Wednesday, January 21, 2015

21st January (Wednesday) 2015 DailyExclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Pakistan Rice Sellers Lower Some of Their Quotes; India Rice Sellers Increase Some of Their Quotes

Jan 20, 2015
Pakistan rice sellers lowered their quotes for 5% broken rice and 25% broken rice by about $5 per ton each to around $360 - $370 per ton and around $320 - $330 per ton respectively. India rice sellers increased their quotes for parboiled rice by about $5 per ton to around $390 - $400 per ton. Thailand and Vietnam 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 $395 - $405 per ton, about $35 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice quoted at around $360 - $370 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday.
25% Broken Rice 
Thailand 25% rice was last quoted at around $350 - $360 per ton, about $10 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $340 - $350 per ton. India 25% rice is quoted at around $360 - $370, about $40 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice quoted at around $320 - $330 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton. India parboiled rice is quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton, up about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $10 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, on par with Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $320 - $330 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.

Blockades Disrupt Rice Supply Chain, Drive Up Prices in Bangladesh

Jan 20, 2015
Description: Blockades of highways, railways and waterways have been disrupting supply of essential commodities to important wholesale markets in the country, according to local sources. The Opposition Leader had called for the blockades on January 5, 2015.Traders told local sources that the ongoing blockades have led to increase in prices significantly. According to them, wholesale prices of different varieties of rice increased between Tk  25 - Tk 100 per 50 kilogram (around $6.4 - $25.7 per ton) in markets across the country. Currently, coarse rice variety is selling at around Tk 36-37 per kilogram ($460 - $480 per ton), fine rice is selling at around Tk 48-52 per kilogram ($620 - $670 per ton) and medium variety is selling at Tk 38-40 per kilogram (around $490 - $510 per ton).
Most of the rice millers have stopped operating their mills fearing disruptions from anti-government activists. Transport prices have also increased significantly due to blockades, according to traders. They noted that truck charges have almost doubled during the last two weeks as truck owners are concerned of vandalism on highways. They are afraid that prolonged blockades would cause severe shortages of commodities in the country.Rice prices have increased about 7.3% since the beginning of this year despite a record production in 2014 due to the political turmoil, said Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Secretary.

Description: Description: Imports 2.24 Million Tons of Rice in First Eleven Months of 2014, Down 1% from Last Year

Jan 20, 2015

China has imported around 2.244 million tons of rice in the first eleven months of 2014 (January - November), down about 1% from around 2.267 million tons imported during the same period last year, according to data from China Customs General Administration.In November 2014, China imported around 230,000 tons of rice, up about 28% from around 180,000 tons imported in October 2014, and up about 25% from around 184,318 tons imported in November 2013.
China has exported around 345,369 tons of rice in January - November 2014, down about 39% from around 478,400 tons exported during the same period last year, according to data from the China Customs General Administration.In November 2014, China exported around 108,815 tons of rice, up about 89% from around 57,492 tons exported in October 2014 and over twice from around 50,700 tons exported in November 2013.China imported about 2.267 million tons of rice and exported about 478,400 tons of rice and in 2013.
China's Customs department has seized over 201,000 tons of smuggled rice worth about 1.26 billion Yuan (around $203 million) in 2014 under the project "Green Wind", according to Xinhua News Agency. The project was aimed at checking smuggling in grains, frozen meat products, sugar, cotton and cooking oil.USDA estimates China to produce around 144.5 million tons of rice, import around 4 million tons and export around 400,000 tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (July - June).

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Unchanged Market as Prices Search for a Bottom

Jan 20, 2015
The U.S. cash market was unchanged today and the big question everyone is asking is when will we eventually find a bottom.Since the beginning of the marketing year, cash prices at the farm gate have fallen roughly $3.00 per cwt and some believe that without fresh demand prices could continue to slide.The only demand some analysts see that could keep this market from falling further is the chance the U.S. is awarded some of the latest Iraqi Grain Board tender.

Japan Buys 61,000 Tons of Non-glutinous Rice in Tender

Jan 20, 2015
Japan has purchased about 61,000 tons of non-glutinous milled rice from Thailand and the U.S., according to official sources.Japan bought 49,000 tons of non-glutinous milled (medium-grain) rice from the U.S.; and about 12,000 tons of non- glutinous milled (long-grain) rice from Thailand. A total of 45 bidders (29 for medium-grain U.S. rice and 16 for long-grain Thai rice) participated in bidding that took place on January 16, 2015. Average price of the imported rice is around JPY 96,223 per ton (around $812 per ton) excluding tax and around JPY 103,921 per ton (around $877 per ton) including tax.The results pertain to the tenth ordinary import tender issued by Japan in 2014.

Cambodia MY 2014-15 Rice Exports Estimated to Increase 15% y/y to 1.15 Million Tons

Jan 20, 2015
Description: Description:
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated Cambodia's MY 2014-15 (January 2015 - December 2015) rice exports (including official and unofficial exports to Thailand and Vietnam) to increase about 15% to around 1.15 million tons from an estimated 1 million tons in MY 2013-14. The FAO forecasts exports of all cereals, including rice, to increase about 9% to around 1.5 million tons from around 1.376 million tons in MY 2013-14.
The UN agency estimates Cambodia's total paddy rice production in 2014-15 at around 9.3 million tons (around 5.76 million tons, basis milled) , down 1% from around 9.39 million tons (around 6 million tons, basis milled) produced in 2013. Harvesting of the 2014-15 wet season crop (June - February), which accounts for 80% of Cambodia's total paddy rice production, is underway and is expected to be complete by the end of February 2015. The FAO estimates output from the 2014 main season rice crop to decline 2% y/y to around 7.2 million tons due to dry weather conditions in north-western parts of the country between June and August. Also localized floods in August in the Mekong River Basin has affected around 166,000 hectares of agricultural lands, including paddy. It however estimates output from the 2014-15 dry season crop (November - April) to be normal.
Average wholesale prices declined in December 2014 after being stable at around 1.6 million Riel (around $400) per ton since April this year.USDA estimates Cambodia MY 2014-15 (January 2015 - December 2015) paddy rice production at around 7.656 million tons (around 4.9 million tons, milled basis), up about 4% from around 7.383 million tons (around 4.725 million tons, milled basis) in MY 2013-14. It estimates Cambodia to export around 1.2 million tons of rice in 2015, down about 20% from an estimated 1 million tons in 2014. 

