Thursday, February 19, 2015

19th February (Thursday),2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice News by Riceplus Magazine

Government of India Forecasts 2014-15 Rice Production at 103.04 Million Tons, Down 3% from Last Year

Feb 18, 2015
The government of India, in its second advance estimates for major crops, has estimated India's rice production for 2014-15 marketing year (October 2014 - September 2015) at around 103.04 million tons, down about 3% from an estimated 106.65 million tons in 2013-14, according to a statement from the agriculture Ministry.The decline can be attributed to late arrival of monsoons in June 2014 delaying the kharif main rice crop planting process in many key rice growing areas.According to government sources, India's total food grain production, which includes Kharif (June - December) and Rabi (November - March) crops, in 2014-15 is likely to reach around 257.077 million tons, down about 3% from last year's 265.57 million tons.  In its first advanced estimates, the Indian government has estimated 2014-15 (October 2014 - September 2015) kharif rice production at around 88.02 million tons, down about 4% from around 91.69 million tons produced during the same time in 2013-14
USDA estimates India's milled rice production at 102 million tons in MY 2014-15 (October - September), down about 4% from an estimated 106.54 million tons produced in MY 2013-14. It expects India to export around 8.7 million tons of rice during 2015, down by about 14% from about 10.15 million tons exported in 2014.

Japan Buys and Sells 412 tons of Whole Grain Rice and 640 Tons of Broken Rice in 7th SBS Tender of FY 2014

Feb 18, 2015
Japan has bought and sold a total of around 412 tons of whole grain/brown rice of the U.S., Australia and Thailand origins; and around 640 tons of broken rice of the U.S. and Thailand origins, in the seventh SBS (Simultaneous Buy-Sell) tender of FY 2014 (April 2014 – March 2015), according to official sources.The tonnage and price details of different types of rice imported are as follows:
A tax equivalent to about 8% is applicable on all purchases and sales.Under the SBS tender, Japan government buys rice of various origins from Japanese traders at one price and then simultaneously sells the rice back to those same companies, at a higher price, for sale in the domestic market. Usually the difference between the buying price and selling price is set by the government.

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Seller Price Ideas Continue to Increase; However, Limited Demand at New Levels

Feb 18, 2015
The U.S. cash market moved higher yet again today rallying at least $0.50 per cwt (about $11 per ton) from the levels that were seen trading last week.Most buyers, however, continue to purchase hand to mouth and have not come off of their price ideas as of yet while sellers want to see how much higher this market can run before letting their rice go and as a result trading remains very limited.Meanwhile, cold winter weather has blanketed the US Mid-south with snow and ice, bringing the movement of rice to a standstill until the roads thaw out. 

Oryza Overnight Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Continue to Rally as Pressure Mounts on Shorts to Exit

Feb 18, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery are currently listed 12 cents per cwt (about $3 per ton) higher at $10.800 per cwt (about $238 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading mostly lower this morning: soybeans are currently seen about 0.7% lower, wheat is listed about 0.1% higher and corn is currently noted about 0.6% lower.U.S. stocks traded mostly lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the release of the Fed minutes amid continued uncertainty over the Greece-euro zone negotiations.
Stocks closed near highs on Tuesday on encouraging reports out of Greece, with the S&P 500 setting its second record for 2015 and the Dow Jones industrial average above 18,000. The Nasdaq was slightly off its dotcom bubble high of 5,048.62. Markets continued to await a resolution in the Greece debt talks. The country will submit a request to the euro zone on Thursday to extend a "loan agreement'' for up to six months but Germany said no such deal is on offer and Athens must stick to the terms of its existing international bailout, Reuters said. The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand dropped 0.8%, the biggest drop since the revamped series started in November 2009, after falling 0.2% in December. It was the third straight month of decline in the PPI.
 U.S. housing starts fell in January as ground breaking for single-family projects slipped off a 6-1/2-year peak, but stayed at levels consistent with a gradually improving housing market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 48.3 points, or 0.26%, at 18,000.09. The S&P 500 opened down 6.04 points, or 0.29%, at 2,094.21, with energy the greatest decliner and utilities and health care the only advancing sectors. The Nasdaq opened down 7.93 points, or 0.16 percent, at 4,891.82. Gold is currently trading a touch higher, crude oil is seen trading about 1.1% lower,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.3% higher at 8:30am Chicago time.

USDA Post Estimates 2015-16 Malaysia Rice Imports to Increase 1% y/y to One Million Tons

Feb 18, 2015
Description: Description:
USDA Post has estimated Malaysia's milled rice imports to increase to around one million tons in MY 2015-16 (January 2015 - December 2015), up about 1% from around 989,000 tons due to an expected slow demand growth.The Post estimates Malaysia's milled rice production to increase slightly to around 1.81 million tons in MY 2015-16 from an estimated 1.8 million tons in MY 2014-15 due to expected increase in rice planting area, better irrigation system and the use of high yielding paddy varieties.
 The government provides various incentives such as subsidized seeds, fertilizer and pesticides to encourage increase in paddy production. Currently, government's support price for paddy is around RM1,200 (around $331) per ton. Governement provides support to only 15% broken rice variety.USDA Post estimates domestic consumption to increase slightly to around 2.82 million tons in 2015-16 from an estimated 2.8 million tons in 2014-15 due to an increase in immigrant labor population.

