Thursday, May 14, 2015

14th May (Thursday) ,2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Conab Estimates Brazil 2014-15 Paddy Rice Production at 12.399 Million Tons, Up 2% from Last Year

May 14, 2015
 Brazil’s National Grains Supply Company (Conab) has forecasted the country's 2014-15 paddy rice production at around 12.399 million tons (around 8.43 million tons, basis milled), up about 2% from around 12.121 million tons (around 8.24 million tons, basis milled) in 2013-14, and slightly up from its March forecast of around 12.397 million tons.Conab has estimated Brazil's 2014-15 paddy rice acreage at around 2.331 million hectares, down about 1.7% from around 2.373 million hectares in 2013-14. Paddy rice acreage in the key rice growing Centro-Sul (Center-South) region is projected at 1.553 million hectares in 2014-15, slightly down from around 1.565 million hectares in 2013-14. Rice acreage in the North/Northeast regions is estimated at around 777,600 hectares, down 4% from around 808,400 hectares in 2013-14.Average rice yield in Brazil in 2014-15 is projected at around 5.320 tons per hectare, up about 4% from around 5.108 tons per hectare recorded in the previous year.
USDA estimates Brazil MY 2014-15 (April – March) paddy rice production at around 12.206 million tons (around 8.3 million tons, basis milled), unchanged from MY 2013-14. It estimates Brazil’s 2014-15 paddy rice acreage also to remain at last year's level of around 2.4 million hectares.  USDA estimates Brazil to export around one million tons of rice and import around 790,000 tons of rice in 2015.
Global Rice Quotes
May 14th, 2015

Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade          380-390           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken    350-360           ↔
India 5% broken         370-380           ↔
Pakistan 5% broken    390-400           ↔
Myanmar 5% broken   415-425           ↔
Cambodia 5% broken             430-440           ↔
U.S. 4% broken           470-480           ↓
Uruguay 5% broken    565-575           ↔
Argentina 5% broken 555-565           ↔

Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken 350-360           ↔
Vietnam 25% broken 330-340           ↔
Pakistan 25% broken 345-355           ↔
Cambodia 25% broken           410-420           ↔
India 25% broken       345-355           ↔
U.S. 15% broken         460-470           ↓

Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd            370-380           ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd    390-400           ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd         360-370           ↔
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%          875-885           ↔
Vietnam Jasmine         490-500           ↔
India basmati 2% broken        NQ      ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken   NQ      ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails             815-825           ↔

Thailand A1 Super      315-325           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken            305-315           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd    290-300           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super   350-360           ↔
India 100% broken stxd         270-280           ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ      ↔
U.S. pet food 365-375           ↓
Brazil half grain          NQ      ↔
All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

China May Allow Market Access to Indian Non-Basmati Rice Soon, Say Exporters

May 14, 2015

Indian Rice Exporters have expressed confidence that China may grant market access to Indian non-basmati rice shipments shortly during the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Beijing this week, according to local sources.The Chinese authorities have been blocking non-basmati shipments from India as adequate quality protocols and phyto-sanitary norms have not be defined between the two countries.
Indian exporters say China currently imports rice from Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand. They noted that India has a potential to export up to one million tons of non-basmati rice to China. One of the top exporters added that India can in fact offer better quality, price and a wider variety to the Chinese customers.A Commerce Ministry official told local sources that the Ministry had suggested to the Chinese authorities to adopt the same protocol that exists for basmati rice shipments for the non-basmati shipments also. The Ministry officials have reportedly sent the requisite documents for establishing the quality protocol to China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ). “The AQSIQ required certain documents to extend the protocol existing for basmati rice to non-basmati, and we have already sent them,” the official was quoted as saying.
According to local sources, though China has agreed to import Indian basmati rice in 2012, so far not much progress is seen in the volume of direct shipments to China due to lingering concerns about Indian basmati rice being infested with 'khapra beetle'. However, some basmati shipments are understood to be routed through Hong Kong. The Chinese authorities are still in the process of registering the Indian mills.Increasing rice exports to China has been on the agenda of the government as part of efforts to contain increasing trade deficit with the neighboring country. In January this year, an official from the Commerce Ministry noted that India's trade deficit with China currently stands at around $32 billion and is expected to cross $40 billion by the end of this fiscal year.

USDA Post Estimates China Rice Imports to Remain Stable at 4.3 Million Tons in MY 2015-16

May 14, 2015
USDA Post has estimated MY 2015-16 (July - June) rice imports at around 4.3 million tons, unchanged from MY 2013-14, due to a slight increase in production. The Post reports that Chinese preference for imported rice is increasing due to reports in response to reports of heavy metals and high pesticideresidues in some locally produced rice. The government is understood to closely monitor and regulate rice imports as part of its food security strategy.The Post estimates China's MY 2015-16 milled rice production at around 146.3 million tons, up about 1% from an estimated 144.5 million tons due to government's continued support to the rice sector as part of its food security strategy. The Post estimates China's MY 2015-16 paddy rice acreage to remain unchanged from last year's 30.3 million hectares.
The Post estimates China's MY 2015-16 rice exports to decline to around 350,000 tons, down about 12.5% from an estimated 400,000 tons in the previous year.USDA Post estimates rice ending stocks to decline to around 46.35 million tons in MY 2015- 16 down about 1.6% from an estimated 47.1 million tons last year due to an estimated increase in consumption by about 2% to around 151 million tons.The Post reports that the government continued to purchase japonica and indica rice at a specified floor price in major rice producing provinces in MY 2014-15 to encourage production. The government will auction the rice thus purchased later in the marketing year.  

FAO Estimates Japan 2015-16 Rice Acreage to Decline Slightly Due to Prevailing Low Prices

May 13, 2015
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates a slight decline in planting area due to prevailing low prices in the market. Planting of the 2015 rice crop started in April and will continue until the end of May. The FAO estimates Japan's 2015 aggregate paddy production at around 10.5 million tons (around 7.67 million tons, basis milled), down about 1% from around 10.6 million tons (around 7.74 million tons, basis milled) in 2014 due to a slight decline in planting area.
The FAO estimates Japan's 2015-16 (April-March) rice imports at around 700,000 tons. It estimates total cereal imports during the year at around 25.4 million tons, slightly down from around 25.52 million tons last year.USDA estimates Japan to produce about 10.772 million tons of paddy (around 7.84 million tons, basis milled) in MY 2014-15 (November - October) and import around 700,000 tons of rice in 2015.

U.S. 2015-16 All Rice Supplies and Ending Stocks Expected to Increase, Says USDA Report

May 13, 2015

In its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, the USDA has forecasts U.S. 2015-16 all rice supplies to increase 3% y/y to around 12.99 million tons and accordingly forecasts U.S. 2015-16 all rice ending stocks to increase about 11% y/y to around 2.15 million tons.USDA estimates U.S. 2015-16 all rice planted area and harvested area to decline slightly to around 1.17 million hectares and 1.16 million hectares respectively. It estimates U.S. 2015-16 all rice production to decline slightly to around 9.93 million tons. While the long-grain production is estimated to decline slightly to around 7.35 million tons, combined medium and short-grain production is estimated to decline about 2.6% to around 2.59 million tons.
U.S. 2015-16 all rice exports are expected to increase about 3% y/y to around 4.9 million tons. While long-grain rice exports are estimated to increase about 4% y/y to around 3.45 million tons, combined medium and short-grain rice exports are expected to remain at last year's level of 1.45 million tons.  USDA estimates U.S. 2015-16 all rice imports to increase about 2% y/y to around 1.11 million tons.
U.S. 2015-16 all rice farm prices are expected to decline slightly to around 271.17 - 293.21 per ton from around $291.00 - $299.83 per ton. USDA estimates long-grain rice farm prices to decline to around $220.46  - $242.51 per ton and estimates combined medium and short-grain farm prices to increase to around $392.42 - $414.46 per ton.