Myanmar to Begin Official Rice Exports to China from April 2015

Jan 20, 2015
Description: Description: rice exporters will begin exporting rice to China legally from April 2015 after  a trade agreement is finalized between the two countries by the end of February this year, local sources quoted the General Secretary of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) as saying at a press briefing in Yangon.Nine companies, including the Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation Limited (MAPCO), have been selected to export rice to China. A MRF spokesperson told local sources that eventually other small- and medium-sized suppliers will also be allowed to export rice to China. Sources at the MRF noted that a networking seminar for Chinese and Myanmar rice traders would be held on March 6, 2015 in Yangon.
In the mean time, China Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC) will open offices in Yangon, Mandalay and Muse to monitor the quality of Myanmar rice before exporting to China.Myanmar has been keen on finalizing a rice trade agreement with China as well as legalizing rice exports through borders. The Chinese authorities banned rice imports from Myanmar borders in August 2014 leading to price falls in the country. But, 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 on the sidelines of the 25th ASEAN Summit in November 2014.
Following this development, 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. Last week, a delegation of 10 exporting companies along with related documents also visited China to attend a meeting with the officials of the CCIC, COFCO Group and the companies that signed MoUs with the MRF. They reportedly discussed matters related to standards for rice exports.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).
Global Rice Quotes
January 20th, 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     360-370           ↓
Cambodia 5% broken 440-450           ↔
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   320-330           ↓
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           390-400           ↑
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%           920-930           ↔
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             320-330           ↔
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,

Russian Rice Sector Seeks Higher Yields; Rice Acreage Far from Reaching the Maximum Land Available

Jan 20, 2015
The Russian rice growing sector has a tradition of seeking high-yielding varieties: the All-Russian Rice Research Center (ARRRI) of Krasnodar was established in 1931, and ever since has been busy in breeding varieties with high yield and agronomic traits adapted for various climatic zones, but also developing of resource-saving and environmental-safe technologies for rice growing, and seed farming.Professor Grigoriv Leonidovich Zelensky, teaching in Kuban State Agrarian University of Krasnodar, says, in the introduction of “Rice Blast Control with Release of Resistant Varieties”, that “For the population of Russia rice grain is a valuable food, dietary and wholesome product.” He adds that the main rice-growing area in the country is Krasnodar area, where more than 80% of Russian rice is farmed.
Description: Description: average yield has continually grown over the last decade. In 2012, a record a paddy yield of 7.11 tons per hectare was attained, farmed on 133,000 hectares.In general, total area that could be used to grow rice is more than 500,000 hectares, but it can vary from 140,000 to 200,000 hectares per year.Researcher Evgeny Kharitonov, of ARRRI, in his work “Problems of Growing Rice in Russia and Ways to Solve Them” notes that Russia’s rice growing area is one of the most Northern in the world. In Krasnodar breeding work started in 1932, during Soviet Union period: the rice gene pool includes 6,400 samples to work with; among them 97.6% are Japonica subspecies. The ancestors of modern Russian varieties are Kendzo, from Japan, k-514, from China, Balilla, from Italy, and Saturn from the U.S.Now the breeders are working on finding salinity resistant varieties, including the variety Kurchanka, which is replacing Spalchik thanks to better yields, particularly in salty soils.

Thailand to Sell One Million Tons of Rice in Tender

Jan 20, 2015
Thailand government is planning to sell around one million tons of rice in a tender on January 29, 2015, Reuters quoted sources at the Thai Commerce Ministry as saying.The government is planning to auction around 850,000 tons of 5% broken rice and around 150,000 tons of jasmine rice on January 29.Currently, export prices of Thai 5% broken rice are quoted at around $410 per ton and those of Thai Hom Mali rice are quoted at around $925 per ton. Abundant supplies from Thailand as well as from harvests of other rice exporting countries have pushed down global rice export prices with Vietnam's prices being lowest in the last ten months.
Last week, the Thai Commerce Ministry stated its plans to sell around 10 million tons of stockpiled rice in 2015 and around 7 million tons in 2016 through tenders. Thailand sold around 681,740 tons of rice in four tenders last year after the military government took over on May 22, 2014; and the government has struck government-to-government deals for about 570,000 tons last year, she said. The Thai government currently holds around 17.8 million tons of rice in its stockpiles.
According to the stock audit report released by the government, of the 17.8 million tons of rice stocks, of which 2.35 million tons are of good quality, 14.4 million tons are sub-standard, around 694,000 tons are rotten and around 390,000 are missing. The former Prime Minister is facing impeachment hearing for her role in the management and implementation of the controversial rice pledging scheme.Thailand exported around 10.8 million tons of rice in 2014, up about 64% from around 6.6 million tons in 2013. Thailand is due to sign an agreement with Hong Kong to export around 100,000 tons of rice in 2015.

VFA Plans to Procure Entire Paddy Rice Output in 2015 to Shield Farmers from Gloomy Export Prospects

Jan 20, 2015
Description: Description: Vietnam Food Association (VFA) is planning to procure entire paddy rice output from farmers to protect them from likely price falls due to weakening export demand, according to local sources.Vietnamese rice exporters are reportedly concerned of lower exports this year due to stiff competition this year from Thailand, India and Pakistan. While Thailand is expected to offload more stocks from its warehouses into the market, India and Pakistan have already reduced prices of low and medium quality rice varieties to compete with Vietnam.
Last week, Vietnam had lowered the floor prices of high quality 5% rice, medium quality 10% and 15% rice and lower quality 25% rice to $385 per ton, $375 per ton, $365 per ton and $360 per ton respectively to meet the Philippine demand for 187,000 tons of rice, which is to be delivered by February 28, 2015. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) noted that the rice exporters need to find new markets for Vietnamese rice in order to sustain competition.Vietnamese rice sector is said to be plagued by financial difficulties, poor cultivation planning and outdated technology.
Experts have been urging the government to increase production of higher quality rice and focus on attracting high-end markets in order to increase competitiveness of the Vietnamese rice as well raise farmers and exporters' incomes.Currently export prices of India 5%, Pakistan 5% and Thai 5% rice stand at around $400 per ton, $370 per ton and $410 per ton respectively compared to around $380 of $Vietnam 5% rice. Vietnam exported around 6.316 million tons of rice in 2014, down about 6% from about 6.71 million tons of rice exported in 2013 and down about an average of about 7 million tons during 2010-13, according to data from the VFA.

