridden mainly by city dwellers, leapt 24 per cent from a year earlier, industry figures show.

Modi's shift from policies that support demand to ones boosting investment and productivity have also coincided with a steep fall in global prices of farm commodities, making imports cheaper and hitting Indian exports."Exports of many commodities have become less lucrative and in some cases unfeasible," said Faiyaz Hudani at Kotak Commodity Services.The government's ability to ramp up spending on roads, railways and irrigation projects that would benefit rural India is, meanwhile, hobbled by budget constraints.

Aides to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have advised him to loosen fiscal deficit targets in next month's budget to create room to invest. It's not clear, though, whether he will do so as that could delay a growth-boosting interest rate cut by the central bank.Since his general election triumph, the BJP has racked up a series of gains in state polls - including in Maharashtra. But Kadam, who voted for a rival party, isn't convinced and says the patience of rural voters is being tested.
"During the campaign, Modi was saying better days are coming. Where are the better days?" the young Maharashtrian farmer asks. "He has made things worse for us."

Functional and healthy GM foods have large market potential

By Nathan Gray+Nathan GRAY
Last updated on 14-Jan-2015 at 14:55 GMT2015-01-14T14:55:10Z
 potential, says new research.
The new data, published in Nature Biotechnology, suggests that while the majority of developments in genetically modified crops provide no additional health benefit to the consumer, those that do have good market potential.Led by Hans De Steur of Ghent University, the team behind the research said various GM crops with health benefits have been developed – with notable examples including rice enriched with pro-vitamin A (also known as 'Golden Rice') and folate-enriched rice, developed at Ghent University.
“Fifteen years after the development of 'Golden Rice', which was the first GMO with health benefits, the developers of such transgenic biofortified crops have little reason to celebrate,” said the team. “To date, none of these GMOs are approved for cultivation, unlike GMOs with agronomic traits.” Despite these regulatory hurdles, six major staple crops have been successfully biofortified with one, or more, vitamins or minerals.Now the research team has ‘convincingly demonstrated’ that there is a strong market potential for such products – showing that consumers are willing to pay more for GM food with health benefits, with premiums ranging from 20% to 70%.
“This differs from GMOs with farmer benefits, which are only accepted by consumers when they are offered at a discount,” said the team.Experts from the Infant Nutrition Council (Aus-NZ), Malaysian Dieticians Association and Euromonitor will discuss how Apac countries differ in their infant formula needs, and how to best market their products within Asia’s strict regulatory framework.The team added that although GM foods with health benefits ‘are not a panacea’ for eliminating malnutrition, they do offer a complementary and cost-effective alternative when other strategies are less successful or feasible.
Source: Nature Biotechnology
Voume 33, Pages 25–29, doi:10.1038/nbt.3110
 "Status and market potential of transgenic biofortified crops"
Authors: Hans De Steur, et al

CCC Announces Prevailing World Market Prices
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation today announced the following prevailing world market prices of milled and rough rice, adjusted for U.S. milling yields and location, and the resulting marketing loan-gain (MLG) and loan deficiency payment (LDP) rates applicable to the 2014 crop, which became effective today at 7:00 a.m., Eastern Time (ET).  Prices are unchanged from the previous announcement.

World Price

Milled Value ($/cwt)
Rough ($/cwt)
Rough ($/cwt)

This week's prevailing world market prices and MLG/LDP rates are based on the following U.S. milling yields and the corresponding loan rates:

U.S. Milling Yields
Loan Rate

The next program announcement is scheduled for January 21
CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for January 14
Net Change

January 2015
- $0.255
March 2015
- $0.295
May 2015
- $0.280
July 2015
- $0.275
September 2015
- $0.275
November 2015
- $0.070
January 2016
- $0.040
March 2016

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