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Muted Market as Sellers Stay on Sidelines

May 13, 2015

The U.S. cash market was unchanged today and very quiet as sellers remain on the sidelines, anticipating a price rebound despite burdensome stocks and limited demand.Analysts contend that the current price level is below the cost production and that most would rather hold on to their crop as long as they can before selling for a loss; however, other analysts believe that it may be wise to cut your losses now as farmers plant a crop just shy of the size of last year's. 

Thailand Rice Exports Increase for Second Consecutive Month in March 2015

May 14, 2015
Thai rice exports have increased for the second consecutive month in March 2015 after declining by more than half in January 2015, according to data from Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA). Thailand has exported around 785,891 tons of rice in March 2015, up about 7% from around 732,151 tons exported in February 2015, and down about 2% from around 799,534 tons exported in March 2014, according to TREA. In value terms, Thailand’s rice exports earned about $384.9 million from total rice exports in March 2015, up about 4% from around $369.58 million earned in February 2015, and down about 4% from around $402.54 million earned in March 2014.
In March 2015, white rice exports accounted for around 392,760 tons (about 50% of total March 2015 exports), Hom Mali rice exports accounted for about 120,211 tons (about 15% of total March exports), brokens accounted for 98,754 tons (about 12.5% of total March 2015 exports), glutinous variety accounted for 12,659 tons (about 1.6% of total March 2015 exports), parboiled rice accounted for about 157,057 tons (about 20% of total March 2015 exports) and husked/brown rice accounted for about 4,450 tons (about 0.5% of total March 2015 exports).  Average export prices of all varieties of rice except glutinous rice have declined during the month. Average export prices of white rice witnessed the highest decline of about 7% month-on-month in March 2015, while average export prices of glutinous rice increased by about 1% month-on-month during the month.Thailand exported around 2.128 million tons of rice in the first three months of 2015, slightly down from around 2.205 million tons exported during the same period last year. Thai government is keen on exporting over 10 million tons of rice this year.

Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged Today

May 14, 2015
Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged today.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is indicated at around $370 - $380 per ton, about a $20 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $350 - $360 per ton. India 5% rice is indicated at around $370 - $380 per ton, about a $20 per ton discount to Pakistan 5% rice shown at around $390 - $400 per ton.
25% Broken Rice
Thailand 25% rice is shown at around $350 - $360 per ton, about a $20 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $330- $340 per ton. India 25% rice is indicated at around $345 - $355, on par with Pakistan 25% rice shown at around $345 - $355 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is indicated at around $370 - $380 per ton. India parboiled rice is indicated at around $360 - $370 per ton, about a $30 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice shown at around $390 - $400 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is indicated at around $315 - $325 per ton, about a $10 per ton premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $305 - $315 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $270 - $280 per ton,  about a $20 per ton discount to  Pakistan broken sortexed rice shown at around $290 - $300 per ton.

Government of India Forecasts 2014-15 Rice Production at 102.54 Million Tons, Down 4% from Last Year

May 13, 2015
The government of India, in its third advance estimates for major crops, has estimated India's rice production for 2014-15 marketing year (October 2014 - September 2015) at around 102.54 million tons, down about 4% 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. Unseasonal rains and hailstorms during February and March this year are also  understood to have significantly impacted production of rabi rice crops.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 251.12 million tons, down about 5% 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 102.5 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 10.2 million tons of rice during 2015, slightly up from an estimated 10.15 million tons in 2014.

High Production Costs and Government's Lacklustre Measures Hampering Pakistan Rice Exports, Say Exporters

May 13, 2015
Pakistan's rice exporters have expressed concern that high rice production costs, lack of research and government's lacklustre attitude towards the rice sector have been hampering rice exports of Pakistan, according to local sources.They say the high production costs do not allow farmers and  exporters to price their rice competitively in the international market. They noted that Pakistan's basmati rice is priced nearly $100 to $150 per ton above India's basmati rice. They added that due to high prices, Pakistan's growers and exporters are holding about five million tons of rice, including basmati, in stocks. They noted that if the current stocks cannot be sold this year, farmers may be discouraged to plant rice next year, which is detrimental to the country's rice sector.

Therefore, the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) had met with the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and sought measures to reduce the production costs as well as invest more in research in order to introduce more newer varieties of rice. They also requested the government to subsidize rice exports and help them dispose of the existing stock.Ministry sources told local sources that the Ministry has directed concerned representatives in various provinces to take relevant measures to bring down production costs as well as enhance yields.USDA estimates Pakistan's MY 2014-15 (November - October) milled rice production to increase about 3% to around 6.9 million tons (around 10.35 million tons, basis paddy) from around 6.7 million tons (around 10.05 million tons, basis paddy) in MY 2013-14. It estimates Pakistan to export around 3.8 million tons of rice in 2015.

FAO Estimates Cambodia Rice Exports to Increase in 2015

May 13, 2015

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates Cambodia's rice exports (including official and unofficial exports to Thailand and Vietnam) to increase in 2015. In its previous report, the FAO forecasted Cambodia's 2014-15 rice exports to increase about 15% y/y to around 1.15 million tons.The FAO forecasts exports of all cereals, including rice, at around 1.5 million tons, up 9% from last year.
The UN agency estimates Cambodia's total paddy rice production in 2015 at around 9.3 million tons (around 5.76 million tons, basis milled). Planting of the 2015 main (wet) season paddy crop (June - February), which accounts for 80% of Cambodia's total paddy rice production, is expected to start in June and continue till October. The FAO estimates output from the 2015 main season rice crop at around 7.2 million tons, up about 1% from last year.Average wholesale prices remained stable or declined in April 2015 in major cities due to increasing supplies from the 2014-15 good harvests.

USDA estimates Cambodia MY 2014-15 (January 2015 - December 2015) paddy rice production at around 7.344 million tons (around 4.7 million tons, milled basis), slightly down from around 7.383 million tons (around 4.725 million tons, milled basis) in MY 2013-14. It estimates Cambodia to export around 1.1 million tons of rice in 2015, up about 10% from an estimated 1 million tons in 2014.  
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13th May (Wednesday),2015 Daily GlobalRice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Farmers up in arms over plans to import rice to South Korean tables
Posted on : May.13,2015 17:55 KSTModified on : May.13,2015 17:55 KST
A farmer cries as he touches burning rice, during a protest gathering held by members of the Korea Peasants League and various civic groups, calling on the South Korean government to withdraw its plan to open the domestic rice market, and condemning plans for a free trade agreement with China, at Seoul Plaza in front of City Hall, Nov. 20, 2014. (by Kim Tae-hyeong, staff photographer)