Thai NACC to Charge Former Commerce Minister in G2G Rice Deal with China

Jan 20, 2015
Description: Description: results of the investigation related to government-to-government (G2G) rice deals with China, Thailand's National Anti Corruption Commission (NACC) stated that it will charge former Commerce Minister, the former Deputy Commerce Minister as well as 20 state officials and employees of private firms for alleged corruption in rice export deals with two Chinese firms, according to Reuters.The NACC told reporters that both the Ministers are accused of falsifying G2G rice deals for  about 1.2 million tons between Thailand and China in 2013. The agency noted that the deal never happened and the rice was sold locally. It stated that the rice was sold to two China-based companies, who in turn sold it to a Thai private company. The NACC said the two companies were not acting on behalf of the China government.A NACC member noted that since the specified deal caused huge losses to the government, the case would be forwarded to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders.
The former Prime Minister is 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. The National Legislative Members will vote on January 23, 2014 whether she was guilty of dereliction of duty. The vote requires a three-fifths majority to pass a judgement.

Meanwhile, four senior members of the former PM's Cabinet defended her on social media after the NLA rejected their responses on behalf of the former PM on January 16, 2014. The ex-Premier reportedly escaped attending the second impeachment hearing and sent her representatives to answer the NLA. The NLA members posed some questions for the former PM.The four members posted the clippings of the NLA hearing on YouTube and sent out a statement answering some questions on behalf of the ex-Premier. They reiterated that the rice pledging scheme was good for the farmers.However, a NLA member told media reporters that the statements would not influence the vote on this Friday.
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20th January (Tuesday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Rice board head: Cuban trade could be big for Louisiana

Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 3:10 pm
The Advertiser |
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Lifting the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba could mean the return of a major market for Louisiana rice, Louisiana Rice Promotion Board chairman Kevin Berken says.He said Cuba imports about 600,000 metric tons of rice a year, with Vietnam as its biggest supplier."Prior to the embargo, Cuba was the largest importer of Louisiana rice," he told a conference Friday at the Petroleum Club. "So it is critically important for us to be able open trade with other countries, Cuba being the main focus.

It has been a focus for the last 20 or 30 years."Berken was among four panelists, The Advertiser ( ) reported. It happened to be a day after the government announced President Barack Obama's amendments to existing Cuban sanctions.Only Congress can fully end the 54-year embargo."Eventually, the embargo will be lifted, and there isn't a thing in the world that Cuba doesn't need," said Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. Its location 700 miles from Louisiana's coast makes New Orleans an especially convenient port, he said.LaGrange said there's talk of a Cuban consulate being built in the U.S. and New Orleans may be vying against Tampa, Florida, as a host city, he said.

"Louisiana should be next in line," he said. "We need a consulate in New Orleans.Charles Larroque, executive director of Council for the Development of French in Louisiana; and Larry Sides, president of SIDES & Associates, also spoke.Sides said he has traveled to Cuba 24 times in the last 15 year on religious missions and for leisure."I'm simply fascinated with the country," he said.The only way the U.S. will fully be able to establish a diplomatic relationship with the country, and that includes tourism, is for the U.S. to completely lift the embargo, he said.
Information from: The Advertiser,

Corporate corner
January 20, 2015
Soomro appointed as Matco Rice director
KARACHI (PR): Pakistan’s largest bvasmati 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.
Rice and wrongs

The Jonathan administration’s abuse of waivers has moved to the farm sector 
Scandalously, the country is reportedly losing N20 billion to discretionary concessions and waivers, especially to lethargic stakeholders under the rice importation  scheme and another N20 billion to smugglers of rice through the nation’s porous borders. The waivers/import allocation quotas impunity to favour investors who have no investments in the industry or rice mill by government is making a mockery of the policy.

Description: RiceOf the 28 beneficiaries on the list, only 16 have mills, while the other 12 that have no mills surprisingly account for higher imports than the true millers. The disparities in preferential import quotas, quantity of approved rice imports and the corresponding size of performance bond to be submitted are quite alarming. Those powerful armchair rice investors eventually trade their import allocation quotas to interested stakeholders at between 60 to 80 per cent levy, having got the same at 20 per cent levy, thereby short-changing the country with ripple effects of inflation and  pauperisation. This is serious discouragement to those who remain committed to the plan.

Why should new investors under the present regime, without milling capacity or investments in the country, receive higher allocation quotas unlike real rice millers that received negligible allocation or none at all?  The strategy deployed in arriving at the supply gap equally becomes questionable because almost three million metric tonnes of rice was reportedly smuggled from Cotonou in 2013, while an estimated 1.5 million was accounted for last year. Again, why is it that the backward integration policy plan approved since May 2014 by the president was delayed till December?

The sincerity of government regarding the backward integration plan is in doubt. For example, it is bewildering that investors that merely expressed interests enjoy higher import quotas which they trade at higher prices to other interested importers. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s new rice policy is geared towards bridging the supply gap of import-grade rice of 1.5 million metric tonnes through proper deployment of rice import quotas as determined by the Federal Government. Invariably, the policy was designed to ensure that existing rice millers and new investors receive a preferential levy of 20 per cent and duty of 10 per cent while other importers pay a higher levy of 60 per cent and duty of 10 per cent. The current wave of indiscriminate waivers has made nonsense of this policy.

If the nation truly wants to be self-sufficient in rice production and milling, too much reliance on paper criteria, including theoretical Domestic Rice Production Plan (DRPP) by prospective investors will not suffice. For example, it was reported that last year alone, a total of 1.3 million metric tonnes of rice import quotas was issued to 25 qualifying millers, yet 2.74 million metric tonnes of imported rice found its way into the country in the same year through illegal routes. his is possible because of the low tariff on rice in Nigeria’s neighbouring countries.The nation is far from self sufficiency in rice production contrary to the nauseating noise and rhetorical egoism of progress in the sector by  Akinwunmi Adesina, the agriculture minister. The sensible path to toe is to jettison indiscriminate waivers while government should also allow rice importation through our ports to augment shortfalls. This will definitely go a long way in discouraging smuggling