Thailand Plans to Auction Additional One Million Tons of Rice in February 2015

Feb 18, 2015
Description: Description: government of Thailand is planning to auction another one million tons of rice from its stockpiles in February 2015, according to Reuters. The government has reportedly approved sale of around 500,000 tons of rice from the one million tons, including 850,000 tonnes of 5% white rice and 150,000 tonnes of Hom Mali rice, on January 29, 2015.Commerce Ministry sources told media sources that the first auction of this year received bids relatively higher than the floor prices.While the floor price for white rice was set at 8-10 baht a kilogram (around $246-$307 per ton), while the market price is now 13 baht per kilogram (around $399 per ton). The floor price for Hom Mali fragrant rice was set at 25 baht per kilogram (around $767 per ton) against a market price of 31-33 baht per kilogram (around $951-$1,012 per ton).The government sold around 350,039 tons of 5% broken rice with bidding price range of around 7,650-12,220 baht (around $235-$375) per ton and around 146,205 tons of Hommali rice with bidding price range of around 23,010-31,000 baht (around $707-$952) per ton.

Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged Today

Feb 18, 2015
Vietnam rice sellers are out today due to national holiday. Other Asia rice sellers kept their quotes unchanged today.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton, about $50 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice last shown at around $355 - $365 per ton. India 5% rice is quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton, about $45 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice quoted at around $345 - $355 per ton.
25% Broken Rice 
Thailand 25% rice is quoted at around $365 - $375 per ton, about $40 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice last shown at around $325- $335 per ton. India 25% rice is quoted at around $355 - $365, about $50 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice quoted at around $305 - $315 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is quoted at around $405 - $415 per ton. India parboiled rice is quoted at around $385 - $395 per ton, on par with Pakistan parboiled rice quoted at around $385 - $395 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is quoted at around $320 - $330 per ton, about $15 per ton premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice last shown at around $305 - $315 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $280 - $290 per ton,  about $5 per ton premium on Pakistan broken sortexed rice quoted at around $275 - $285 per ton.

Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Continue to Rally as Pressure Mounts on Short Specs

Feb 18, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery settled 19 cents per cwt (about $4 per ton) higher at $10.870 per cwt (about $240 per ton).  Rough rice futures continued their rally today as the market has turned positive and has likely triggered additional short covering on the part of specs who had built up sizeable positions in the previous weeks. Today’s action signals that additional buying will likely follow and could see prices test $11.000 per cwt (about $243 per ton) in coming sessions. The other grains finished sharply lower today; Soybeans closed about 1.2% lower at $9.9575 per bushel; wheat finished about 1.3% lower at $5.2800 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 1.5% lower at $3.8375 per bushel.
U.S. stocks initially pared losses on Wednesday before returning to earlier lows as investors digested release of the Fed minutes that indicated continued patience, amid continued developments in the Greece-euro zone negotiations. The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield came off its highs to trade near 2.05 percent following the release of the Fed minutes. Treasury Secretary Lew spoke with Greek finance minister this morning, and urged the Greek Prime Minister to find constructive path forward with European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Reuters said. Greece will submit a request to the euro zone on Thursday to extend its loan program for up to six months.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down 20 points, or 0.11%, to 18,027. The Nasdaq continued to outperform the major indices and held near 15-year highs, the only index to hold positive on the Fed minutes. Stocks closed near highs on Tuesday on encouraging reports out of Greece, with the S&P 500 setting its second record for 2015 and the Dow Jones industrial average above 18,000. The Nasdaq was slightly off its dotcom bubble high of 5,048.62. Gold is trading about 0.2% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 3.3% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.1% higher at about  1:00pm Chicago time.Tuesday, there were 2,550 contracts traded, up from 2,547 contracts traded on Friday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Tuesday decreased by 299 contracts to 9,670.

Philippines Domestic Rice Prices Increase Sharply in 2014

Feb 18, 2015
Average domestic rice prices in the Philippines increased sharply in 2014, according to data from the Philippines Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), despite importing around 1.8 million tons of rice during the year (including 1.5 million tons of 2014 imports and 300,000 tons of 2013 residual imports) to replenish rice stocks and control price hikes.
The average retail price of WMR in the Philippines increased to around P42.32 per kilogram in 2014 (January - December), up about 15% from around P36.87 per kilogram in 2013, while the average wholesale price of WMR increased to around P39.51 per kilogram in 2014, up about 15% from around P34.48 per kilogram in 2013.
Description: retail price of RMR increased to around P38.96 per kilogram in 2014, up about 16% from around P33.70 per kilogram during the same period in 2013. Average wholesale price of RMR increased to around P36.78 per kilogram in 2014, up about 17% from around P31.56 per kilogram in 2013, the BAS says.
In terms of USD per ton (using historical exchange rates), the average retail price of WMR stood at about $955 per ton in 2014, up about 10% from around $870 during 2013. Average wholesale price of WMR increased to about $890 per ton in 2014, up about 9% from around $813 in 2013. Average retail price of RMR increased to about $877 per ton in 2014, up about 10% from around $795 in 2013. Average wholesale price of RMR increased to about $824 per ton in 2014, up about 11% from around $744 in 2013.
Average domestic rice prices in the Philippines declined slightly in January 2015 for the fourth consecutive month, according to the BAS.
In January 2015, average retail prices of well-milled rice (WMR) declined to around P42.8 per kilogram, slightly down from around P43.16 per kilogram in December 2014 and up about 8% from around P39.62 per kilogram in January 2014. Average wholesale prices of WMR declined to around P39.19 per kilogram, down about 2% from around P40.1 per kilogram in December 2014 and up about 6% from around P37.11 per kilogram in January 2014.
Average retail prices of regular milled rice (RMR) declined to around P38.51 per kilogram, down about 1% from around P39.09 per kilogram in December 2014 and up about 5% from around P36.28 per kilogram in January 2014. Average wholesale prices of RMR declined to around P35.7 per kilogram, down about 3% from around P36.69 per kilogram in December 2014 and up about 4% from around P34.47 per kilogram in January 2014.
In terms of USD per ton (using historical exchange rates), average retail prices of WMR declined to around $961 per ton in January 2015, slightly down from around $967 per ton in December 2014. Average wholesale prices of WMR declined to around $880 per ton, down about 2% from around $899 per ton in December 2014. Average retail prices of RMR declined to around $864 per ton, down about 1% from around $876 per ton in December 2014. Average wholesale prices of RMR declined to around $801 per ton, down about 3% from around $822 per ton in December 2014.
The National Food Auhority (NFA) has decided to import another 500,000 tons of rice this year in government-to-government deals.