Farmers are protesting South Korean government plans to import table rice as duties disappear this year with a new tarification framework.The Korean Peasants’ League (KPL) and National Rice Producers’ Association held a press conference on May 12 in front of the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation (aT) in Bitgaram Innovation City in Naju, South Jeolla Province, to demand a halt on imports of table rice.“If table rice that costs just half the price of domestic product takes over at the food service places that are our major consumers, market prices will fall and farmers will have fewer sales opportunities,” they warned.“That is why farmers have been strenuously demanding that table rice imports not be allowed [unlike rice for processing], and it’s also why the government removed table rice import duty provisions from the concession schedule last year,” they added.“The National Assembly also urged a removal of table rice import budget items and a halt to imports when it passed the budget last November.”The farmers went on to say a halt to table rice imports would not violate World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations because the rice tarification process has already begun.“We also have to ask if the government is in its right mind when it insists on importing table rice even when we have so much of it after the bumper crop last year,” they added.The farmers’ take on Seoul’s decision to go ahead with the measures in spite of the WTO regulations and current rice supply conditions is that it is motivated by concerns about Washington’s reaction ahead of WTO rice negotiations and South Korea’s possible membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).“They bowed to the anticipated US pressure out of fears of retaliation,” said KPL policy committee chairman Park Hyeong-dae.“They should try to minimize the market effects by halting the table rice imports and do 100% of their imports for processing rice, which they can provide as aid to Nepal or North Korea or use for animal feed,” Park advised.KPL chairman Kim Yeong-ho, 59, from Yesan in South Chungcheong Province, launched a ten-day sit-in demonstration in front of the aT headquarters the same day to demand a halt to the table rice imports. The KFL also plans to stage a nationwide farmers’ rally at the same location on May 21, the date when bidding takes place.On May 8, the South Korean government announced plans to import 10,000 tons of table rice through aT. The corporation held a bidding briefing for importers on May 12. Successful bidders are scheduled to import their allotted quantities by October.The government previously postponed rice tarification between 2005 and 2014, opting instead to import 409,000 tons of rice each year through minimum market access (MMA). 70%, or 280,000 tons, consisted of processing rice, while the remaining 30% (130,000 tons) was table rice.The majority of table rice imports come from the US, amounting to 50,000 tons per year. Costing half the price of domestic product with a tariff of only around 5%, the table rice found wide distribution in the market as an inexpensive option. Critics have blamed it for a long-term slump in rice prices and havoc in the market due to illicit blending with other rice.
By Ahn Gwan-ok, Gwangju correspondent
Please direct questions or comments to []


India to seek Chinese market access for non-basmati rice


India is hopeful that China will provide market access to its non-basmati rice – blocked till now as quality norms have not been defined between the two countries – during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit later this week.“The solution to the problem is simple. We have suggested to China that the protocol that exists for exporting basmati rice should be adopted for exporting non-basmati rice as well,” a Commerce Ministry official told BusinessLine.China, which began importing rice four years ago and annually imports about 5 million tonnes, has not granted access to Indian non-basmati rice. The absence of defined phyto-sanitary norms between the two countries is cited by the China as the main reason for not importing from India.China, however, has been sourcing its rice from countries such as Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand. In fact, the steady increase in its purchases from these countries has kept the Vietnamese prices firm.“We see a potential to export up to onr million tonnes of non-basmati rice to China, provided they grant us market access,” said BV Krishna Rao, Managing Director, Pattabhi Agro Foods Pvt Ltd, the country’s largest non-basmati rice exporter.Rao, who represents the Agri Exporters Association, said India can offer better quality, price and a wider variety to China.The Commerce Ministry has already sent the documentation for establishing the quality protocol by the AQSIQ – the Chinese quality management institute that gives approvals for a variety of imports – to Beijing.“The AQSIQ required certain documents to extend the protocol existing for basmati rice to non-basmati, and we have already sent them,” the official said.When the Prime Minister visits Beijing on May 14, India is hopeful that the required quality protocol would be implemented.Though China has opened up its market for Indian basmati in 2012, hardly any direct shipments have taken place, industry sources said. China is still in the process of registering the Indian mills, although some basmati rice shipments are being exported indirectly through Hong Kong.
(This article was published on May 13, 2015)
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- May 14

Nagpur, May 14 Gram and tuar prices showed weak tendency in Nagpur Agriculture
Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on poor demand from local millers amid good supply
from producing belts. Easy condition on NCDEX in gram and release of stock from stockists also
pushed down prices, according to sources.

               *            *              *              *

   * Gram varieties ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor.

   * Tuar gavarani recovered marginally in open market on good seasonal demand from local
     traders amid tight supply from millers.
   * Moong varieties moved down in open market in absence of buyers amid profit-taking
     selling by stockists at higher level.
   * Wheat mill quality recovered in open market on good demand from local traders amid
     weak supply from producing regions like Punjab and Haryana.
   * In Akola, Tuar - 7,200-7,500, Tuar dal - 10,000-10,500, Udid at 9,100-9,600,
     Udid Mogar (clean) - 10,900-11,300, Moong - 9,100-9,400, Moong Mogar
    (clean) 10,900-11,300, Gram - 4,300-4,600, Gram Super best bold - 6,200-6,400
     for 100 kg.

   * Other varieties of wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market
     in poor trading activity, according to sources.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg

     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close  
     Gram Auction                   3,500-4,425         3,500-4,510
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                5,500-7,080         5,500-7,170
     Moong Auction                n.a.                6,000-6,300
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Gram Super Best Bold            6,500-6,700        6,500-6,700
     Gram Super Best            n.a.               
     Gram Medium Best            6,300-6,400        6,300-6,400
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Mill Quality            5,500-5,700        5,500-5,700
     Desi gram Raw                4,650-4,750         4,650-4,750
     Gram Filter new            6,100-6,200        6,100-6,200
     Gram Kabuli                5,000-6,800        5,000-6,800
     Gram Pink                6,300-6,500        6,300-6,500
     Tuar Fataka Best             10,500-10,800        10,500-10,800
     Tuar Fataka Medium             10,000-10,300        10,000-10,300
     Tuar Dal Best Phod            9,500-9,800        9,500-9,800
     Tuar Dal Medium phod            9,000-9,400        9,000-9,400
     Tuar Gavarani New             7,700-7,800        7,650-7,750
     Tuar Karnataka             7,900-8,000        7,900-8,000
     Tuar Black                 10,700-11,000           10,700-11,000
     Masoor dal best            7,400-7,600        7,400-7,600
     Masoor dal medium            6,900-7,300        6,900-7,300
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold               11,000-11,400       11,000-11,500
     Moong Mogar Medium best        10,200-10,500        10,200-10,600
     Moong dal Chilka            9,200-9,700        9,200-9,800
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            9,500-9,800        9,500-9,900
     Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG)    11,200-11,600       11,200-11,600
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    9,900-10,600        9,900-10,600
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        8,500-8,900        8,500-8,900
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        4,400-4,600        4,400-4,600
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)           3,200-3,350         3,200-3,350
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)        3,200-3,450        3,200-3,450
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)        2,450-2,625         2,450-2,625
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,700-4,800        3,600-4,800
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,500-1,800        1,500-1,800
     Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG)    1,950-2,050        1,900-2,000
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)        1,500-1,700           1,500-1,700
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,250-2,550        2,250-2,550
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)    2,100-2,350        2,100-2,350
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,200-3,750        3,200-3,750
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,700-3,000        2,700-3,000
     Wheat 147 (100 INR/KG)        1,400-1,500        1,400-1,500
     Wheat Best (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,200        2,000-2,200    
     Rice BPT New(100 INR/KG)        2,500-2,800        2,500-2,800
     Rice BPT (100 INR/KG)               3,000-3,300        3,000-3,300
     Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG)        1,600-1,800        1,600-1,800
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)      2,100-2,400        2,100-2,400
     Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG)      2,500-2,700        2,500-2,700
     Rice HMT new(100 INR/KG)        3,300-3,700        3,300-3,700
     Rice HMT (100 INR/KG)               4,000-4,400        4,000-4,400
     Rice HMT Shriram New(100 INR/KG)    4,200-4,500        4,200-4,500
     Rice HMT Shriram old (100 INR/KG)    4,600-5,200        4,600-5,200    
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    8,000-10,000        8,000-10,000
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    6,000-7,500        6,000-7,500
     Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG)    4,600-5,200        4,600-5,200
     Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG)        5,600-6,000        5,600-6,000
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,100-2,200        2,100-2,200
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)        2,300-2,450        2,300-2,450

Maximum temp. 42.1 degree Celsius (107.8 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
25.3 degree Celsius (77.5 degree Fahrenheit)
Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.
Rainfall : nil
FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Rains or thunder-showers likely towards evening or night. Maximum
and minimum temperature would be around and 40 and 24 degree Celsius respectively.