LSU Rice Specialist Dr. Dustin Harrell Receives Award
 When Dustin Harrell speaks,
rice farmers listen
BATON ROUGE, LA -- Dr. Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, received the Rice Researcher of the Year award last week at the National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference here.  Harrell's agronomy research focuses on fertility, and he also has identified the significance of zinc deficiency, shown that seeding rates for drill-seeded rice can be reduced, and demonstrated how nitrogen use efficiency can be improved.
When receiving the award Harrell credited his fellow researchers for their contributions and thanked the Louisiana rice farmers for supplying vital check-off funding saying, "Without the check-off funds, we wouldn't be able to do the things we do."Harrell was selected as a member of the 2015 Rice Leadership Development Program in December at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The Rice Leadership Development Program gives future leaders a comprehensive understanding of the rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication skills.
 Contact:  Chuck Wilson (870) 673-7541
Rice Featured at North Louisiana Ag Expo
 Serving up rice samples at LARC booth
WEST MONROE, LA -- An estimated 10,000 people attended the 33nd annual North Louisiana AgExpo on January 16-17 where they learned about the state's ag industry, especially rice.  For correctly answering questions about rice, visitors to the Louisiana Rice Council (LARC) booth received sample bags of Louisiana-grown rice, provided by the Louisiana Rice Growers Association. Attendees also enjoyed a cup of red beans and rice, courtesy of the Northeast Louisiana Rice Growers Association.
 Recipe brochures, nutrition information, and rice-facts sheets from the USA Rice Federation were distributed. LARC members, including President Eric Unkel, Vice President Charles Precht, Jr., and Jimmy Hoppe manned the booth with assistance from USA Rice field staff, Randy and Mary Jemison.The Expo was established by the North Louisiana Agribusiness Council to educate citizens about the regional and state impact of agriculture.

Contact:  Randy Jemison (337) 738-7009

Japan Announces Results of 10th 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 96,223/mt

JPY 103,921/mt
(tax excluded)

(tax included)

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures  

CME Group (Preliminary):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for January 20

Net Change

March 2015
- $0.060
May 2015
- $0.055
July 2015
- $0.055
September 2015
- $0.050
November 2015
- $0.050
January 2016
- $0.050
March 2016
- $0.050

Lalin’s Column: First 100 days -short list of priorities
Tue, 2015-01-20 06:59 — editor
 By Major General (Retd.) Lalin Fernando
Steps to be taken towards national reconciliation should be at the top of the President’s list of things to be done in the first 100 days. It is suggested that the following also be accommodated under the 100 day action plan that is meant to prepare the ground for the promised future.Reconciliation and National Identity. There was no true reconciliation after SL’s 26 year old bitter conflict despite the people of the North warmly welcoming those from the South ever since it ended. Without genuine reconciliation all other efforts of the government will be worth very little if not jeopardized.
The 2 minority communities have almost in their entirety supported the winning Sinhalese leader in the recent Presidential elections. That was a giant step for people power towards reconciliation. The prevailing circumstances could not be any better for the new government to follow up and consolidate that victory. Reconciliation should hopefully lead to a break with the unhappy, mean and distrustful past. It must succeed to forge national unity and develop a true Sri Lankan identity that sadly did not yet exist in 67 years after Independence.
Remembrance of the war dead. The most important step to achieve true reconciliation will have to be the jettisoning of the ill advised Victory parade in May. It must be replaced by a Remembrance ceremony to commemorate the war dead from 1971 to 2009. It will otherwise continue the (political) estrangement of the Tamils from the Sinhalese.
 All communities should be united in their grief for the 100,000 SL lives lost and share the grief and pain of those who bore the burden of that loss. They must promise themselves there will never again be a replay of the tragic events that began in 1983.The ‘River for Jaffna’ or the Arumugam Plan to bring water from the Iranamadu tank through Elephant Pass lagoon to the Thondamannaru Barrage, on which work started in 1954, (supported ardently by DLO Mendis among others) needs to be given priority, restarted and completed without any more delay.Rule of law. The last regime, as it hurtled to its end, was almost completely lawless. Corruption was not denied but excused as a global phenomenon.
It turned out to be an act of suicide as a silent revolution took place in the minds of the people. The impeachment of the Chief Justice showed the utter depravity of the rulers. Beruwala was the beginning of the end. BBS unchecked or sponsored as it appears now, was the symbol of terror that stalked the land. Defeat was ordained. The rule of law must now be seen in the streets, public spaces, residential areas and in Parliament. It must begin by cleaning up the entire judicial system that includes the judiciary, the police and the prisons for citizens to believe in the restoration of the rule of law.
Law breakers should be punished quickly.Weapons – DangerWeapons in the hands of private individuals are the biggest threat to the rule of law. There are probably about 60-80,000 registered weapons with people and probably twice that unlicensed. No one other than those in the Armed forces and the police should be allowed to keep weapons. Weapons needed for legal purposes such as sports competition must be stored, at a cost to the individual, at the nearest police station. A relentless hunt for unlicensed weapons and their owners should begin immediately.
The police itself should not be armed, unless for special operations (e.g.; terrorist hostage situation) and then only if approved by the Interior (equivalent) Ministry. The army could intervene only if the Police request it with the approval of the Interior Ministry.Any armed escorts or body guards, should be from the police and only for VVIPs. Lesser folk should manage with unarmed police escort, in special circumstances only, if recommended by the police and with prior approval of the Ministry. After all, politicians often boast they are willing to sacrifice their lives so there should be no obstacle to prevent them from proving their noble intentions. This will save a lot of our lives on the roads as they speed through like the clappers of hell
SL must prevent any more police shootings in ‘self defence’ when ‘taking’ suspects to ‘weapon caches and hidden loot’. That and the way the judiciary looks askance when it happens makes a mockery of the existence of any idea of the rule of law.Health. It is heartening to note that the new government will make available all the drugs and medicines needed for patients in Description: hospitals. Injections and drugs for children’s illnesses and for pregnant mothers must be given priority. Injections for those bitten by animals-dogs, cats and rats (at least 75 people seek attention every day at the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital) must also be made available. Mosquito nets could also be given free to the poor.Parliamentary meals. A ‘healthy nation’ is the best motto for the government to follow. It must start in Parliament where very expensive and huge meals are given free. It is most disgusting to see that most MPs are grotesquely obese in a country where malnutrition is common among many children. These little hippos are indescribably ugly and evil looking too.
As they believe only they can save the nation and so qualify for most things free, an expert dietician should prescribe their meals-which should then be given free if they insisted upon it, - to make or keep them healthy. Anything else, (basmati rice, mutton, chicken, seer fish, prawns etc and desserts must be paid for at the market rate. This will help protect the MPs health, especially those who said they are willing to sacrifice their lives for SL but never at the time of the country’s greatest need joined the Army.
Sewerage. The most important requirement for the nation’s health is the need for modern sewerage systems in the towns and villages. Outside of Colombo, the Galle road sea side part of Dehiwala and parts of Ratmalana, there are no proper town, city and village sewerage systems. As a result sewerage tank over flows go not so surreptitiously into the road side drains. This is an utter and absolute well known disgrace and a looming danger that has been shamelessly ignored -even when SL was the miracle of Asia. Open drains, seen all over in towns and villages alike, must also be covered.Laboratory tests. Laboratory testing should be done in the government hospitals itself. Curiously it is the government hospital laboratory staff in any case that do the testing (even when the hospital staff are on strike) at private hospitals for patients in government hospitals for a big fee.
Maybe giving these Lab technicians better pay could help.Schools. The education budget has thankfully been increased. How soon will the schools infra structure include sufficient rest rooms (lavatories) for the student and staff together with running water? Let all students who find it difficult to afford a good meal be given a good quality, free lunch also. Private tuition should be curtailed and soon prevented. Weak students should be coached in school by the very teacher who judges them weak.Public Transport-Air Conditioned. Now that the price of petrol has come down drastically, it is time that public transport be air conditioned as running costs will be at an all time low.
All senior government servants and their masters in Parliament and various Councils, travel free in comfortable, luxury air conditioned comfort. They do not pay a cent for it. The public that travels in the sweltering heat or wet of the monsoon pay the government for their rides. The cost of travel keeps on increasing but not the comfort of the passengers. Now that Sri Lankans are the wonder of Asia if not democracies (by the way SL changes rulers at elections) the people in this 21st century, must be rewarded with air conditioned public transport, both road and rail, whatever happens to the price of oil.Temple Trees. Since the Prime Minister is not going to occupy Temple Trees but only use it as an office, maybe he could, as a gesture to those who have borne the burden of war, convert it to a home for seriously disabled servicemen.
Some other 100 days.
USA. The best known 100 days action plan was that of Franklyn D Roosevelt who took over as American President during the time of USA’s Great Depression of the 1930s when America faced its biggest challenge including bankruptcy. It was called the first 100 days. He pushed through 15 Bills in Congress in that period and brought quick relief to the millions who were homeless, hungry and jobless.
It was no surprise that he turned out to be possibly the most loved President of the USA. However the Republicans vilified him in the crudest possible way. He closed banks on 5 Mar 1933, sent teams to inspect them and on 9 Mar, 5,000 banks opened. He had 4 priorities: protect the people’s savings, get people back to work and create prosperity, provide relief for sick and elderly and get industry and agriculture back on their feet. He spoke to the people on radio every Sunday (when most would be at home) to explain everything he was trying to do. It was believed that at least 60 million people out of a population at that time of 200 million listened in.
France. Napoleon returned from exile in Elba on 10 March 1815 and marched on Paris on 20 March with 1,500 soldiers. King Louis XVIII bolted. Napoleon then engaged the combined armies of Prussia, Britain and Russia and after a series of battles was finally defeated at Waterloo (18-22 June).He then abdicated. Louis XVIII was restored on 8 July ending the 100 days since he bugged out. On 15 July 1815 Napoleon boarded RNS Rochefort for final exile at St Helena. Please note it will soon be 200 years since this momentous episode in history happened.Rwanda. The worst 100 days was in Rwanda when about 800,000 people, 20% of the population, were slaughtered between 7 April and 4 July 1994.
            Asian Tribune –