Global Rice Quotes
February 19th, 2015
Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade          415-425           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken    355-365           ↔
India 5% broken         390-400           ↔
Pakistan 5% broken    345-355           ↔
Myanmar 5% broken   410-420           ↓
Cambodia 5% broken             430-440           ↔
U.S. 4% broken           480-490           ↔
Uruguay 5% broken    NQ      ↔
Argentina 5% broken NQ      ↔

Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken 365-375           ↔
Vietnam 25% broken 325-335           ↔
Pakistan 25% broken 305-315           ↔
Cambodia 25% broken           410-420           ↔
India 25% broken       355-365           ↔
U.S. 15% broken         470-480           ↔

Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd            405-415           ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd    385-395           ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd         385-395           ↔
U.S. parboiled 4% broken       555-565           ↔
Brazil parboiled 5% broken    570-580           ↔
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken            NQ      ↔

Long grain fragrant rice
Thailand Hommali 92%          920-930           ↔
Vietnam Jasmine         460-470           ↔
India basmati 2% broken        NQ      ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken   NQ      ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails             785-795           ↔

Thailand A1 Super      320-330           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken            305-315           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd    275-285           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super   365-375           ↔
India 100% broken stxd         280-290           ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ      ↔
U.S. pet food 380-390           ↔
Brazil half grain          NQ      ↔
All prices USD/Ton FOB Vessel  

Declining Use of Certified Seeds May Affect International Reputation of Italian Rice, Says Seeds Association

Feb 18, 2015
Certified paddy rice usage has been declining over the last four years and Assosementi, the association of Italian seeding companies, has expressed concern that the trend does not imply promising future for the Italian rice sector. According to Assosementi, certified paddy seeds acreage in Italy has declined about 30% from around 13,700 hectares (5.6% of total paddy acreage) in 2011 to around 9,700 hectares (4.4% of total paddy acreage) in 2014.
 The total paddy acreage in the country has declined by about 10% to around 219,500 hectares in 2014 from around 246,500 hectares in 2011. It is understood that non-certified seeds will be used on 30% of Italian paddy rice acreage during the crop year 2014-15 (September - August).Assosementi says the use of certified seeds will ensure production of quality rice as well as variety identity. According to the Head of the Rice Department of Assosementi, use of non-certified seeds will not help in the development of newer varieties and Italian rice may also face risk of declining competitiveness and reputation in the international market.

Description: Description: Forecasts Thailand 2015 Rice Exports at 11 Million Tons, Up 7% from Last Year

Feb 18, 2015
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has forecasted Thailand's 2015 rice exports at around 11 million tons, up about 7% from an estimated 10.2 million tons in 2014 despite an expectation of a slight decline in production due to high levels of public stocks and government's intentions to clear more of the existing rice stockpiles.The FAO estimates Thailand's 2014-15 aggregate paddy rice production at around 36.106 million tons (around 23.83 million tons, basis milled), down about 2% from around 36.84 million tons (around 24.31 million tons, basis milled) produced in 2013 due to an expected decline in output from the secondary season (January - June).
Planting for the 2014-15 secondary season crop began in early January and will continue till mid-March. Weak monsoons from June to October 2014 and below-average rains between November 2014 and early February 2015 have led to low reservoir levels in most of the northern and central regions of the country. The FAO estimates output from the 2014-15 secondary season at around 9 million tons (around 5.94 million tons, basis milled), down about 8% from last year's 9.78 million tons (around 6.46 million tons, basis milled). 
Domestic prices, which declined between March and May 2014 with the 2013-14 secondary season harvest and continuous releases from public stocks, began increasing since June 2014 due to the suspension of rice sales from Government warehouses. Average domestic prices of Thai 25% white rice remained almost stable at around 11,490 baht (around $351) per ton in January 2015 from around 11,485 baht (around $349) per ton in December 2014 due to increased export activity.
USDA estimates Thailand to produce 29.545 million tons of paddy rice (around 19.5 million tons, milled basis) and export around 11 million tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (January - December 2015).

FAO Forecasts Sri Lanka Rice Prices to Ease in February 2015

Feb 18, 2015
The UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has estimated Sri Lanka's domestic rice prices, which were relatively high but stable in December 2015, to decline in February following the recent government's decision to release about 100,000 tons of imported rice stocks into the market as well as the ongoing 2015 main "Maha" season harvest (September - March) which began in January and will continue till March.The FAO estimates 2015 rice imports to be lower than estimated 520,000 tons in 2014 due to an expected recovery in this year's rice production. But they are likely to remain above the 2009-2013 average.
The FAO has forecasted Sri Lanka's total paddy at around 4.1 million tons in 2015 (around 2.7 million tons, basis milled), up about 18% from around 3.5 million tons (around 2.3 million tons, basis milled) produced in 2014.Adequate rains from October to January in the rice growing regions of the eastern, central and north-western areas benefitted planting operations and replenished irrigation water in reservoirs.

Description: Description:

However, floods in key rice producing regions of the northern and eastern provinces are expected to reduce 2015 paddy output by around 410,246 tons. Considering the estimated flood damage and assuming near-average yields, the FAO forecasts the 2015 "Maha" season paddy output at around 2.7 million tons (around 1.8 million tons, basis milled), up about 19% from 2014.USDA estimates Sri Lanka to produce around 2.7 million tons of rice, basis milled (around 3.97 million tons, basis paddy) and import around 120,000 tons in MY 2014-15 (October 2014 - September 2015).