Note: n.a.--not available

(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but
included in market prices.)

PSA: Local rice stock improved last month

Ronnel W. Domingo

2:35 AM | Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The national reserve is good for 75 days of consumption, up from 67 days a month before.However, data from the PSA showed that the National Food Authority’s inventory fell after climbing continually in the previous months, settling at 490,000 tons from 550,000 tons.In April, the NFA’s reserve was 93 percent imported—down from the 96 percent reported in March as the agency renewed its procurement of locally grown palay amid falling prices.As of April 1, the NFA’s stock was good for 14 days’ consumption, lower than the minimum mandated volume of 15 days’ worth of supply.Supplies stored in commercial warehouses rose by 60,000 tons to 800,000 tons, equivalent to 24 days of nationwide consumption. Also, household stocks surged by 290,000 tons to reach 1.26 million tons, enough to last for 37 days

PH may again import rice to boost stocks

May 13, 2015 9:41 pm

With the El Niño phenomenon expected to continue until the latter half of the year, the country may again have to import rice to replenish before the start of the lean season in June.In its latest inventory report, the Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics said the country’s rice stocks can last for two and a half months.As of April 1, the total rice stock inventory in the entire country was pegged at 2.54 million metric tons, up by 16.5 percent from 2.18 million MT from last year and 12.2 percent higher than last month’s inventory of 2.27 million metric tons“The total rice inventory for this month would be sufficient for 75 days. Stocks in the households would be adequate for 37 days. Those in commercial warehouses would be enough for 24 days, and in NFA depositories for 14 days,” PSA-BAS said. It added that around 49.4 percent of this month’s total rice stock was with households, 31.5 percent in commercial warehouses and 19.1 percent in NFA depositories.The National Food Authority (NFA) is required by law to have at least 15-day buffer stock at any given time, and 30-day buffer stock during lean months (June to August).With inventory at government depositories falling below the minimum requirement ahead of the lean season, the state-run grains agency may have to look at buying cheaper imported rice before June.“Importation would be the best option for the NFA to meets its mandated stocks during lean months,” a source at the agency said.But Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Modernization (PAFSAM) Secretary Francis Pangilinan, who is also the chairman of the NFA Council, said the inter-agency body has yet to decide on the rice importation plan.“No decision to import has been made. Let’s just wait for the official statement,” Pangilinan said in a text message.In February this year, Manila imported 500,000 MT of rice through a government-to-government deal with Thailand and Vietnam. The NFA also allowed the entry of about 163,000 MT of rice under the minimum access volume commitment under the World Trade Organization.In 2014, the Philippines imported over 1.7 million MT, the biggest under the Aquino administration.Meanwhile, the source said the NFA may not be able to procure locally grown palay because of the drought.NFA Administrator Renan Dalisay earlier said they hope to procure 3,796,900 bags or 189,845 MT of palay this year to beef up its stocks for the lean months

India to seek Chinese market access for non-basmati rice

India is hopeful that China will provide market access to its non-basmati rice – blocked till now as quality norms have not been defined between the two countries – during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit later this week.“The solution to the problem is simple. We have suggested to China that the protocol that exists for exporting basmati rice should be adopted for exporting non-basmati rice as well,” a Commerce Ministry official told BusinessLine. China, which began importing rice four years ago and annually imports about 5 million tonnes, has not granted access to Indian non-basmati rice. The absence of defined phyto-sanitary norms between the two countries is cited by the China as the main reason for not importing from India.China, however, has been sourcing its rice from countries such as Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand. In fact, the steady increase in its purchases from these countries has kept the Vietnamese prices firm.“We see a potential to export up to onr million tonnes of non-basmati rice to China, provided they grant us market access,” said BV Krishna Rao, Managing Director, Pattabhi Agro Foods Pvt Ltd, the country’s largest non-basmati rice exporter.Rao, who represents the Agri Exporters Association, said India can offer better quality, price and a wider variety to China.The Commerce Ministry has already sent the documentation for establishing the quality protocol by the AQSIQ – the Chinese quality management institute that gives approvals for a variety of imports – to Beijing.“The AQSIQ required certain documents to extend the protocol existing for basmati rice to non-basmati, and we have already sent them,” the official said.When the Prime Minister visits Beijing on May 14, India is hopeful that the required quality protocol would be implemented.Though China has opened up its market for Indian basmati in 2012, hardly any direct shipments have taken place, industry sources said. China is still in the process of registering the Indian mills, although some basmati rice shipments are being exported indirectly through Hong Kong.
(This article was published on May 13, 2015)

Meet the Mekong Delta Rice Farmers Who Are on the Frontline of Sea Level Rise

May 13, 2015 | 8:45 am
VICE News is closely tracking global environmental change. Check out the Tipping Point blog here.
When Hai Thach weighed his rice harvest last week it was half as much as it should have been. But it was still better than 2013, the year he lost everything.For Thach and millions of other poor farmers in Vietnam's Mekong Delta, earning an income off the land is getting harder. Prolonged dry seasons and sea-level rise, brought about by climate change, is pushing saltwater from the South China Sea deeper inland, compromising farmers' irrigation channels."The water is salty every year," Thach, 64, told VICE News, "but it's been worse in the last three years. I'm scared because I cannot live without rice."Pointing next door to an empty rice field that is now caked earth with a thin white layer of salt on top, Thach said his neighbors quit farming last year. "They're trying to sell their land and open a business in the city," Thach told VICE News. "They are wealthier than me. That's not something I can afford to do."More than 17 million people live within the Mekong Delta. Farmers and fishermen have been intensively working the tributaries and fertile fields for only about 150 years. Agricultural success there has made Vietnam the world's third largest rice exporter. But a changing climate now threatens food security and livelihoods.
Hai Thach, 64, stands over his empty rice field. He lost half of his rice crop this season to saline intrusion. 

Hai Thach's neighbor walks across an abandoned rice field. 
Vietnam is one of the countries most vulnerable to rising seas. And its low-lying Mekong Delta is expected to be hit hardest. The region is, on average, just over a meter above sea level.According to Andrew Wyatt of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a worst-case scenario would be something on the order of one meter of sea level rise by 2100. That could leave 40 percent of the delta flooded, potentially leading to a mass internal migration of almost 10 million people and devastating economic losses estimated at $17 billion. That's in an area that produced almost half of Vietnam's 45 million tons of rice in 2014. In a country of 90 million, that would be a major blow to national income and food security."Saline intrusion has always been a natural, seasonal process," Wyatt told VICE News. "But with sea level rise projections, saltwater will go further inland. Much of what the local communities are reporting is in line with our climate projections."Saltwater intrusion comes during the Mekong Delta's dry season, which usually lasts from November to April. Lack of rainwater allows saltwater to flow farther upstream into the Mekong River's tributaries, the main irrigation source. In the past, Farmers adapted to this cycle by planting a single rice crop during the wet season. Following war with the United States in the 1970s, farmers started a second crop, and then a third in an attempt to increase meager incomes. That's becoming increasingly difficult now that the dry is lasting longer.And this past season was extraordinary. The dry season came a month early and precipitation has yet to return despite the onset of delta's wet season."There's usually enough freshwater to use, but the rainy season has come late," Thach said. "The rain has not diluted the salty water enough to grow rice."
Salt water intrusion in Bac Lieu Province has turned this rice crop yellow. 
Ngo Van Dong's family have been rice farmers for generations. He recently converted his family's rice fields to shrimp ponds.
Saline intrusion has reached up to 35 miles inland this year, according to Vietnam's Southern Hydrometeorology Station. In Bac Lieu Province, a coastal floodplain one hundred miles southwest of Ho Chi Minh Citysalinity is twice the level it was last year. That's not so much a problem anymore for Bac Lieu, as most of the rice fields have been converted to shrimp ponds. Rather than struggling to find more freshwater for a third crop, many farmers took advantage of increased salinization and switched to intensive shrimp cultivation, which thrives in brackish water."Ten years ago this area was all rice fields," Ngo Van Dong, 56, told VICE News. "We can make more money this way." Ngo cleared five acres of rice fields to make seven shrimp ponds. "I'm trying to buy more land to expand, but no one is selling."Bac Lieu has prospered from shrimp farming, but for aquaculturists along the coastline this livelihood is much more precarious. Do Thi Dieu started shrimp farming 15 years ago. She says the water in her shrimp ponds is becoming too salty. "Before, even in the dry season, there was some rain, but now there is none. It's lasting longer than it used to," Dieu said. "In the dry season, the salt content is sometimes too high for shrimp to develop well."
Shrimp cultivation is expensive and is usually only an option for wealthier farmers who can afford the high cost of dredging land and buying equipment. Shrimp farming also comes with its share of ecological problems. The land closer to the sea in Bac Lieu used to be mangrove forests, but it was cleared to make way for the shrimp farms.