Poo and paws help in tiger count

While paw prints can identify individuals, scientists say the method is unreliable for assessing numbers
Description: Tiger pugmark (Image: Yadvendradev Jhala)A system that uses paw prints and faeces offers scientists a fresh way to determine how many tigers are left in the wild, a study has suggested.Scientists hope the new technique will provide a low-cost and reliable way to accurately assess big cat numbers.Fewer than 3,500 tigers remain in the wild, with more than half found in India where the population is spread over more than 100,000 sq km of forest.The findings appear in the Journal of Applied Ecology."Tigers are cryptic, nocturnal and occur at low densities so they are extremely difficult to monitor," said lead author Yadvendradev Jhala from the Wildlife Institute of India.
"Unless we know how many tigers are left in the wild, and whether their numbers are increasing or decreasing, we will not be able to conserve them," he added.Current monitoring methods include using camera traps or looking for paw prints."In the absence of abundance information, conservation management decisions are often based on crude estimates, expert opinion or educated guesses - which may result in erroneous decisions that can be counterproductive," the India-based team observed.While paw prints, otherwise known as pugmarks, allow individual tigers to be identified, scientists say they are not a reliable way to estimate a region's overall population.Camera traps offer a much more accurate assessment of an area's tiger density, but the technique is expensive and labour intensive, resulting in its deployment being limited to places that have a relatively high number of the big cats.
'Basmati rice'
"By showing that it is possible to accurately estimate tiger numbers from their paw prints and faeces, we have opened up a new way of cost-effectively keeping our finger on the pulse of the tiger population and gauging the success of conservation programmes," explained Dr Jhala.
Fresh tiger faeces are normally accompanied by urine sprays that smell like well-cooked basmati rice”
Dr Yadvendradev JhalaWildlife Intitute of India
"This approach could be applied to monitoring other endangered species across vast landscapes," he added.Between 2006 and 2007, Dr Jhala and his team gathered samples from 18 tiger populations at 21 locations across central and northern India, recording the occurrence of pugmarks and faeces."Tiger faeces are the size of large beetroots and have a characteristic pungent, musky odour," he explained."Fresh tiger faeces are normally accompanied by urine sprays that smell like well-cooked basmati rice.
"Tigers are solitary animals, and use the spray to mark their territory - hence the presence of scat offered an insight into the species density in the area.When the team compared its findings with data from camera traps, the group found the new system provided similar results but for just 7% of the cost.Writing in the British Ecology Society journal, the team concluded: "The approach and models... permit rapid and cost-effective assessments of abundance to monitor the status of tigers at landscape scales."This information is vital for conservation investment, habitat management, planning development projects, formulation of policy and for law enforcement."
BBC News

Credit Suisse Sues REI Agro in Singapore Over Alleged Fraud

Jan 20, 2015 1:44 am ET
(Updates share price in eighth paragraph.)