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18th February (Wednesday),2015 Daily Global Rice Digital Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Rift between Sindh Balochistan Rice Millers

LARKANA: February 18, 2015. (nazir Siyal) A rift between Sindh Balochistan Rice Millers and Traders Association (SBRMTA) representatives of 1500 Rice millers in Sindh after rift and allegations of removal of three REAP-Rice Export Association of Pakistan members in SBRMTA told President Mr. Abro.Whereas, the removed members among Haji Ismail Shaikh, Zubari Memon and angry office bearers have decided to removal of President SBRMTA Abdul Aziz Abro by legally way presenting no confidence vote in upcoming CEC meeting to be held on 22 February 2015.

President SBRMTA Abdul Aziz Abro told this scribe that over hundreds members and general body called on the issue and decided to removal of these three members and further told that they have misused of export the Sindh Rice in spite Punjab Rice and billions of rice could not be exported of Sindh he alleged. While addressing the press conference Senior Vice President Haji Qamaruddin Gopang, General Secretary Assad Ali Tunio revealed that the SBRMTA President Abdul Aziz Abro has violated bylaws of organization and take extra constitutional steps by sacking three office bearers without seeking approval from executive committee and general body, he imposing his favorite which is violation of rules and organization constitution.

They said that President Abdul Aziz Abro had no power to personally set-aside any office bearer it was delegated powers to executive committee and general body to decide and remove legal way, alleged him that due to his poor policies, rice mill owners and traders have faced loss of millions of rupees, President was unable to address the issues of rice millers, they said.They alleged Mr Abro wanted to shift the head office to Karachi from Larkana to facilitate himself and his favorites without consent of members and legal way, any dictatorial steps will be dealt with stiff resistance.

Leaders told that 11 office bearers out of 15 are against the policies of President and supporting to convene the executive committee to table no confidence requisition against the President Abdul Aziz Abro on 22 February 2015.Former President Gada Hussain Mahessar told media men that Mr Abro has imposed martial law in Sindh Balochistan Rice Millers and Traders Association and inflicted the loss to organization by introducing dictatorial decisions.It is pertinent to mention here that President SBRMTA Abdul Aziz Abro had removed three members of Rice Exporters Pakistan including General Secretary Asad Ali Tunio, Ismail Shaikh and one other.On the occasion Vice President Amanullah Shaikh, Treasurer Ramesh Lal and others were present.

Rice growers have new resource to battle rice water weevil

By Tim Sandle  

The rice water weevil is the most harmful insect pest of rice around the world. Hope is at hand for rice farmers in the form of new aquatic traps, which have been developed from a new research strategy.
The rice water weevil (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus) is a worrisome insect pest of rice and it can trigger significant yield losses. The adult stage of the insect can inflict damage by consuming leaf tissue, whereas the larval form feeds on the roots of rice plants. The larva are equipped with a pair of connected dorsal hooks that are inserted into plant roots.The rice water weevil is a native of the south eastern U.S. Over the years it has invaded Japan, Korea, China, and Italy.
The adults are dark-brown to black with grey scales.Researchers based at the University of California, Davis, have determined why the rice water weevil has spread so rapidly (up to 36 kilometers per year). This is linked to its ability to reproduce asexually.In terms of future strategies, the authors also discuss methods of monitoring and sampling including the use of aquatic barrier traps. To this they add advice relating to minimising the impact through cultural control methods like draining fields, delayed planting, winter flooding, and nutrient augmentation.
As an alternative, the authors also explore the use of microbiological pest control measures using the fungus Beauveria bassiana and the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Both of these organisms target insects.More controversially, the researchers suggest the growing of insect-resistant transgenic varieties or rice. One example is the recently developed Bt rice plant transformed with the Cry3A gene. However, there are some consumer concerns with the use of genetically modified grains.
The new study has been reported to the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. The research is titled “A Century of Rice Water Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae): A History of Research and Management With an Emphasis on the United States.”

Rice company boost farming

Ropate Valemei

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A CHINESE rice company is undertaking a tremendous amount of effort to raise the rice-farming industry in the country.Along with this goal, Grace Road Food Company Ltd will also announce its plan about how they can achieve rice self-sufficiency by the year 2020.In order to achieve this goal, the company is hosting the International Conference on Rice Farming for Food Security in Fiji tomorrow in their farm in Navua.
The conference will feature world-wide leading rice seed researcher Dr Kyung-Ho Kang at the National University of Crop Science and professor of Biotechnology Dr Seong-Gene Lee of Chonnam National University.Company managing director Daniel Kin says participants will lead the discoveries behind Dr Kyung-Ho Kang's research, example of his rice-seed research, and the performance of his research applications.Mr Kim said the guest speaker would enunciate a proposal of the best suited type of rice for Fiji and the importance of food security in preparation of worldwide climate change.The company in Navua will also venture into vegetables, livestock and aquaculture and plans to establish a research institute, milling factory and other infrastructure.It recorded another achievement as it harvested its second variety of rice in Navua last month.It was commended for its role in providing employment for locals and for developing rice farming potential in the area.
Taiwan expanding agricultural cooperation with Myanmar
2015/02/17 21:57:00
Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) Taiwan is expanding its cooperation with Myanmar in the area of agriculture, after a government-funded international aid agency set up an office in the Southeast Asian country, which does not have official ties with Taiwan, the agency said Tuesday.After opening the office in Yangon last April, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) has been assisting in promoting cooperation between Taiwan and Myanmar in areas such as agriculture and fishery, said Weber Shih (施文斌), secretary-general of the agency, at a news briefing.
Asked about the latest developments in bilateral cooperative projects, Shih said that Taiwan is planning to work with the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to improve Myanmar's agricultural developments.The IRRI is aimed at reducing poverty and hunger and improving the health of rice farmers and consumers, as well as ensuring environmental sustainability through collaborative research, partnerships and the strengthening of national agricultural research systems.Details of the cooperation have not been finalized, according to Shih.Meanwhile, after the opening of the office, two junior government officials from Myanmar have come to Taiwan to study master's degrees at National Taiwan Ocean University's Department of Aquaculture to learn more about the country's advanced aquaculture development, the agency said.
To boost bilateral exchanges, the agency said it will also invite representatives from Myanmar to participate in a workshop on the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) slated for September in Taiwan.SMEs are one of Taiwan's strengths, and the workshop is aimed at sharing Taiwan's experience in this area with Southeast Asian countries.The ICDF office in Myanmar will also work with local authorities to achieve cooperation in fisheries and photovoltaics, based on a memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides in October 2013, according to the agency.The establishment of the ICDF office is designed to help with the implementation of cooperative projects between the two countries and help promote bilateral exchanges.

(By Elaine Hou)

KCCI team visits Indonesia to enhance bilateral trade
February 18, 2015
Our Staff Reporter

inShareKARACHI - A delegation of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) comprising Senior Vice President KCCI Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi and former President KCCI, Mian Abrar Ahmed visited Indonesia on an invitation extended by the Consulate General of Indonesia in Karachi to look for possibilities of enhancing trade between Pakistan and Indonesia.KCCI delegation was accompanied by Consul General of Indonesia in Karachi, Hadi Santoso and Chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan, Rafiq Suleman.During visit, KCCI delegation visited Depok to attend an information session on Asia, Pacific and Africa which was attended by prominent envoys and around 100 representatives of various business communities from these regions. 

Besides promoting KCCI’s forthcoming My Karachi Exhibition, the delegation particularly focused on seeking ways and means of how to promote trade between the two countries.Highlighting some of the details about the visit on his return from Jakarta, Mian Abrar Ahmed informed that KCCI delegation and Chairman REAP held a meeting with Director General of National Export Development (NED), Nus Nuzulia Ishak and Director NED Dody Edward in which the possibility of enhancing trade by focusing more on diversification of Pakistan’s export to Indonesia was discussed in detail.

Mian Abrar further advised that both countries should not just remain limited to exporting traditional goods only, but must focus on diversifying the product range. In this regard, Pakistan should focus on exporting textiles, value-added products, lentils, sugar and other commodities which are produced in bulk across Pakistan. He further said that the two countries can also collaborate in defense production.

Keeping in view the high consumption and shortfall of rice in Indonesia, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi suggested that this was an area which can be prioritised for enhancing trade between the two countries as Pakistan produces high-quality rice, particularly the IRRI-6 which was widely being consumed in Indonesia. However, due to complex procedures, Pakistani exporters have not been able to enhance exports of this important commodity to Indonesia, he added.In this regard, Kasumbi emphasised that both governments must simplify stringent procurement procedures with a view to enhance exports of Pakistani rice whereas the Indonesian government must also facilitate rice exports from Pakistan as it was much better when compared with the Indian rice which was currently being imported by Indonesia.

Rice crucial to Indonesia’s food security - officials say

18 Feb 2015

+63 2 580 5600 ext 2840
The Indonesian government is ramping up efforts to become food-secure through rice self-sufficiency and plans to greatly increase investments in agriculture, as well as strengthen collaborations with international research partners. A strategic national target is to increase rice production by 200 kilograms per hectare every year. To support this, a reinvigorated Indonesia rice research work plan was drafted this week by senior officials and leading scientists from the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD) and the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The work plan, spanning 2015-19, aligns with directives of the Joko Widodo administration toward increased productivity, with larger buffer stocks to secure the food supply. Investments in rice science are expected to sustain the plan and strengthen Indonesian research capacity. 

Not just high-yielding, but climate-ready rice 

Dr. Haryono, IAARD director general, said that the priorities of the Indonesian government are aligned with IRRI’s global rice science agenda. "Indonesian farmers have been planting rice varieties developed by Indonesian breeders working with IRRI scientists, for decades," he said. "Our rice breeding efforts are now focused not only on higher yields but also now on adaptability of varieties to unfavorable environments, conditions in which are often worsened by climate change.”Under the revitalized strategy for the rice sector, Indonesia will draw on the best of rice science to further improve yields on favorable land currently available, while expanding rice production to frontier areas, where the rice plant must withstand harsher environments and constantly-evolving disease and pests.

Results from past joint efforts are heartening “Our most recent successful collaboration is the release of Inpari 30 Ciherang-Sub 1 (a flood-tolerant rice variety) in 2012,” said Dr. Haryono. “It is now planted in West Java and is a huge source of assurance to farmers especially during the monsoon season." The flood-tolerant rice is currently planted in areas affected by recent heavy rains. 

Mathew Morell, IRRI's head of research, said that collaboration is key to responding to challenges surrounding rice production. "In the face of pressure from the effects of climate change and changing social and demographics structures affecting the rice sector, now is the best time to come together and  identify critical areas where we can bring together resources and experiences,"said Dr. Morell. "IRRI has a long history of engagement with Indonesia is committed to strengthening this relationship."

40 years of joint research 

The 2015-19 rice work plan is the latest in a long line of formal agreements signed between the Government of Indonesia and IRRI, in a collaboration spanning more than four decades. It will provide support to the country's rice self-sufficiency program, offer a platform for collaborative research between IRRI and Indonesia's rice research programs, and build national rice research capacity.An independent assessment published in 2009 has valued IRRI's varietal improvement contributions to Indonesia's rice production at an average of US$644 million per year from 1985 to 2009.  

This amounted to added income of $76 per hectare for Indonesian rice farmers.IRRI has released 230 improved rice varieties that produce more grain, are pest resistant, and tolerant of the effects of climate change such as flooding, drought, and salty soil. Accompanying crop management practices were also disseminated to farmers through the national extension system.
One of these management technologies is an ICT-based application, the Layanan Konsultasi Padi (LKP), which provides location-specific fertilizer advice to farmers. It is the local version of the Rice Crop Manager, which has been widely disseminated in the Philippines, among other countries. LKP was launched during the work plan meeting, held on 16-17 February 2015 in Jakarta.

Racing with population growth

Rice is a major staple food for Indonesians, and its production also provides livelihood for more than 14 million Indonesian farm households. Indonesia harvested close to 71 million tons of rice in 2014, and boasts an average yield of 5 tons per hectare. Despite the 3.2% average rate of increase  in production, Indonesia imported 1.8 million metric tons in 2012. The average Indonesian consumes about 139 kilograms of rice a year, and the country’s population—now at 249 million—is expected to increase further at a rate of 1.5% each year.

Yet Another Deadline Looms:  Sign-Up for Conservation Stewardship Partnership by February 27 

Jeff Durand: 
"Don't delay!"

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) one month sign-up window is quickly closing, adding to the list of sign-ups for farmers this February.  The deadline for CSP is February 27, leaving less than two weeks to submit applications for the program. 
CSP will provide $100 million in financial assistance for conservation activities that improve conservation performance and address natural resource concerns and will cover up to 7.7 million acres for participating farms in 2015. 

Payments can be made for implementing new practices, as well as for maintaining and expanding existing ones.  New to the program this year are expanded activities eligible for reimbursement ranging from water quality and quantity to animal habitats and air quality.  View the full list of CSP enhancement activities here."The rice industry has worked with NRCS to develop new enhancements that reward producers for their conservation efforts," said Jeff Durand, a Louisiana rice farmer and vice chairman of the USA Rice Producers' Group Conservation Committee.
 "These are practices already in place, we just need to remind folks to take the necessary administrative steps to sign-up for CSP before the end of the month." Though the deadline is fast approaching, there is still time to submit an application.  The NRCS CSP website offers a self-screening checklist to help producers determine if their operation is a good fit for the program.  After determining general applicability of CSP to your operation, visit your local NRCS office to discuss the broad range of conservation possibilities available this year.
 Contact:  Ben Mosely (703) 236-1471
Courtesy: USA Rice Federation
Japan Announces 8th SBS Tender in FY 2014
Announcement:            17 February 2015
Tender:                          3 March 2015
            Total                                                    88,610 MT
            Whole-kernel (brown or milled)         85,610 MT
            Broken (milled)                                     3,000 MT
Shipping period:          15 August 2015

Revenue Protection Not Offered in 2015 Rice Crop Insurance Policies

Description:, DC -- Earlier this month, the Risk Management Agency announced that revenue protection (RP) will not be offered with any rice crop insurance policies for the 2015 crop year due to "an insufficient number of full active trading days, as stipulated in the Commodity Exchange Price Provisions."  Rice policies with RP or RP-HPE (harvest price exclusion) will be available in future crop years pending a sufficient number of full active trading days.  Yield protection (YP) policies will remain available for the 2015 crop."We recognize this is a significant problem for our growers and we've expressed our frustration with the agency," said Ben Mosely, USA Rice Federation's vice president of government affairs.  "RMA Administrator Brandon Willis is scheduled to meet with the USA Rice Producers' Group Crop Insurance Task Force during next week's Government Affairs Conference to discuss our concerns."
 Contact:  Evan Spencer (703) 236-1476

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for February 18
Net Change

March 2015
+ $0.190
May 2015
+ $0.230
July 2015
+ $0.230
September 2015
+ $0.220
November 2015
+ $0.220
January 2016
+ $0.220
March 2016
+ $0.220

An innovative road to cut lentil imports in rice growing countries

Feb 18, Kolkata, India: Rice farmers in the villages of West Bengal and Bangladesh are opening a new path for India and neighboring countries to reduce dependence on foreign lentils - its largest consumers in the world. These farmers are growing lentils in their field left fallow after rice harvest with the help of an agricultural research and training project. The scientists took a delegation from Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan on a first-of-its-kind traveling workshop from Dhaka to Kolkata where the practice is quietly taking roots. As the nine-day journey concluded today, the push for lentils could be ushering in the next green revolution in this part of the world.
Description: IMAGE"In West Bengal alone, five to six districts specially have high potential for this approach to lentil production and can substantially save foreign exchange spent on lentil imports", noted Purnendu Basu, Minister of Agriculture of West Bengal, the main rice growing state in India. Even though India is the largest producer of lentils in the world, it relies heavily on imports and bought 53% of its needs in 2013."A key scientific enabler has been that these lentil varieties are bred to have shorter growing season so they can be suitably accommodated between two rice growing seasons," says Dr. Shiv Kumar Agrawal, lead legume breeder at ICARDA - a work funded under CGIAR's Grain Legumes Research Program.
Other success factors in establishing a thriving rice-lentil system are new higher-yielding varieties of lentils resistant to common diseases, and extensive training of rice farmers in managing lentil crops.The approach has already proven its potential in Bangladesh. Lentil cropping has spread to more than 85 percent of rice fallows in the country, bringing in an additional annual income of US $26.6 million.
For small-scale farmers, obtaining a harvest of lentils from the same piece of land has not only improved their livelihood but also nutrition for their families."In South Asia region, there is a substantial area under rice farming but the land is left fallow sometimes even up to six months every year", says Dr. Ashutosh Sarker, the South Asia Regional Program coordinator of ICARDA. To accelerate the trend, ICARDA has launched a new pulses research platform in Madhya Pradesh. The hub will be supporting and building the region's capacity for pulse production in partnership with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and state partners.
For media inquiries:
Rajita Majumdar at
The International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), a CGIAR global agricultural research organization, works with countries in the world's dry and marginal lands to improve income and nutrition for smallholders and pastoralists, and strengthen national food security through sustainable systems solutions. The Center's integrated approach includes improved wheat, barley and legume crop varieties; water productivity; agronomy; rangeland and small ruminant production; and socio-economic and policy research to enable large-scale impacts.