Do Thi Dieu, 35, worries climate change will force her to abandon shrimp farming.
"Vietnam had about 60 percent mangrove forest loss during the last 70 years," said Le Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Research Institute for Climate Change. "Vietnam's mangrove forest areas have fell from 408,500 hectares in 1943 to 189,200 hectares in 2000, and just 168,688 hectares in 2013."Mangroves are important habitats for a vast array of plant and animal species. They also absorb carbon dioxide, helping to regulate the amount of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. And they provide crucial barriers against coastal erosion, storm surges, and sea level rise."Mangrove forests are buffer belts that reduce the magnitude of sea tides to the delta floodplains." Tuan said. "Thick mangrove forests can also effectively reduce sea winds that push saltwater inland."In efforts to keep the sea back, the Vietnamese government has continued to construct coastal infrastructure, but it needs to reinforce and expand the existing 5,000 miles of dikes and canals, according to the United Nations. They've also attempted to reforest large areas of mangroves, but the results have been mixed.Vietnam is going to need all the coastal protection it can get. The country experiences six to eight typhoons annually, and they could become more extreme as the impacts of climate change intensify over the coming decades.In 2012, floods swept away all the shrimp in Do Thi Dieu's ponds. "In the last three years the water levels have risen and it's breaking our dykes and flooding our houses and shrimp ponds," Dieu told VICE News.
"If climate change is to affect us, we will leave."
Photos by Mark Scialla

Thai rice exports may drop this year

Michael Mackey
13 May 2015

A Thai worker loads a rice sack for export in Bangkok. Photo: PA
Thai rice exporters are signalling that exports of their produce will fall, triggering changes in demand in where it is shipped to."Since Thai rice prices are still higher than our competitors [Vietnam and India] the demand from both Asia and Africa is moving to the countries where rice is cheaper," Sermsak Kuonsongtum, vice-president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, told IHS Maritime. "This makes our estimated export figure go down to 8.0-8.5 million tonnes."Last year, Thailand exported about 11 million tonnes of rice, making it the world's biggest rice exporter.A big factor for the projected decline is the increasing cost of Thai rice due to the strong baht."The key factor to driving the export volume is the price, as history has proved that the difference of the prices influence buyers more than the difference in the quality," Sermsak said.India looks set to rival Thailand this year. Thailand exported 2.6 million tonnes of rice during the first four months of the year, only fractionally ahead of India's export of 2.5 million tonnes.Some countries managed to sell their rice up to USD40/tonne cheaper than Thailand's. India, in particular, is helped by its government schemes to boost rice exports and its rice costs about USD360/tonne.
Thai rice costs USD385/tonne while Vietnamese rice costs USD355-360/tonne.

To contact the author of this article, email


Foodgrain production likely to fall by over 5%

Bad monsoon, unseasonal rain drag output to four-year low of 251.12 million tonnes


The country’s foodgrain production in the current season ending June is likely to decline by 5.4 per cent from a record output of 265.04 million tonnes (mt) the year before.

Weather vagaries

According to the third advance estimate released by the Agriculture Ministry here on Wednesday, total foodgrain output will be 13.92 mt lower at 251.12 mt for this season, the lowest since 244.49 million tonnes produced in 2010-11.Rice output is estimated at 102.54 mt, down from 106.65 mt last season, while that of wheat, the main Rabi crop, which was damaged across swathes of northern, central and western India due to unseasonal rainfall and hailstorms between end-February and early-April, has been pegged at 90.78 mt from 95.85 mt last season, the lowest in the last three years.Total production of coarse cereals is expected to decline by 2.87 mt to 40.42 mt, while the estimate for key pulses stands at 17.38 mt – down from 19.25 mt.“It may be noted that production of Kharif crops during 2014-15 suffered due to bad monsoon. Unseasonal rains/hailstorm during February-March 2015 had significant impact on production of rabi crops. As a result of setback in Kharif as well as Rabi seasons, the production of most of the crops in the country has declined this season,” said an official release.Production of oilseeds is also likely to be lower by 5.37 mt – from 32.75 mt to 27.38 mt, while cotton output will also likely decline marginally to 35.32 million bales (of 170 kg each) but will be “higher by 2.85 million bales than the average production of last 5 years.”Only sugarcane production is likely to rise by 4.42 mt to 356.56 mt from 352.14 mt, which could further depress prices of sugar in the domestic market with a fifth consecutive season of surplus production already in the offing.

Contongency plans

According to the Met Department, this year could witness another below normal monsoon due to the El Nino weather effect even if the rain is likely to arrive on time and hit the Kerala coast by June 1.
Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan said on Wednesday that the Centre is ready with contingency plans for 580 districts in case of acute weather disturbances.
(This article was published on May 13, 2015)

Government to continue arranging rice trade talks with foreign nations

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

 BANGKOK, 11 May 2015 - Government Spokesperson Yongyuth Mayalarp has affirmed that Thai rice is still competitive in the world market despite the rising price while saying the government will seek more chances to forge rice trade agreements with foreign partners.In response to the private sector’s concerns over the rising price of Thai rice, Mr Yongyuth insisted that the Prime Minister is not being complacent and has instructed the Ministry of Commerce to look into the issue. He said it has been reported by the Foreign Trade Department that the increasing output from major competitors like Vietnam and India has caused their prices to be lower than that of Thai grains. Moreover, Thailand’s shortfall in production due to drought and the baht appreciation have also driven the price up.Mr Yongyuth noted, nonetheless, that high-quality rice is still in high demand and Thai farmers should use this opportunity to upgrade their production and grain quality in order to fetch higher prices.The spokesman also said the premier has persuaded foreign leaders to purchase Thai rice on many occasions and will continue to do so while Commerce Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikalya has been leading rice exporters on overseas trips to organize marketing campaigns and sales activities.As the Thailand Rice Convention 2015 is scheduled to take place from May 19 to 21, Mr Yongyuth expects the event to serve as another important stage for entrepreneurs to showcase Thai rice and its high quality to participating traders from around the world.