REI Agro founders Sandip and Sanjay Jhunjhunwala used a web of sham rice-trading companies in Singapore and Hong Kong to support a 2012 $115.5 million loan agreement by REI Agro’s Dubai-based Ammalay Commoditiess JLT, according to a lawsuit in the Singapore High Court.Credit Suisse, leading a group of lenders who are seeking at least $80 million in damages, said in the October suit that the loan agreement was breached when Ammalay failed to provide audited accounts and defaulted on a $20 million payment.
Sanjay Jhunjhunwala said in November court filings that trades by his two companies being sued were genuine and denied involvement in any fraud. The next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 26.New Delhi-based REI Agro, which guaranteed the loan, and Ammalay haven’t filed their defenses and didn’t respond to e- mails seeking comment. Eugene Thuraisingam and Muralli Rajaram, lawyers for eight other companies being sued, declined to comment, as did Credit Suisse.
The lenders have an “overly suspicious approach” and misunderstood the trades, Sanjay, who was succeeded as REI Agro chairman last year by his younger brother Sandip, said in his court filing.The Jhunjhunwalas are Marawari Indians who are known to be risk takers and sometimes adopt unconventional business practices, he said.REI Agro has the equivalent of $318 million of debt due by the end of 2017, of which 80 percent comprises loans, data complied by Bloomberg shows. Both Fitch and Standard & Poor’s withdrew their ratings on REI Agro’s debt last year.REI Agro fell 3.7 percent to 1.30 rupees as of 12:13 p.m. in Mumbai. The stock has slumped 82 percent in the past 12 months.The case is Credit Suisse AG, Singapore branch v Ammalay Commoditiess JLT, S840/2014. Singapore High Court.
The Washington Post

Butte County rice growers do it again, topping charts on production

Heather Hacking-Enterprise-Record A rice field along the Midway, July 26. 
Rice fields near Gridley Aug. 20.Heather Hacking-Enterprise-Record
By Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise-Record
POSTED: 01/17/15, 7:45 PM PST | UPDATED: 29 SECS AGO
If you’re rooting for your home team in the race for agricultural production, it’s easy to be a fair weather fan of Butte County Rice.
In Butte County, rice growers can consistently chant “We’re No. 1.”
Description: 2013, the average Butte County rice grower produced 8,830 sacs per acre, with each bag at 100 pounds. The next highest average produce was neighboring Glenn County with 8,680 sacs to the acre.The numbers have been similar for the past dozen years, with a few anomalies that can’t be blamed on anyone who grows rice in the county.Every hot spot has a hottest spot, and rice farm adviser Cass Mutters said many factors come together in Butte County.
The University of California Cooperative Extension adviser said Butte County is slightly warmer than just an hour’s drive south and has “nice, uniform soils.”Adobe soil holds water. In fact, for the past 100 years these same soils have proved difficult for growing anything else.
Description: farms sit side-by side, which also makes it easier for growers to move from one place to another without machinery from other crops hogging the roads.He said it might also make a difference that families have farmed the land for generations, which means a higher percentage of farmers own the land and have been making continuous improvements to infrastructure.Carl Hoff, president of the Butte County Rice Growers Association, noted that farmers near Richvale were among the first to laser-level their field and “routinely touch them up,” to make sure the fields are efficient for irrigation.
Then again, Butte County growers also have excellent water rights and water delivery infrastructure. Fields can be flooded quickly, Hoff noted.The Richvale area seems to be an especially fertilie area for rice. When people hear the Butte County Rice Growers Association average yield they figure the state average will be 4-5 sacs lower per acre.This year, a few Butte County Rice Growers Association members had record yields, some topping 100 bags an acre, which is worth bragging about.
The average announced at a recent BUCRA annual meeting was 96.7 100-pound bags per acre.Perhaps some of the story is because the Rice Experiment station is located in Biggs.When higher-yielding varieties are developed and tested, they’re tested in the heart of Butte County.Whatever the factors, they simply add up. The yield per acre has gone up consistently over the past decades, from an average of under 7,000 100-pound sacs in 1998, statistic show,
The state average over the past few years has been about 87 sacs per acre, said rice marketer Mark Kimmelshue, at ARMCO. Part of Butte County’s prowess may be due to a greater percentage of medium-grain, CalRose rice being grown locally. The varieties grown here tend to have higher yield, he said.
All of this said, that doesn’t mean it will be a bonanza year for rice.
Many growers grew nothing at all.Farm adviser Mutters pointed out that the drought resulted in about 20 percent fewer acres planted in rice, which is 100,000 acres fewer than 2013, for a total of 425,000 acres statewide.However, on land that was planted yields per acre this year may be extremely high because farmers chose their best fields when water was limited.Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, for example, received only 75 percent of its surface water allocation, Mutters said.The Rice Experiment Station noted that this year was especially good for those who were able to grow rice because there was a long growing season, which allows more starch to slowly fill the rice kernels.
With all the factors people threw into the equation, rice farmer Stacy Gore summed it up fairly simply.“It’s not terribly hot. It’s not terribly cold.”It’s the “Goldilocks land for growing rice.”Clearly, it’s because Butte County growers are the best, he said, only partly joking.“You can’t help but feel prideful about where you are,” and what growers are able to do, Gore said. He said its similar to rooting for your home team.

Contact reporter Heather Hacking at 896-7758.