Boost In Africa Rice Production To Slash Imports, Promote Food Security

By Makula Dunbar Published: February 18, 2015, 5:39 pm 

Roughly 14 million tons of rice is produced in Africa annually according to CCTV Africa. West African countries including Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria are top producers — and now researchers are working to convince more states to ramp up production. Last year the continent imported 12 million tons of rice. The Africa Rice Center is trying to lower figures, getting Africa’s rice imports down to 5 million tons by 2020.“Within our research process, innovations are developed by other groups. But it’s up to our group to check out those technologies and demonstrate their advantages to the people,” Aminou Arouna, action group policy coordinator at Africa Rice said in the report.

India, China drive price of rice

Feb 18, 2015Milo Hamilton, President and Senior Economist, Firstgrain

The big bear club over the world rice market now is India, not Thailand. Of that, I have no doubt. But will this painful pricing fact continue?
Two things I hope you take away from this article:
·         Rice is not corn or beans, heavily impacted by the price of energy.
·         The main driver of all grain markets will be the reliability of supply, a country’s ability to get its grain past its politicians to the world market, not just its availability.
As the United States becomes more and more self-sufficient in key resources such as naval power, water, navigable waterways, energy and cheaper labor than parts of Asia, commercial trade will undergo a tidal change. The United States is not a has-been economy; it is an ‘accidental superpower’ of the Twenty-first Century.So, the fate of your local rice price in Arkansas will be driven by the price of rice in India and in China.
Description: bet is that China will become more of a rice importer than India a rice exporter in the next few years, which is good news for the rest of the rice world.At my company we measure world rough rice prices, which are harder to collect, as well as milled rice prices. The Indian long grain rough price right now is about $9.15 per cwt. The Chinese price is at $19.79 per cwt. and the North Arkansas bid is around $9.55 per cwt., as I write this. By the way, the price of rice in Brazil is about $12.65 per cwt. and $12.75 in Thailand.
 Other than India, the United States has the lowest priced long grain rough rice in the world right now. So I ask, what is the trend in the rice price? In Chicago it has been down. Other than India, the U.S. rough rice price is now lower than China, Vietnam, Thailand or Brazil. And that is with a collapse in the crude oil price and a U.S. dollar stronger than a scalded dog.First, over the next half decade, price will measure not just availability of the supply of a commodity, which is relatively objective, but also the reliability of its stocks. This is a subjective measure that fluctuates with political conditions.
Second, rice is not now and never will be a bio-fuel. So the reduction or elimination of the ethanol mandate means little to the price of rice, much less the price of energy. It is a big deal to corn and soybeans, however.Rice is not corn or soybeans. Rather, it is an aquatic crop, a water and labor hog, demanding twice as much labor and water as any other row crop in Asia. In China alone, rice consumes about 70 percent of the nation’s irrigated water.Labor costs are escalating in China and, also, to some degree in India.
There are regional shortages of labor in both these rice giants. Labor costs in China are nearly 30 percent higher than in Mexico for example. If you adhere to a one child per family policy, eventually there will be more old people around and your labor costs will escalate. Within the very near future the average age of a Chinese citizen will be higher than the average in the United States. Who would have thought this would happen 25 years ago? The Depends-to-diaper ratio is shifting in China.One further note, China is now importing rice from the United States, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand and perhaps soon India. Officially it imports less than four million MT. Unofficially, it is more like six million MT and rising.
 China views much of this area, outside of India, as its “New China.” It calls Tibet, the source of many of Asia’s rivers, its “Western Treasure House.”Two oceans protect the United States from the Old World powerhouses. A business cannot thrive without a moat around it and the United States has two: the Atlantic and Pacific. No wonder Warren Buffet puts so many of his eggs in an American basket.Note: Hamilton will speak on these and other rice issues at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show in Memphis on February 28 at 1:30 p.m.

Area farmers feeling port pain

Ben Margot

Port Labor

Description: Port LaborA container ship is guided by tugboats as it arrives at the Port of Oakland to be unloaded Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. Companies that operate marine terminals didn't call workers to unload ships Thursday that carry car parts, furniture, clothing, electronics, just about anything made in Asia and destined for U.S. consumers. The partial lockout is the result of an increasingly damaging labor dispute between dockworkers and their employers. The two sides have been negotiating a new contract, and stalled talks have all but paralyzed 29 ports that handle about one-quarter of U.S. international trade, around $1 trillion worth of cargo annually. 

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 12:15 am

By Andrew Creasey/

A labor dispute has slowed West Coast ports to a crawl, and some local businesses, particularly farmers, are taking a hit.The slowdown has been affecting growers since November with delayed shipments, lost sales, upset customers and costly port charges."Other than water, this is the most widely discussed topic in agriculture. It's having that much of an impact," said Tim Johnson, chief executive officer of the California Rice Commission.The slowdown is the result of a months-long stalemate in labor contract talks between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

The slowdown has affected almost every industry, from clothing, to automobiles, to electronics, but the impacts to agriculture are unique in that its product is perishable and consumable."If someone doesn't get walnuts in November, it's not like they're going to eat twice as much in December. Those sales are lost," said Gary Thiara, a partner in the Empire Nut Co. in Colusa. "It's a truly devastating event. You don't recover from it, you just move on."Stephens Farmhouse, which grows, buys and sells walnuts, among other crops, in Sutter County, had eight containers full of walnuts, worth about $800,000, that had to wait six weeks at the Port of Oakland before finally shipping out, said Cherie Stephens, co-owner of the business."It's such an absolute stagnation," Stephens said.
 "We're losing markets. What people don't realize is that the world market will fill these needs, and the American market will be left wondering where to sell their product."Mat Conant, a walnut grower in Sutter County, said some walnut processors are concerned they won't be able to make March payments to the growers because they haven't sold enough product.

"This is costing people hundreds of thousands of dollars," Conant said.Rice storage is also becoming an issue. As shipping containers, trucks, warehouses and silos fill with unshipped rice, growers are forced to rent additional storage space, Johnson said."It's costing millions of dollars for our industry," Johnson said.Meanwhile, competitors, such as Arkansas, Louisiana, China and Australia, are able to ship their product without delay, Johnson said."Not being able to meet customer demands does not instill a lot of confidence that you're a preferred supplier," Johnson said. "Customers are not placing orders for the future because there's no expectation of when it will be delivered."Walnut growers have similar concerns, Conant said.

"They're worried they'll lose their market shares because all these buyers that depend on us for walnuts will go to other sources," Conant said. "Pretty soon, the crop in Chile will be harvested. If we can't meet demands, they might go to Chile."It's been especially frustrating for growers who have sent trucks laden with goods to be exported to the ports, only to have the trucks stuck in line or the shipping containers sit in the port waiting to be shipped out."We've had customers back out because they need the product at a certain time, and it's not getting there," said Chris Silva, president of the California Valley Nut Company.

"We've had all our stuff done at a timely basis, but it will sit in the port"Silva said of the 70 loads his company has shipped out, about 15 have been delayed. One shipment was expected to ship on Dec. 19 that didn't leave port until Jan. 29.The containers in the port or waiting on ships are subject to fees for goods that don't ship on time, which can be $100 per day, Johnson said.Truckers can wait in line to get their shipment to the port for up to eight hours. They can be the next in line to enter, only to be told that the port was closing for the day. The next day, they will restart the process, Silva said.Others elect to send shipments through the Port of Houston to be sent on boat that travels through the Panama Canal before heading to China. Such a route adds four weeks to the shipping time, Conant said.

PH importing 500,000 of rice in March-April

Ronnel W. Domingo

MANILA, Philippines–The National Food Authority announced Tuesday plans to import a total of 500,000 tons of milled rice, intended to augment locally grown stock in the lean season that starts in July.According to the NFA Council, it will call for tenders for up to 250,000 tons at 25 percent broken, and up to 250, 000 tons 15-percent broken—both of well-milled, long grain white rice.
The transaction will be made government-to-government. Based on agreements entered into by the Philippines in relation to rice supplies, the possible suppliers are Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.Each supplier should offer at least 50,000 for each variety.The NFA said half of the volume awarded must be delivered not later than March 31, and  the remainder should be in by April 30.According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the NFA’s inventory as of Jan. 1, 2015 was 520,000 tons—of which 97 percent is imported.
The NFA started the year with a rice inventory good for 15 days of consumption, meeting its mandated minimum supply.According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Philippines is expected to again import 1.8 million tons of milled rice this year amid projections that growth in domestic production will be insignificant if not nil.

Commerce Ministry explains disqualifying the nominee company of Siam Indica from rice auction

Wednesday, 18 February 2015By  NNT
BANGKOK, 18 Feb 2015 - The Commerce Ministry yesterday explained its reason for disqualifying a company with connections to Siam Indica Company Limited from the last rice auction. It has also set up a tighter set of rules to prevent frauds and ensure fairness in the next round of rice auction scheduled for the end of this month.According to the Ministry, there was clear evidence that exposed the connection between the disqualifying company ‘Empire Development Co.Ltd.’ and Siam Indica, leading officials involved to believe that the former is the latter’s nominee.
Since Siam Indica has already been charged with irregularities in 4 cases related to Government-to-Government rice deals by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, its nominees are not allowed to participate in the subsequent rice auctions.Meanwhile, the Ministry reported that during the first round of rice auction on January 29th, it was able to sell rice in stockpiles at prices higher than the floor value. It sold more than 496-thousand tons of rice at 7.8 billion baht.The officials have informed all of the 37 auction winners to sign the contract within the next 15 days to allow the rice delivery.

Wheat Harvest in India Seen Near Record as Rice Output Declines


(Bloomberg) -- India, the world’s second-largest wheat grower, will harvest a near-record crop this year, expanding domestic inventories and widening a global grain glut.The crop may total 95.8 million metric tons in 2014-15, compared with an all-time high of 95.9 million tons a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Rice production will drop 3.4 percent to 103.04 million tons, the ministry said. Total grain harvest, including corn and coarse cereals, will fall to 257.07 million tons from 265.6 million tons in 2013-14, it said.

Planting of crops from rice to soybeans and lentils was delayed last year as about 90 percent of India received below normal monsoon rainfall in June. Food grain production is forecast to exceed the average in the past five years by 8.15 million tons this year though monsoon rainfall was 12 percent below average for the full season, the ministry said.Total world grain production, excluding rice, will probably advance to a record 2.002 billion tons from 2 billion tons in 2013-14, the the International Grains Council said Jan. 22. Stockpiles may climb more than 7 percent to 432 million tons, the highest since the mid 1980s, it said.

Production of oilseeds including soybeans and rapeseed may fall to 29.8 million tons from 32.9 million tons, the ministry said. Sugar cane production is seen at 354.95 million tons, compared with 350 million tons, while the cotton crop is seen at 35.2 million bales of 170 kilograms each (375 pounds), compared with 36.6 million bales in 2013-14, it said.An estimated 833 million people out of the 1.2 billion population in India depend on agriculture for their livelihood and the sector accounts for 14 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pratik Parija in New Delhi at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.netThomas
Kutty Abraham, Claudia Carpenter.

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