Thai govt to consider release of more stockpiled rice

The Nation/Asia News NetworkWednesday, May 13, 2015
A Thai farmer works on her rice field in Nakhonsawan province

As rice farmers enter the end of the second-crop harvest, the government will soon consider reopening bidding for rice from its stockpiles - before the year's main harvest season begins in late August.The plan to release more rice from the stockpiles is part of the government's goal to shift a total of 10 million tonnes from its warehouses over the course of this year.The warehouses currently hold about 16 million tonnes.Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said yesterday that after suspending the release of rice for the past few months, it was now time to reconsider further sales due to lower supply in the market."The Rice Policy Management Committee will next Monday consider whether to open the third round of rice bidding for this year. The government will carefully consider the impact on rice prices in the market, and will also consider other factors such as demand, and rice supplies by other countries," she explained.Duangporn added that despite slowly releasing rice from the stockpiles, the government was maintaining its target for releasing 10 million tonnes of the crop this year.The department is also sticking to its forecast of pushing exports to 10 million tonnes this year, although exporters foresee lower shipments of between 8 million and 8.5 million tonnes.In the first four months of the year, Thailand exported about 3.3 million tonnes of rice, against 3.8 million tonnes in the same period last year. The department chief said that despite lower export volume so far this year, the emphasis was on shipping high-quality rice, including parboiled rice and jasmine rice, overseas sales of which had risen 6 per cent year on year in the period.To promote Thailand as supplier of the world's best-quality rice to the world market, the Commerce Ministry has organised the "Thailand Rice Convention 2015" next week under the theme "Think rice think Thailand…serving the best quality rice to the world".Duangporn said the government would focus on increasing the value of Thai rice, which would enable the world market to recognise the Kingdom as not only a major supplier, but also as a supplier of good-quality rice.Thailand's efforts will also help increase food security in the world market, as it offers a full variety of rice grains to consumers anytime, anywhere and in any amount, she added.The convention, which takes place from May 19-21 at Impact Muang Thong Thani's Hall 4, will be chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, while many experts in the rice industry will participate in the seminar.The convention is expected to attract more than 500 participants from 40 countries for an exchange of knowledge and views on rice and rice trading.
International rice traders, millers and farmers will be among those attending.

Demand low for Pakistani rice in global market

Published: May 13, 2015
The price of Pakistani rice is higher than the paddy produced by India and other regional countries. PHOTO: APP
ISLAMABAD: Alongside wheat, potato and cotton, the high production cost of rice is hampering its sales in the international market, despite the presence of hefty stocks in the country.
At present, exporters and growers have five million tons of basmati rice and a similar quantity of Irri-6 rice, but they are finding it difficult to sell the commodity in the global market because of sluggish demand and comparatively higher price for Pakistani rice.The price of Pakistani rice is higher than the paddy produced by India and other regional countries.The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) held a meeting with officials of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research in Islamabad and demanded steps for reducing the cost of production or introduction of high-quality seeds to increase the productivity.A senior official in the ministry told The Express Tribune that after the meeting the ministry wrote to provinces asking them to take appropriate measures. It also told chief secretaries of the provinces to facilitate the growers in bringing the cost down in the larger interest of farmers, consumers and exporters.“The price of Pakistani basmati is higher by at least $100 to $150 compared to Indian basmati, and that is a big hurdle in the way of exports,” said REAP member Malik Jahangir, who also attended the meeting.“Since 1997, no new basmati seed has come to the market and that’s the reason for the low yield per acre, which has pushed rice prices higher,” he said.India, on the contrary, has introduced five new seed varieties in the last 10 years and that has helped a lot in increasing the yield.“Another step the government could take is to subsidise rice exports so that the stock could be disposed of,” Jahangir suggested.“If we fail to export the existing stock, then next year the farmers will not grow the grain, which might spark a crisis,” he warned, saying they had also written to the Rice Research Centre, Kala Shah Kaku Lahore, but no appropriate response had been received so far.He pointed out that after the devolution of agriculture ministry to the provinces, confusion emerged about the policy issues. Provinces were not taking responsibility of resolving the issues being faced by the growers and traders despite taking assets and resources of the devolved ministry, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th,  2015.

Punjab govt warns strict action for burning paddy straw
Niti PTI BotStates AUTHOR:   NITI PTI BOT - MAY 13, 2015

 Chandigarh, May 13 (PTI) Punjab government today issued strict warnings to the peasants burning paddy straw despite a complete ban on the practise. The government also warned of strict action under the provisions of Air Pollution Control Act.     Punjab’s Agriculture Minister Tota Singh said that it was a matter of great concern that despite educative campaign launched by the department regarding ill effects of straw burning on the air and health of soil, many farmers of the state were carrying on with the illegal practise. “Nobody will be allowed to pollute the air by burning the straw.The district administration has been directed to book the erring farmers under the relevant provisions of the Act,” he said here.Notably, a number of farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been carrying on with the bi-annual exercise of burning crop residue, which many environmentalists have cited in the past as one of the causes of dust haze and air pollution in Delhi and northern India.  We have always advised farmers to creatively use the paddy straw to improve the productivity of soil, Singh said.The department has been continuously telling the farmers to use spreader to help distribute straw in field which could be used as fertilizers that would enhance the yield of crops, he added.

Iran may resume rice imports this year: Govt

New Delhi: Iran, which has suspended rice imports, may resume the inbound shipments of the commodity this year, Parliament was informed today.Resumption of imports would help India to export basmati rice to Iran, which is a major destination for India for the aromatic rice.“Due to excess rice stocks available in Iran, Iranian authorities temporarily suspended further imports of rice from rest of the world from October 2014.“This ban is not country specific. Iran may resume imports of rice this year depending upon domestic production and demand,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.In 2013-14, India exported basmati rice worth USD 1.83 billion to Iran. It stood at USD 1 billion during April-February 2015.Iran mainly imports from Pakistan, Portugal, China, UAE, Latin America, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Oman and India.In a separate reply, the Minister said that government has provided Rs 1,625 crore in the Budget for 2015-16 under foreign trade and export promotion.“The guidelines of interest subvention scheme are yet to be approved by the competent authority,” she said.Under the scheme, government provides loans to exporters at subsidised rates.

Can science solve poverty?

May 13, 2015 9:25 pm

WE continue to rave about the country’s stable economic growth and rise in ranking by various ratings agencies but we also continue to hear how this growth has failed to trickle down to the masses. After five years under the Aquino administration, inclusive growth remains exclusive to those who already have the most in life. A survey among the populace reveals a rise in self-rated poverty or the number of those who believe they are poor. In this column, we give way below (after the asterisk) to an analysis which appears in provided by Dr. Crispin Maslog, my former professor in grad school at the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, a former journalist, and an environmental activist with stints at the Press Foundation of Asia and the International Rice Research Institute.
* * *
Science may never completely solve the problem of poverty, but it will not be because it did not try. After scientists have landed man on the moon and put a lander on an asteroid, there is no reason, why it should not set its goal higher.There have been attempts to alleviate poverty in recent history like the Green Revolution that staved off famine in the 1960s and raised the income of poor farmers in Asia. Bruce Tolentino, deputy director-general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), says: “One must look at the economic development histories of countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and especially Vietnam, India, China, and more recently, Cambodia. Their relative success in reducing poverty is base on improvements in agricultural technology that were brought about by the Green Revolution.”“There is plenty of peer-reviewed, empirical evidence that conclusively indicate the benefits of the Green Revolution, and which laid the basis for inclusive economic development of those countries that embraced it,” Tolentino tells SciDev.Net.Other initiatives, while far-reaching have not been completely successful, such as global vaccination programs and attempts to control malaria by eradicating mosquitoes. They were among the biggest global public investments ever made.But hope still lingers among the funders of science that the battle against poverty can be won with the help of scientists. In April 2014, the US and UK governments announced new funding towards this end.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced last April 3 its Global Development Lab in partnership with 31 universities, corporations and foundations, whose ambitious goal is to stamp out extreme poverty by 2030 through technology-based solutions. USAID has pledged US$1 billion per year to support the project, which aims to develop in five years technology solutions to poverty in the areas of water, health, food security and nutrition, energy, education and climate change.A few days later, the UK government launched the Newton Fund with funding of £375 million, which aims to strengthen research capabilities of emerging economies including countries in South-East Asia.