Rice Farmers set state meeting

William Johnson, Louisiana3:57 p.m. CST January 19, 2015
(Photo: Submitted photo)
Description: Rice harvest.jpgThe Louisiana Rice Council and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association, Louisiana's two largest grower organizations, have scheduled their annual joint membership meeting for Feb. 10 in Jennings.Rice is an important agricultural product in St. Landry Parish, second only to soybeans, and Parish’s County Agent Vince Deshotel urges local rice producers to attend.
“Prices on rice have fallen. They are lower than they have been in recent years. Any marketing information our rice producers can get is important,” Deshotel said.This year’s meeting will be held at a new location, the Grande Marais Center, and will open with a trade show and reception at 4 p.m. followed by the program at 5:45. Dinner will be served.“This meeting provides an annual report to rice farmers on programs funded by the Louisiana rice promotion check-off as well as timely information on other important issues,” said Eric Unkel, a rice farmer from Allen Parish and LARC president.
“I encourage all rice industry stakeholders to attend.”The featured speaker will be Kevin Norton, state conservationist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, who will discuss conservation opportunities for rice farmers through Farm Bill programs. USA Rice Federation staff will report on the Federation’s activities and promotional achievements. Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain will address issues of concern to the Louisiana rice industry.“This is the largest gathering of rice farmers in the state each year,” said Jeffery Sylvester, an Evangeline Parish rice farmer and LARGA president. “It’s what makes this event the perfect place to display rice-related equipment, technology, products and services and show support for the Louisiana rice industry.
”USA Rice also will participate in the Central Louisiana Rice Growers Association Annual Membership meeting that begins at 11 a.m. Feb. 11 at the Dean Lee Experiment station in Alexandria and the Northeast Louisiana Rice Growers Association Rice Forum that begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 12 at the Delhi Civic Center in Delhi.For information on the meetings, including sponsorship and exhibit opportunities, contact Randy Jemison at 337-738-7009.
Rice Producers Meeting
4 p.m. Feb. 10
Grande Marais Center
919 N. Lake Arthur Ave., Jennings
Call 337-738-7009 for more information
Thai rice exports to dominate
Shipments pegged at 10-11 million tonnes
Published: 20 Jan 2015 at 06.00
Newspaper section: Business

Thailand is expected to return to dominate global rice exports, with shipments estimated at 10-11 million tonnes this year. In a statement Monday, the Commerce Ministry said Thailand exported 10.8 million tonnes of rice last year, a rise of 63.6% from 2013.Export value rose by 22% to US$5.37 billion from $4.42 billion in 2013.Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya attributed the surge mainly to the joint effort by the private and public sectors to rev up selling annual produce and the government's rice stocks.The Commerce Ministry forecasts global rice production will fall slightly by 0.3% this year to 475 million tonnes due to lower production anticipated in India, Japan, Pakistan, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Nigeria.The world's rice consumption, meanwhile, is estimated at 483 million tonnes, about 7.7 million tonnes higher than global output.

The global rice trade is expected to hit 41.9 million tonnes this year, up slightly from 41.88 million tonnes last year.Strong import demand is anticipated, particularly for China (4 million tonnes), Nigeria (3.5 million tonnes), Iran and the Philippines (1.7 million tonnes each).Gen Chatchai said the government was committed to working closely with the private sector to both expand the market and retain market share with rice importers worldwide.The government will also place equal focus on potential buyers in each region including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the EU and the US.The Office of Agriculture and Economics (OAE) estimates Thailand's rice production from the main crop of 2014-15 at 27.1 million tonnes, a slight increase of 0.06% from the previous season.
Overall, rice planting in the season was on the decline following the state's policy to discourage farmers from growing several crops a year for fear of water shortages, especially in irrigated areas.The falling rice price was another factor that turned farmers to other crops, OAE secretary-general Lersak Riewtrakulpaibul said.Farmers earned an average 7,862 and 7,878 baht a tonne of paddy in November and December, respectively, when a large volume of paddy entered the market.
 The figures were lower than the 8,130 baht farmers received from selling paddy last year. The OAE reported that since the start of the season last October, 25.5 million tonnes of paddy were harvested, accounting for 94% of total production.Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said the global rice market would be challenging this year, as higher supplies were anticipated from other rice-producing nations, particularly Vietnam and India.Higher supplies and exports from small rice-producing countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia are also likely, he said.
Despite a sharp drop, the price of Thai rice remains relatively high, notably against grains from Vietnam."We expect the country to ship at best 10 million tonnes this year," Mr Chookiat said.The Office of Agriculture and Economics estimates Thailand's rice production from the main crop of the 2014-15 season at 27.1 million tonnes, a slight increase of 0.06% from last year. (Photo by Kitja Apichonrojarek)

Bangkok Post

NACC targets Boonsong, others in rice deals
Published: 20 Jan 2015 at 18.42
Online news: Politics
Writer: Online Reporters
The National Anti-Corruption Commission has passed a resolution to take legal action against former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, his ex-deputy Poom Sarapol and 19 others for graft in government-to-government rice sales which might have incurred a loss of over 600 billion baht, NACC member Vicha Mahakhun said at a press conference on Tuesday. Former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and 20 other officials would be charged with collusion to benefit companies on the rice-pledging scheme. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)
The NACC's action came two days before former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra delivers a closing defence statement to the National Legislative Assembly in the rice-pledging scheme on Thursday and three days before the NLA votes on an impeachment motion against her the next day. Mr Vicha, who leads an NACC subcommittee investigating the G-to-G rice deals, said the decision was reached at Tuesday's meeting of the anti-graft agency.He said more than 100 rice trading companies involved would be investigated in order to complete the investigation report before the case is filed with the Office of the Attorney General.Mr Boonsong, Mr Poom and 19 others, including high-level Commerce Ministry officials and businessmen, would be charged with collaborating to allow companies not authorised by China to enter into G-to-G deals, causing severe damage to the country and the monetary system, he said.
Mr Vicha said the NACC also made a resolution for the Finance Ministry and the Commerce Ministry's International Trade Department to demand compensation from the companies accused of involvement for the damages which might amount to more than 600 billion baht.Asked whether the NACC's decision was intentional as the NLA is scheduled to vote on an impeachment motion against former prime minister Yingluck Shinwatra over the rice-pledging scheme on Friday, Mr Vicha said this was a coincident.He said the NACC was investigating this matter long before the NLA scheduled the impeachment vote. Every step had been carried out in normal proceedings, he added.
Mr Boonsong, meanwhile, said he had learned of the NACC's decision."Although the the NACC has decided to take action against me, the legal proceedings have not ended. The NACC still has to forward the case to the Office of the Attorney General for consideration. It is still not known whether the OAG will go ahead with the indictment."Even if the OAG decides to indict me in court, I believe the court will give me justice because I did not do anything wrong as accused," Mr Boonsong said.Mr Boonsong said the NACC, in deciding against him today, was likely to have a hidden agenda."The decision against me was made only two days before Ms Yingluck was to deliver her closing defence statement to the NLA. I'm only a political bait. They hope my case will add weight to Ms Yingluck's impeachment. In fact, these are two separate cases," Mr Boonsong said.
Rice prices drop by P1
By Reuel John F. Lumawag
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

THE National Food Authority (NFA)-Davao City said reported P1 decrease in the price of regular and well-milled rice brought by the end of the final cropping season last year.Based on the agency's monitoring, the retail price of regular milled rice is from P31 to P35 per kilograms (kg) with a prevailing price of P34/kg as of yesterday as compared to P32 to P35/kg last month.Well-milled rice is at P34 to P38/kg with a prevailing price of P37/kg as compared to P35 to P39/kg last month.
However, in earlier interviews last December 2014, NFA-Davao City also reported that regular milled rice ranged from P31 to P39 per kilograms (kg) with a prevailing price of P35/kg while well-milled rice was at P35 to P42/kg with a prevailing price of P38.50/kg.NFA-Davao City provincial manager Virgilio B. Alerta, in a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao yesterday, said the decrease in the price of rice was due to an increase in the supply and availability of rice brought by the harvest during the final cropping season of 2014.He said the rice in the city is being sourced from Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley.
Alerta also said surplus coming from the rice producing provinces of North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat are also being sold to the city thus lowering the prices of rice.He said consumers can expect a stable and low price of rice up until March, the end of the summer cropping.Beginning April until July, consumers can expect an increase in the prices of rice since it will be the months wherein there will be little to no harvest of rice.Alerta said the prices are expected to stabilize and go down beginning August or September, which are the beginning of the final cropping season.

Commerce Minister visits Hong Kong for cooperation

Tuesday, 20 January 2015By  NNT
HONG KONG, 18 January 2015 – The Thai Minster of Commerce is on a business trip visiting Hong Kong to enhance the trade cooperation and push forward the ASEAN - Hong Kong FTA framework to be completed by 2016.The Minster of Commerce Gen. Chatchai Sarikulya has revealed his official meeting with the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong Gregory So, that he is satisfied with the meeting’s outcome.
He has said that both sides have agreed to extend the trade cooperation and exchanged beneficial comments for trade developments in the future, especially for the ASEAN - Hong Kong Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement, which Thailand is appointed as the coordinating country to push the FTA framework forward towards the targeted time in the year 2016.The ASEAN - Hong Kong FTA will benefit ASEAN countries in the inclusion of utilizing the trade gateway of Hong Kong to mainland China free of tax, while Hong Kong can extend its trade and investment to the ASEAN market that houses 600 million residents.
The Thai Minister has said that the Ministry of Commerce has settled the strategies and plans to extend the Thai rice exports to the Hong Kong market through various strains of rice to comply with the individual demands in Hong Kong.For example, the Hom Mali Rice is aimed for the domestic consumption market through modern trade, and the Hom Patum Rice is aimed for restaurants and hotels market, while the organic rice will be introduced to the younger generations.In this occasion, the Minster of Commerce has given the Best Friend of Thai Rice Award to the seven Hong Kong rice importers that have imported Thai rice in the past ten years.He has also stressed that the Thai government is aware of the Hong Kong market's importance to Thai rice, and will control the quality of rice exports to be high in accordance with demand of consumers in Hong Kong.

Thai anti-graft body charges ex-commerce minister over rice deal

BANGKOK Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:17am EST
(Reuters) - A former commerce minister and 20 state officials and employees of private firms will be charged for alleged graft related to rice export deals with two Chinese firms, Thailand's anti-corruption commission said on Tuesday.Boonsong Teriyapirom, a former commerce minister, and his deputy in the government of ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, are accused of falsifying government-to-government rice deals between Thailand and China in 2013.
The Thai government said at the time it had sold 1.2 million tonnes of rice from its stockpiles to China to reduce stocks."The accused colluded to violate criminal law. The deal never happened. There was no government-to-government deal," said Wicha Mahakun, a member of Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)."The NACC has resolved to charge former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and Poom Sarapol, former deputy commerce minister, a total of 21 ministers and private sector employees," Wicha said.
The decision comes as Thailand's legislature prepares to vote this week in a case against Yingluck over her role in a rice buying scheme that lost the state $15 billion, according to the latest finance ministry estimates.Yingluck faces a separate criminal case over the scheme. Public prosecutors and the NACC said on Tuesday they would forward the case against her to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders for deliberation.
NACC member Wicha said the government-to-government deal announced by Boonsong and Pool had caused "huge losses" and that this case would also be forwarded to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders.The NACC said the rice was sold locally and not exported, as claimed by the then-government. It said it was sold to China-based Guandong Stationery & Sporting Goods Imp. & Exp. Corp. and Hainan Grain and Oil Industrial Trading Company, who in turn sold it back to Thailand's Siam Indica, a rice trading company.None of the companies could immediately be reached for comment.The two Chinese firms were in no way acting on behalf of the Chinese government, the NACC said in its statement.
Wicha did not give any indication of the price of the rice deals, nor how much money was lost, but said the NACC would ask the commerce ministry to investigate the alleged losses.Yingluck's government built up huge stockpiles under the rice buying scheme, in which it bought the grain from farmers at prices way above the market level, making exports uncompetitive.Opponents of the scheme, which ended in February 2014, say it was riddled with corruption and led to smuggling of rice from neighboring countries to take advantage of the prices on offer.(Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat and Panarat Thepgumpanat; writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; editing by David Clarke)

Prices of vegetables and rice dip


Description: the chilly winter is on, it’s not just temperature alone that has dipped. The prices of vegetables and rice have also seen a considerable drop, much to the relief of consumers.The Koyambedu wholesale market has been witnessing 10 per cent hike in sales as winter crops arrive.Traders say the prices of most vegetables have come down by 10 per cent as the market gets more produce.S. Chandran, a wholesale merchant, said several vegetables like broad beans, carrots and beans have become affordable compared to last month. Green peas, a seasonal vegetable, is priced at Rs.40 a kg in wholesale market.
 However, retail prices vary according to the area as vendors also include transportation and labour charges.P. Selvakumar, a retailer in Adyar, said: “Only drumsticks are sold for Rs.200 a kg. If a customer spent Rs.300 to purchase few vegetables last month, the bill has reduced to Rs.200 now.”An increase in arrivals due to the harvest season is also the reason for a fall in prices of rice.
According to D. Thulasingam, president of Federation of Tamil Nadu Rice Mill Owners and Paddy – Rice Dealers Association, both wholesale and retail prices have come down and these prices are likely to stay till April.D. Mohan of Saravana Rice Mandy, Adyar depot, said many customers prefer par boiled rice ( venn puzhungal arisi ) that does not become sticky.“Unusually, this year the prices started reducing 15 days ago. Many hoteliers buy Sona Massuri rice from Karnataka. A 25-kg bag used to cost Rs.1050. Now it is Rs. 875,” he explained

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