Gordian knot of poverty

I commend these new and ambitious attempts to tackle the problem of poverty through the use of science but warn that the problem is like the proverbial Gordian Knot (a metaphor referring to the legendary King Gordius and which means an intricate or complicated problem).We remember the early days of development aid from the West to the developing countries of Asia in the 1950s. The World Bank and USAID employed this formula: Capital + Technology = Development. They poured money and technological expertise into Asia. But after five decades, the poor became poorer and more numerous and the rich became richer.The relationship between science, technology, innovation and society is complicated. I agree with scientists who say that new knowledge on its own cannot solve society’s problems. Technologies do not always reach the people who need them. And if they reach the intended people, the recipients do not know how to use them.There is no one scientific solution to all the problems of the poor. Some science will solve some problems of some of the poor. Some science and technology will be appropriate for poor farmers, for example. Others will answer the problems of informal settlers in the slums.However, once science and technology are developed, they must be accessible to the poor who will use them. This is the problem of technology transfer from the public and private research institutions to the end users. And just as important, the end users must know how to use the technology.An example of effective technology transfer is the Farmers Scientists Technology Program (FSTP) in the Philippines managed by University of the Philippines entomologist, Romulo Davide. Under this government-funded scheme, Davide pairs a farmer with a scientist who works with him on the farm. FSTP has hundreds of cases of farmers who have become rich through the program.However, hundreds of successes are too few when there are tens of millions of farmers and billions of poor people. To further involve more poor people, we need to promote reading and science literacy among the poor. Countries cannot aspire to develop without a scientifically literate population.A final note: The poor must be convinced that the technology they adopt is what they need. A major cause of the failure of the World Bank aid program in Asia in the 1950s is that the people were not consulted about the development projects the bank funded.

Need for social participation

In South-East Asia, there is a strong movement towards social participation. For instance, the Universities and Councils Network on Innovation for Inclusive Development in Southeast Asia or UNIID-SEA promotes innovation for inclusive development.It defines “innovation for inclusive development as that which aims to reduce poverty and enables as many groups of people, especially the poor and marginalized, to participate in decision making, create and actualize opportunities, and share the benefits of development”.This time around the poor must have a say in what problems they have that science and technology can solve for development to be inclusive.Having said that, does the shared service facility (SSF) program of the Trade Department of which millions have been allocated helping solve poverty or are they going to the wrong recipients?
* * *
God is Great!

Olam Raises Investment on Rice Backward Integration

14 May 2015
By Crusoe Osagie

Olam Nigeria Limited has unveiled plans to increase its stake in the rice industry  as part efforts to aid the realisation of the self-sufficiency target and job creation efforts of government.The General Manager of the firm, Reji George, disclosed yesterday that his company had concluded plans to kick-start  milling of 200,000 metric tonnes of paddy rice in Doma Council, Nassarawa, by June 1,2015.  According to the firm, its  backward integration plan in the sector is expected to aid local rice production and job creation.The firm had earlier this year unveiled its locally produced rice to the Nigerian market. Olam’s Business Head for Rice, Anil Nair, had explained that the launch was designed to meet growing local demands for the commodity as well as reduce its importation. He explained that the launch of the commodity in Lagos was strategic, since the state holds the largest market of consumers of rice.He said:  “There are lots of paddy been produced and Lagos being the biggest market in the country is having local rice coming to it. It is a sign of good things to come and we hope that two years from now, we will be able to bridge the gap. We have a milling capacity of about 800,000 tonnes in the country and we hope to help this country eliminate import completely.”On placing a total ban on the commodity, George said: “I believe it should be a gradual process. Before you ban rice or any agricultural commodity you must have to develop the local strength of rice production. If you plan the ban of importation of rice, companies like Olam are into commercial production of rice with 6,000 hectares in two cities, making it 12,000 hectares that would definitely help bridge the demand and supply gap, and with support from other companies, in addition to the role government is playing.“In few years time, we would be able to bridge the demand and supply gap and we would be able to be self-sufficient in rice production.”The community leader of  a settlement in the Doma area, Kushunta Adi, said,  “Before the coming of Olam to our community, most people in this area were idle, which is not good, but today, the story is different. In fact, at that initial time, most of the excavators on the project were foreigners, but today, the company has employed many of our youths and this is helping many families here”.“In fact, what they have done here is enormous. I believe if the Federal Government can copy them, the country would be better. If we have one or two other companies like this in Nigeria, it will be difficult for us as a country to import rice,” he added .A former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Secretary of the Rice Farmers’ Association, Mr. Michael K. Aondoakaa, in his position, urged the government to urgently protect the local rice industry from being thrown out of the agriculture sector.Aondoakaa, at the House of Representatives hearing, stated  that corrupt actions by some rice importers could destroy  government’s policy and truncate  the local rice sub-sector.He disclosed that a certain  company behaves like another government and has resorted to dubious activities in apparent bid to frustrate the local rice manufacturers.He called on all and sundry to stop this untoward activities in the best interest of Nigeria, especially local farmers and others.
Tags: Nigeria, Featured, News

Grand Prairie students visit Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Stuttgart


On Monday, May 4, the students gave presentations to scientists and students at the DBNRRC, then had a question and answer period with scientists from DBNRRC and the Harry K. Dupree Aquaculture Research Center. Students also toured both facilities.

Photo by Dawn Teer/Stuttgart Daily LeaderHildana Tibebu holds a snake as Dylan Duncan looks on during the Future Scientist program at the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center.

By Dawn Teer

Posted May 13, 2015 at 3:21 PM 

Students from Park Avenue Elementary, Stuttgart High School, Monticello and Hot Springs gave presentations on the corn earworm at the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center (DBNRRC) last week. Also in attendance were students from Holy Rosary Catholic school and Hamburg.This was the fruition of a program that began last summer with a two-day program for area teachers to help promote science in school. This is the second year for the Future Scientists program at DBNRRC.When the teachers attended the program last summer, Dr. Craig Wilson showed them how to teach children about the corn earworm, which is a pest that can cause millions of dollars in damage to crops. In the classroom, students grew corn earworm from pupae and did experiments to learn more about how the corn earworm causes damage to corn crops.On Monday, May 4, the students gave presentations to scientists and students at the DBNRRC, then had a question and answer period with scientists from DBNRRC and the Harry K. Dupree Aquaculture Research Center. Students also toured both facilities.The students in attendance from Park Avenue Elementary were Paige Dean, Hildana Tibebu, Dylan Duncan, Evan Watson and Lebrayden Hall. PAE teachers were Kelly Clawitter and Shawna Wilson. Students from Holy Rosary were Mary Grace Straus, Cole Mock, Julia Ryan, Jordan Griffith, Morgan Bock and Evie Jackson and teacher Sarah Richards. SHS students were Zach Mock, Brannon Herring, Kylie Griffin, Robbie Harwell, and Reema Bhakla and Coach Andrew Schroeder.  Hamburg students were Evan Ferguson, Lacee Jacobs andLarry Carher and teacher Don Wallace.  Hot Springs Intermediate school students were Eureka Smith, Emily Clutter, Logan Comstock, Marly Archie, Megan Harbut, Anna Fletcher, Riley Matthews, Moriah Thacker and Eli Evans and teacher Lynn Strong. Monticello Elementary School sent the most students and they were kindergarten and first graders.  Susan Starks’ students were Xander Lane, Cade Newton, Gavin Howard, Sophie Barrilleaun, Soelee Thornhill, and Madyson James.  Janet Lane’s students were Luke Hairston, Jackson Hines, Annsley Oltmann, Maura McMickle, Timothy Forrest and Javian Adams.  Paula Lane’s students were Taylor Collins, Skyler Hill, Jayden Rhodes, Landon Reid, Daniel Pace and Logan McAlpine.Wilson welcomed the students starting things off with a bang. Wilson went on to show a video and then brought out a garter snake and let the students meet it up close.  Anna McClung, director of the DBNRRC, then spoke to the students about the program and how she became a scientist.The students gave presentations on what they  learned from the corn earworm. Look online at for videos from the presentations.Following the presentations and a short break, they had a question and answer panel with scientists Dr. Shannon Pinson, research geneticist; Dr. Angela Baldo, computational biologist; Dr. Jeremy Edwards, plant molecular geneticist; Dr. Bart Green, research fishery biologist; Dr. Miles Lange, research biologist; Dr. Steven Rawles, research physiologist; and Dr. Dave Straus, aquatic toxicologist.

APEDA India News

International Benchmark Price
Price on: 11-05-2015
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Chinese first grade granules, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
Chinese Grade A dehydrated flakes, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
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Indian Cochin, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
Guar Gum Powder
Indian 100 mesh 3500 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
Indian 200 mesh 3500 cps basis, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
Indian 200 mesh 5000 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
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IJMA wants jute policy to revive demand


With the mandatory requirement for packaging of sugar in jute bags falling to 20% from 100%, half the jute mills have been facing demand crisis for past two-and-a-half years
Jayajit Dash  |  Bhubaneswar  
May 13, 2
015 Last Updated at 19:58 IST

Reeling under a crisis triggered by the shutdown of jute mills, the Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) has urged West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to announce a jute policy early to help revive demand for jute bags.In the past two months, 15 jute mills have faced temporary closure amid tepid demand. With the mandatory requirement for packaging of sugar in jute bags falling to 20 per cent since 2013-14, as opposed to 100 per cent stipulated originally in the Jute Packaging Materials Act (JPMA) of 1987, half the jute mills have been facing demand crisis for the past two-and-a-half years."The indents by the various state government agencies for this year's rabi crop virtually came down to a trickle in April 2015 and there is little likelihood of further indents of jute bags for food grains packing for the months of May and June. Had West Bengal announced the state policy under which packaging of potatoes and rice could have been included, all jute mills in the state would probably have continued production well beyond April 2015," said IJMA chairman Raghavendra Gupta in a letter to Banerjee.Gupta said a quick announcement of the jute policy would not only revive the sector, but also improve sentiments among jute growers, workers and jute mill owners.At present, there are four million jute growers and about 300,000 workmen engaged in the jute sector. If their families are factored in, approximately one-third of the West Bengal's total population of about 90 million are directly or indirectly linked to jute.Pointing out to the overt flouting of JPMA provisions by rice millers, Gupta said very few millers are utilising new jute bags for packaging of rice. According to him, mandating packaging of potatoes grown in West Bengal in jute bags would create a demand of 50,000 tonnes annually for jute bags, he felt.Over the past two years, around 25 per cent of the jute mills have been shut, rendering nearly 100,000 workmen jobless. The precarious situation has arisen due to continuous dilution of JPMA, attempts to violate the Act by sugar sector and different procurement agencies, and erosion of non-government market due to heavy imports from Bangladesh. Surge in imports from Bangladesh have been aided by zero duty on imports and 10 per cent export subsidy provided by the Bangladesh government.Procurement of jute bags has fallen from an average of 2.68 million bales in 2012-13 to 2.03 million bales in 2013-14, dropping further to 1.99 million bales in 2014-15 (one bale is 180 kg).The jute sector is passing through a phase of stagnation as investments in modernisation and product diversification have almost stopped since 2012-13.

World Market Price Subcommittee Talks Acreage, Iraq, and Cuba

USA Rice's Betsy Ward (l.) and Sarah Moran literally talk Turkey with The Rice Trading Company CEO Jay Kapila. WASHINGTON, DC -- The World Market Price Subcommittee met here this morning with representatives from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).  Members noted that rice acres in California may be below those indicated in the NASS Prospective Plantings report issued this spring. Members also reviewed NASS rice price reporting questionnaires. NASS reiterated that it is looking only for reported transactions of rough rice at the point of first sale, excluding transportation and other charges from farmers' bins to the point of sale. However, NASS does not adjust data received on rough rice purchases. Subcommittee members agreed that this explanation provided more clarity about the reporting of rough rice transactions at the first point of sale.
Discussions with representatives of FAS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) focused on trade with Cuba and Turkey, and the U.S. rice industry's ongoing difficulty with the lack of transparency and predictability in Iraq's rice tender process. "We've started the process of looking for an Iraqi contractor to assist our efforts on the ground in Baghdad," said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.  "This is a recommendation that we received during our meeting last week in Washington with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Stuart Jones, and we believe it has merit and worth pursuing.  We need to look at all options that can help us return Iraq as a steady customer for U.S. rice."Chairman Keith Glover said, "This was a very positive meeting, with a lot of productive conversation. And, as always, we appreciate USDA's participation."The next World Market Price Subcommittee meeting will be in October.

Contact:  Kristen Dayton (703) 236-1464

CCC Announces Prevailing World Market Prices 
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation today announced the following prevailing world market prices of milled and rough rice, adjusted for U.S. milling yields and location, and the resulting marketing loan-gain (MLG) and loan deficiency payment (LDP) rates applicable to the 2014 crop, which became effective today at 7:00 a.m., Eastern Time (ET).  Rough rice prices decreased $0.12 per cwt for both long grain and medium/short grain.

World Price

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

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

U.S. Milling Yields
Loan Rate

The next program announcement is scheduled for May 20, 2015.   

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for May 13
Net Change

May 2015
July 2015
September 2015
- $0.005
November 2015
January 2016
March 2016
May 2016
Rare rice and art honored as national treasures
MANILA, Philippines - In a special gathering tonight at the National Museum of the Philippines, two large paintings by National Artist Vicente Manansala will be elevated from Important Cultural Properties of the Philippines to National Cultural Treasures—the first Manansalas to gain such status. Since 1962 and until recently, these paintings that had been on the walls of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna will be unveiled at the museum’s new IRRI hall.

In this evening’s event, Treasures in Art and Rice, the IRRI Manansalas and several types of heirloom rice from the mountainous Cordilleras of northern Philippines will be featured alongside each other—the paintings’ unveiling at the museum and heirloom rice as tasty dishes whipped up by five world-class chefs.

Philippine heirloom rice varieties are being studied and promoted through the Heirloom Rice Project, a joint initiative of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) and IRRI.

As traditional varieties handed down through generations of a clan or village, these unique crops have high nutritional properties, are in limited supply due to longer growing periods, and are more expensive than more widely cultivated rice, especially in specialty niche markets in the Philippines and abroad.

Under the project, heirloom rice varieties are characterized, classified, and studied for their properties and genealogy. Cultivation practices for each variety are also being documented, which allows scientists to work with farmers to optimize these practices for desired yield and grain quality.

Because of its special eating qualities and novelty, heirloom rice is seeing increasing demand in the global market. The project team is thus also working with entrepreneurs to find demand matches for heirloom varieties that particular regions, villages, or farming households produce.

The paintings, by National Artist Vicente S. Manansala, were commissioned by IRRI soon after its founding in 1960.

Philippine heirloom rice varieties were featured at the Madrid Fusión Manila in April. 

Treasures in Art and Rice: The IRRI Manansala Murals and Philippine Heirloom Rice

Together with the Philippine Department of Agriculture, the National Museum and Friends of Manansala, IRRI will feature the formal recognition of the two Manansala paintings as "National Cultural Treasures." A special presentation of the Philippine heirloom rice will be a highlight at the event to be held at the National Museum (By invitation)

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13th May (Wednesday),2015 Daily GlobalRice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine