Friday, June 12, 2015

12th June (Friday),2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Global Rice Quotes

June 12th, 2015
Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade          365-375           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken    350-360           ↔
India 5% broken         375-385           ↔
Pakistan 5% broken    380-390           ↔
Myanmar 5% broken   415-425           ↔
Cambodia 5% broken             430-440           ↔
U.S. 4% broken           465-475           ↔
Uruguay 5% broken    565-575           ↔
Argentina 5% broken 555-565           ↔
Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken 340-350           ↔
Vietnam 25% broken 330-340           ↔
Pakistan 25% broken 345-355           ↑
Cambodia 25% broken           410-420           ↔
India 25% broken       360-370           ↔
U.S. 15% broken         455-465           ↔
Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd            360-370           ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd    410-420           ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd         355-365           ↔
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%          840-850           ↔
Vietnam Jasmine         475-485           ↔
India basmati 2% broken        NQ      ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken   NQ      ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails             820-830           ↔
Thailand A1 Super      315-325           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken            315-325           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd    295-305           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super   350-360           ↔
India 100% broken stxd         280-290           ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ      ↔
U.S. pet food 365-375           ↔
Brazil half grain          NQ      ↔
All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

Italian Paddy Quotes Show Mixed Trends as on June 9, 2015

Jun 11, 2015
quotes showed diverse trends as on June 9, 2015, with prices of Japonica varieties increasing and Indica prices declining or remaining stable compared to quotations on May 26, 2015. Since June 2 was a public holiday, no quotations were available as on that date. Italy's paddy market is still buying Japonica varieties from the 2014 crop (September - August). Nearly 90% of the 2014 crop has been sold out and about 141,970 tons of the last year's crop are still available.
Below are the paddy quotations supplied by Milan Grain Exchange, farm gate quotes, as of June 9, 2015:
Arborio-Volano paddy  was shown at 870-900 euros (about $ 982-1,016) per ton. In three weeks the quotations increased 17%. On May 26 this variety were out at 790-820 euros (about $ 891-925) per ton.
Balilla, Centauro and similar varieties paddy prices are firm at 415-430 euros (about $ 468-485) per ton, unchanged from the prior weeks.
Lido, Crono, Flipper and similar paddy varieties are shown at 325-340 euros (about $ 366-383) per ton, unchanged from May 26.
Padano-Argo was not quoted on May 26 since there is almost no more availability. Vialone Nano grew to 810-860 euros (about $ 914-970) per ton, from 770-820 euros (about $ 869-925) per ton of May 26.
Thaibonnet and similar Indica varieties are out at 330-340 euros (about $ 372-383) unchanged from the prior weeks.
Sant'Andrea  quoted 525-575 euros (about $ 592-649) per ton, unchanged from May 26.
Carnaroli went up to 870-900 euros (about $ 982-1,016) per ton, from 790-820 euros (about $ 891-925) per ton on May 26.
Baldo paddy prices furtherly went down to 490-540 euros (about $ 553-609) per ton, from 510-560 euros (about $ 575-632) per ton on May 26.
Roma grew at 625-655 euros (about $ 705-739) per ton from 575-605 euros (about $ 649-683) per ton on May 26. 
Selenio was shown at 405-430 euros (about $ 457-485), unchanged from the prior weeks.
Augusto went slightly down to 345-360 euros (about $ 447-464) per ton, from 355-370 euros (about $ 400-417) per ton on May 26.
Loto and Nembo quoted as Augusto at 345-360 euros (about $ 447-464) per ton, down from 355-370 euros (about $ 400-417) per ton on May 26.
Luna Cl, Dardo and similars quoted 320-340 euros (about $ 361-383) per ton, unchanged from May 26.

Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Dragged Down as Bearish Wheat S&D Report Sends Grain Complex Lower

Jun 11, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Jul delivery settled 7.5 cents per cwt (about $2 per ton) lower at $9.795 per cwt (about $216 per ton). Rough rice futures continued lower as the market continues to pull back from overhead resistance and continues within its sideways $9.500-$10.000 per cwt (about $209-$220 per ton) trading range. The market outlook will remain neutral until either of these levels is broken and a new trend confirmed. The other grains continued lower once again led by a sharp decline in wheat prices; Soybeans closed about 15% lower at $9.4000 per bushel; wheat finished about 1.8% lower at $5.0425 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 0.2% lower at $3.5650 per bushel.
U.S. stocks traded slightly higher on Thursday as investors cheered a good retail sales report while remaining cautious following mixed news on the Greece debt talks. In mid-morning trade the International Monetary Fund spokesman said there were "major differences" with Greece on aid negotiations and that the IMF team has left Brussels, where the talks were held, Reuters said. European stocks also pared gains from earlier hopes of a Greece deal, with the DAX closing 0.6% higher after earlier gaining 1.5%. The ATHEX Composite ended 8.16% higher. European officials said there was a "good chance" of a deal ahead of the euro group meeting next week. Greece's Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ended talks on the debt negotiations without coming to a resolution. A European Union diplomat told Reuters the discussion was a "last attempt" to reach a deal, while Dow Jones reported that Juncker said in a statement that he held an "important, friendly and constructive meeting" with Tsipras. Analysts remained optimistic that Greece would come to a deal with its creditors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded up 59 points, or 0.33%, at 18,060. The S&P 500 traded up 4 points, or 0.22%, at 2,109, with telecommunications leading eight sectors higher and energy the greatest laggard. The Nasdaq traded up 3 points, or 0.07%, at 5,080. Gold is trading about 0.6% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 1.2% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.6% higher at about  1:00pm Chicago time.
Wednesday, there were 1,048 contracts traded, up from 948 contracts traded on Tuesday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Wednesday decreased by 2 contracts to 12,032.

High-Interest Loans Deter Rice Export Growth, Says National Bank Official

Jun 11, 2015
High-interest loans offered by banks have been reducing funding opportunities for rice millers and are consequently deterring export growth in the country, according to the Director-General (DG) of the National Bank of Cambodia.Addressing an investment luncheon in Phnom Penh, the DG told local sources that this inability of millers to raise finances is contributing to the exporters' failure to meet the export goal of one million tons in 2015.
“A lot of our rice millers face difficulties in getting loans from the banks because the banks ask the millers to use their land as collateral,” she said. “But the millers say they don’t have land to use as collateral because they just rent or lease it,” she added.She also noted that millers need money to buy paddy from farmers, process it and to buy rice milling equipment and for their maintenance, most of the times, exporters delay payments to millers. Therefore, banks usually consider lending to millers as a risky proposition.
Even the members of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) have been urging the government to take requisite measure to increase loan availability options to millers as well as improve rice milling infrastructure to ensure speedy deliveries to exporters.Cambodia exported about 243,025 tons of rice in the first five months of 2015 (January - May 2015), up about 64% from about 148,262 tons rice exported in the same period last year according to the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export. Cambodia has exported about 387,100 tons of rice in 2014.USDA estimates Cambodia to export 1.2 million tons of rice (including official and unofficial exports to Vietnam and Thailand through borders) in 2015, up about 9% from an estimated 1.1 million tons in 2014.

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Prices Dip Slightly after USDA Increases Old and New Crop Carry-over; Export Sales Continue to Struggle

Jun 11, 2015
The U.S. cash market was slightly weaker today after the USDA increased their old crop ending stocks estimated by 0.5 million cwts (22,680 tons) and their new crop ending stocks estimate by 1.0 million cwts (45,359 tons) both on account of increased imports.Analysts continue to stress that prices will likely remain depressed until there is a significant increase in export demand however even at the levels we see today exporters are still struggling to make sales, which has been evident in the last weeks of USDA export sales figures.
The USDA reported that cumulative net export sales for the week ending on June 4th, totaled 36,400 tons, which was 7% higher than last week and 8% higher than the prior 4-week average.Increases were reported for the following destinations including: 9,700 tons to Panama, 7,100 tons to Haiti, 6,000 tons to Haiti, 3,200 tons to Mexico, and 2,700 tons to tons Canada.U.S. rice exporters shipped 102,700 tons, which was 80% higher than last week and 56% higher than the prior 4-week average. The primary destinations included: 34,100 tons to Colombia, 28,300 tons to Mexico, 17,600 tons to Haiti, 9,000 tons to Honduras, and 4,100 tons to Canada.

Pakistan Exporters Plan to Boost Rice Sales to Iran

Jun 11, 2015
Pakistan rice exporters are planning to increase rice exports to Iran as part of efforts to meet the export target of 3.5 million tons this year, according to Reuters.Reuters quoted a Pakistan-based rice analyst as saying that the production this year may reach 6.5 million tons but the export demand is waning due to declining rice prices. Therefore lower exports are expected in 2015, he said.
"Iran can be good partner of Pakistani rice and trade can be increased. But there are few difficulties of the embargoes," he was quoted as saying. He noted that there already exists a border trade between Pakistan and Iran for rice under which local merchants usually export through borders. However, a nuclear deal would help all the merchants to expand their business to Iran.Iran is currently trying to overcome differences with the six super powers over the self-imposed June 30 deadline to reach a deal over its disputed nuclear program.
The Middle East nation, which is the largest buyer of basmati rice, imposed a temporary ban on rice imports in November 2014 and still there is no clarity as to when it would end the ban.Pakistan has exported around 3.45 million tons of rice (around 428,051 tons of basmati and around 3.02 million tons of non-basmati) in the first ten months of FY 2014-15 (July 2014 - June 2015), up about 6% from around 3.25 million tons (around 601,273 tons of basmati and around 2.71 million tons of non-basmati) exported during the same period in FY 2013-14.  

ABARES Estimates Australia 2014-15 Paddy Rice Production at 720,000 Tons, Down 11% from Last Year

Jun 11, 2015
Australia's paddy rice production in MY 2014-15 (April 2014 - March 2015) is estimated to decline to around 720,000 tons (around 517,680 tons, basis milled), down about 11% from an estimated 808,988 tons (around 582,471 tons, basis milled) in MY 2013-14, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).In its June crop outlook report, the ABARES attributes the decline in paddy rice production to a 5% y/y decline in planting area to around 70,000 hectares reflecting reduced supplies of irrigation water in the main rice producing region of New South Wales as well as a 7% y/y decline in average yield to around 10.29 tons per hectare.
Total summer crop production is estimated to have declined by 4% in 2014–15 to 3.8 million tonnes, due to decline in production of cotton and rice. The area planted to summer crops declined by 9% to around 1 million hectares.The weather report issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) on 28 May 2015 suggests an average winter rainfall in the cropping regions of Victoria and South Australia and above average rainfall in the cropping regions of Western Australia. However, it is likely there will be below average winter rainfall in the cropping regions in southern Queensland and most of New South Wales.The BOM expects decreased winter spring rainfall over southern and central Australia due to an impending El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean.

Oryza Overnight Recap – Chicago Rough Rice Futures Remain Under Pressure as Exports Continue to Lag

Jun 11, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Jul delivery are currently seen trading 10.5 cents per cwt (about $2 per ton) lower at $9.765 per cwt (about $215 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading lower; soybeans are currently seen trading about 0.5% lower, wheat is listed about 1.7% lower and corn is currently noted about even.U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday as a good retail sales report and optimism on Greece encouraged investors. Greece's Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, held late-night talks with German and French leaders and agreed to step up talks with international creditors in order to avert a debt default. Retail sales for May showed an increase of 1.2%, with the ex-autos figure up 1%.
April retail sales were revised upward to 0.2% from flat. Weekly jobless claims totaled 279,000, slightly above expectations. Investors also looked ahead to next week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, which is not expected to change the consensus view for a September rate hike. U.S. stocks bounced on Wednesday, closing more than 1% higher amid some encouraging signs on talks between Greece and its creditors on a cash-for-reform deal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 60 points, or 0.33%, at 18,060. The S&P 500 opened up 7 points, or 0.32%, at 2,112, with utilities leading all 10 sectors higher. The Nasdaq opened up 19 points, or 0.37%, at 5,095. Gold is currently trading about 0.5% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 0.6% lower,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.7% higher at8:45am Chicago time.

Pakistan Targets to Produce 6.9 Million Tons of Milled Rice in 2015-16, Says SUPARCO-FAO Report

Jun 11, 2015
In the May Crop Monitoring System Bulletin, the National Space Agency of Pakistan (SUPARCO) and UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that the Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) has fixed the 2015- 16 (July - June) milled rice production target at around 6.9 million tons (around 10.21 million tons, basis paddy) from around 2.8 million hectares. It is targeting an yield of around 2.434 tons per hectare in 2015-16.The rice is majorly grown in Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan provinces. Usually rice nurseries are sown in May. While transplanting of the IRRI rice is carried out during June-July, transplanting of basmati is carried out in July-August, says the report.
Eaarlier, in March, the SUPARCO and FAO have estimated Pakistan FY 2014-15 (July - June) paddy rice production to decline about 19% to around 8.437 million tons (around 5.65 million tons, basis milled) from around 10.04 million tons (around 6.72 million tons, basis milled) produced last year. They have estimated FY 2014-15 paddy rice acreage at around 3.285 million hectares and yield at around 2.568 tons per hectare.The decline is attributed to floods that hit the Punjab state in the month of August 2014 having damaged around 116,700 hectares of paddy fields. Over 217,000 tons of paddy is said to be lost in the Punjab state. The government of Punjab reportedly announced a compensation of Rs.16 billion (around $159 million) to the flood-affected communities.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.

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

Jun 11, 2015
Pakistan rice sellers lowered their quotes for 5% broken rice and 25% broken rice by about $5 per ton and $15 per ton to around $380 - $390 per ton and $335-$345 per ton, respectively, today. Other Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is indicated at around $355 - $365 per ton, about $5 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice  shown at around $350 - $360 per ton. India 5% rice is indicated at around $375 - $385 per ton, about $5 per ton discount to Pakistan 5% rice shown at around $380 - $390 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday.
25% Broken Rice
Thailand 25% rice is shown at around $340 - $350 per ton, about a $10 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $330- $340 per ton. India 25% rice is indicated at around $360 - $370, about $25 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice shown at around $335 - $345 per ton, down about a $15 per ton from yesterday.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is indicated at around $360 - $370 per ton. India parboiled rice is indicated at around $355 - $365 per ton, about a $55 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice shown at around $410 - $420 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is indicated at around $315 - $325 per ton, on par with Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $315 - $325 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $280 - $290 per ton, about a $15 per ton discount to Pakistan broken sortexed rice shown at around $295 - $305 per ton.

Philippines Lowers Forecasts for 2015 Second Quarter Paddy Output

Jun 11, 2015
The Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) forecasts Philippines's 2015 second quarter (April - June) production to decline by about 4.3% to around 3.898 million tons from last year's 4.073 million tons and about 0.1% from its April forecast of around 3.902 million tons due to a decline in harvest area prompted by dry spell and insufficient water supply as well as incidence of pests and diseases in some rice growing areas.The PSA estimates the harvest area to decline to around 910,000 hectares from around 920,000 hectares last year. It however estimates the yield to increase to around 4.27 tons per hectare from around 4.25 tons per hectare.
Harvesting of the 2015 standing crop is in about 630,000 hectares is complete, and planting is complete in about 124,000 hectares of the next crop, according to the PSA.
Last month, the PSA forecasted paddy production in the first half of 2015 (January - June) at around 8.27 million tons, down about 1.32% from around 8.38 million tons last year.The NFA has decided to import 650,000 tons of rice (200,000 tons from Thailand and 450,000 tons from Vietnam) under government-to-government deals in 2015 to ensure adequate stocks in the lean season (June – September). It is further planning to import 805,200 tons of rice through private importers under the WTO minimum access volume (MAV) rule.
It imported more than 1.8 million tons of rice (including 1.5 million tons of 2014 imports and 300,000 tons of 2013 residual imports) in 2014 to replenish rice stocks and control price hikes.USDA estimates Philippines MY 2014-15 (July - June) paddy rice production at around 19.365 million tons (around 12.2 million tons, basis milled), up about 3% from around 18.822 million tons (around 11.86 million tons, basis milled) produced in the previous year. It estimates the Philippines to import 1.7 million tons of rice in 2015.

USDA Forecasts Higher All Rice Beginning Stocks, Exports and Imports in MY 2015-16

Jun 11, 2015
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In its June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, the USDA has forecasted U.S. MY 2015-16 all rice beginning stocks to increase to around 2.06 million tons, up about 43% from around 1.44 million tons last year and up about 6% from its last month's forecasts of 1.95. It forecasts long-grain rice beginning stocks to increase to around 1.3 million tons and combined medium and short grain rice beginning stocks to increase to around 0.66 million tons.
USDA forecasts the 2015-16 U.S. all rice exports to increase to around 4.99 million tons, up about 5% from last year's 4.76 million tons and up about 1.8% from last month's forecast of around 4.9 million tons. U.S. long-grain exports are expected to increase to around 3.45 million tons, up about 4% from last year's 3.31 million tons and unchanged from last month's forecast of around 3.45 million tons. On the other hand, U.S. medium-and-short grain exports are expected to increase to around 1.54 million tons, up about 6% from last year's 1.45 million tons and up about 6% from last month's forecast of around 1.45 million tons as a large outstanding sales balance to Northeast Asia in 2014-15 will likely be shipped in 2015-16.
the USDA has forecasted U.S. MY 2015-16 all rice imports to increase to around 1.13 million tons, up about 4% from around 1.09 million tons last year and up about 1.18% from its last month's forecasts of 1.11 million tons.
USDA increased its estimates for U.S. MY 2015-16 all rice ending stocks by about 2.3% to around 2.2 million tons from its last month's estimates of around 1.86 million tons. It estimates U.S. all rice ending stocks to increase about 13% y/y in MY 2015-16. USDA increased estimates for U.S. MY 2015-16 long-grain ending stocks by about 2.6% to around 1.59 million tons from last month's estimate of around 1.55 million tons. It estimates U.S. long-grain rice ending stocks to increase about 25% y/y in MY 2015-16. However, USDA kept its estimates for U.S. MY 2015-16 combined medium & short-grain ending stocks unchanged from last month's estimate of around 0.5 million tons. It estimates U.S. combined medium & short-grain rice ending stocks to decline about 12% y/y in MY 2015-16.
USDA estimates MY 2015-16 U.S. all rice farm prices to decline slightly to around $271.00 - $293.21 per ton from last month's estimates of around $271.17 - $293.21. It kept its estimates for long-grain rice farm prices and combined medium and short-grain farm prices to remain at last month's level of $220.46 - $242.51 and $392.42 - $414.46 respectively.
The USDA has kept its forecasts for U.S. all rice production unchanged from last month.

Philippines Rice Stocks Increase for Second Consecutive Month in May 2015

Jun 11, 2015
The Philippines rice stocks have increased for second consecutive month in May 2015 after declining for three consecutive months since January 2015, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).Total rice stocks in the Philippines as of May 1, 2015 reached around 3.17 million tons, up about 25% from around 2.54 million tons recorded in April 2015, and up about 26% from around 2.52 million tons recorded during the same period last year.
According to the BAS, household stocks (which account for about 47% of total rice stocks in the country) have reached around 1.49 million tons as of May 1, 2015, up about 12% from year-ago levels of around 1.33 million tons. Commercial warehouse rice stocks (which account for about 33.7% of total stocks) have reached around 1.07 million tons as of May 1, 2015, up about 47% from their year-ago levels of around 730,000 tons. The rice stocks with the National Food Authority (NFA) (which account for 19.3% of total stocks) stood at around 610,000 tons, up about 30% from around 470,000 tons recorded in May 2014.Month-on-month, household rice stocks are up about 18%, commercial warehouse rice stocks are up about 34% and NFA rice stocks - in which about 96.2% are imported rice - are down about 24%, according to the BAS.
The BAS says that the Philippines' rice stocks as of May 1, 2015 are enough to last for 93 days (household stocks are enough for 44 days, commercial warehouses stocks are enough for 31 days and stocks with NFA are enough for 18 days).The government is planning to ramp up imports to ensure adequate stocks and avoid price hikes in the country. The National Food Authority (NFA) has decided to import 650,000 tons of rice (200,000 tons from Thailand and 450,000 tons from Vietnam) under government-to-government deals in 2015 to ensure adequate stocks in the lean season (June – September). It is further planning to import 805,200 tons of rice through private importers under the WTO minimum access volume (MAV) rule. It imported more than 1.8 million tons of rice (including 1.5 million tons of 2014 imports and 300,000 tons of 2013 residual imports) in 2014 to replenish rice stocks and control price hikes.

Thailand Supreme Court Grants Bail to Former Commerce Minister in G2G Rice Case

Jun 11, 2015
Thailand's Supreme Court has granted bail to the former Commerce Minister in the government-to-government (G2G) rice sales case, according to local sources.The President of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders, who supervises the case, told local sources that the Court granted bail to the former Minister at 20 million baht (around $593,190) and ordered him not to leave the country without its permission. The former Minister reportedly placed a saving account as surety.
Some 21 individuals, including the former Commerce Minister and the former Deputy Commerce Minister have been indicted for their alleged corruption in government-to-government (G2G) rice deals with two Chinese companies. The 21 individuals apparently helped two Chinese companies, which were reportedly not authorized by the Chinese government, to seal G2G contracts for about 1.2 million tons of rice with the Thai government without participating in a bid.The individuals are said to have violated the Criminal Code, the Public Competitive Bidding Act and the Anti-Corruption Act. The first trial against the 21 individuals will commence on June 29, 2015. If found guilty, the 21 individuals, including the former Commerce Minister, may face life imprisonments as well as a fine of up to 35.2 billion baht (around $1.1 million).

Thai Irrigation Department Advises Farmers to Delay 2015 In-Season Rice Planting Till July

Jun 11, 2015
Thailand's Royal Irrigation Department (RID) has advised farmers to delay in-season/main season (April - January) rice planting to due to persisting drought conditions and depleted water reserves, according to local sources.The Director-General of the RID told local sources that the announcement has been issued to rice farmers in the Chao Phraya River Basin to limit their use of water on their farms as the rainfall so far has been lower than the forecast. He also noted that decrease in water input in reservoirs coupled with increase in output to offset the dry weather conditions has led to a fast depletion of water sources.
He noted that a postponement of rice planting would help in averting a severe shortage of water. The DG suggested that July would be more appropriate to start rice planting as they expect rains to pick up by then.

Vietnam Rice Exports to Africa Increase Significantly in First Five Months of 2015, Says MOIT

Jun 11, 2015
Vietnam's rice exports to Africa have increase both in volume and value during the first five months of 2015 after getting stagnated for a few months in 2014 due to the spread of the Ebola pandemic, according to a report by the Department of Africa, West Asia and South Asia Markets under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).Most of the increase has been to the West African nations, according to the report. According to data from the General Department of Customs, rice exports to Algeria increased by about 32% in tonnage and 29% in value; rice exports to Angola increased by about 49% in tonnage and 33% in value; rice exports to Ivory Coast increased by about 14% in tonnage and 22% in value; and rice exports to Ghana increased by about 15% in tonnage and 12% in value.
According to the USDA Post, Vietnam exported 236,248 tons of rice to African destinations in during January - April 2015, up about 27% from around 186,068 tons exported during the same period in 2014.The report also shows that Vietnam's rice exports to West Asian countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Syria also increased considerably.Vietnam exported about 2.081 million tons of rice in first five months of calendar year 2015, down about 11% from about 2.34 million tons of rice exported during same time in last year, according to data from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). 

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11th June (Thursday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- Jun 11

Nagpur, June 11 Gram and tuar prices showed weak tendency in Nagpur Agriculture
Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on lack of demand from local millers amid poor high
moisture content arrival. Downward trend on NCDEX in gram, good overseas supply, easy condition
in Madhya Pradesh pulses 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 quoted weak in open market here in absence of buyers amid increased 
     supply from producing belts.      
   * Udid varieties reported strong in open market here on good seasonal demand from 
     local traders amid thin supply from producing regions. Reports about weak production 
     in this season also activated stockists.
   * In Akola, Tuar - 7,300-7,700, Tuar dal - 10,100-10,500, Udid at 9,100-9,600, 
     Udid Mogar (clean) - 10,700-11,100, Moong - 9,000-9,200, Moong Mogar 
    (clean) 10,700-11,100, Gram - 4,200-4,500, Gram Super best bold - 6,100-6,300 
     for 100 kg.
   * 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                   3,600-4,525         3,650-4,525
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                6,500-7,130         6,500-7,240
     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            6,200-6,500        6,200-6,500
     Gram Super Best            n.a.                
     Gram Medium Best            5,800-6,000        5,800-6,000
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Mill Quality            5,500-5,650        5,500-5,650
     Desi gram Raw                4,550-4,650         4,550-4,650
     Gram Filter new            6,000-6,100        6,000-6,100
     Gram Kabuli                5,400-6,900        5,400-6,900
     Gram Pink                6,400-6,600        6,400-6,600
     Tuar Fataka Best             10,500-10,800        10,500-10,800
     Tuar Fataka Medium             9,900-10,300        9,900-10,300
     Tuar Dal Best Phod            9,500-9,700        9,500-9,700
     Tuar Dal Medium phod            8,800-9,300        8,800-9,300
     Tuar Gavarani New             7,350-7,450        7,400-7,500
     Tuar Karnataka             8,000-8,100        8,000-8,100
     Tuar Black                 11,000-11,300           11,000-11,300 
     Masoor dal best            8,000-8,200        8,000-8,200
     Masoor dal medium            7,500-7,900        7,500-7,900
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold               10,800-11,000       10,800-11,000
     Moong Mogar Medium best        10,000-10,500        10,000-10,500
     Moong dal Chilka            9,500-9,800        9,500-9,800
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            9,600-9,900        9,600-9,900
     Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG)    11,500-11,750       11,400-11,700
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    10,600-10,800        10,500-10,800
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        8,900-9,200        8,800-9,100
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        4,200-4,400        4,200-4,400
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)           3,300-3,350         3,300-3,350
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)        3,400-3,500        3,400-3,500
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,150         3,100-3,150
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,600-4,500        3,600-4,500
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,400-1,600        1,400-1,600
     Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG)    1,550-1,650        1,550-1,650
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)        1,400-1,600           1,400-1,600
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,400        2,200-2,400
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)    1,900-2,100        1,900-2,100
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,100-3,600        3,100-3,600
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,700-2,900        2,700-2,900
     Wheat 147 (100 INR/KG)        1,400-1,500        1,400-1,500
     Wheat Best (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,100        1,900-2,100     
     Rice BPT New(100 INR/KG)        2,700-2,850        2,700-2,850
     Rice BPT (100 INR/KG)               3,000-3,200        3,000-3,200
     Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG)        1,600-1,850        1,600-1,850
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)      2,200-2,450        2,100-2,450
     Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG)      2,500-2,800        2,500-2,800
     Rice HMT new(100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,600        3,100-3,600
     Rice HMT (100 INR/KG)               3,800-4,200        3,800-4,200
     Rice HMT Shriram New(100 INR/KG)    4,100-4,500        4,100-4,500
     Rice HMT Shriram old (100 INR/KG)    4,500-5,000        4,500-5,000     
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    8,200-10,200        8,200-10,200
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    6,000-7,200        6,000-7,200
     Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG)    4,700-4,900        4,700-4,900
     Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG)        5,500-6,000        5,500-6,000
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,200-2,450        2,200-2,450
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)        2,500-2,600        2,500-2,600
Maximum temp. 42.9 degree Celsius (109.2 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
26.8 degree Celsius (83.8 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 42 and 28 degree Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but
included in market prices.)
Excessive metallic contaminant found in rice sample imported from Japan
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (June 10) announced that a sample of pre-packaged rice imported from Japan was detected with excessive cadmium, a metallic contaminant. The trade should stop selling the affected product immediately.
Details of the product are as follows:
Product name: Rinse-free Yamagata Tsuyahime
Place of origin: Japan
Manufacturer: Iris Ohyama Inc
Importer: Mineichi (Hong Kong) Industries Limited
Best before date: March 19, 2016
Net weight: 1.8 kilograms

"The CFS collected the sample at import level for testing under its regular Food Surveillance Programme. Test result showed that the sample contained cadmium at a level of 0.19 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the legal limit of 0.1 ppm.According to the information provided by the importer, the import quantity of the affected Japanese rice was seven cartons with a total weight of about 50 kg, of which five cartons were sold to 'YATA Department Store' in Sha Tin and 'YATA Supermarket' in Kwun Tong, while the remaining two cartons were stored in the importer's warehouse. The CFS has informed the importer concerned of the above irregularity and instructed it to stop the sale and remove from shelves the affected batch of product.
The importer has voluntarily recalled the affected batch of product and the Centre has marked and sealed all recalled product and the remaining stock.Prosecution will be considered," a CFS spokesman said."Based on the level of cadmium detected in the sample, adverse health effects will not be caused by normal consumption," the spokesman said.According to the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) Regulations (Cap 132V), any person who sells food with metallic contamination above the legal limit is liable upon conviction to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months."The CFS advises the public to maintain a balanced and varied diet and consider complementing rice with other cereals (for example noodles, oatmeal and bread) as part of the diet so as to avoid excessive intake of particular chemicals or contaminants because of picky eating," the spokesman added.The CFS will inform the Japanese authorities and the local trade, closely follow up the incident and take appropriate actions to safeguard food safety and public health. Investigation is ongoing. Source: HKSAR

2.7 metric tonnes of paddy procured

Updated: June 11, 2015 05:47 IST
The East Godavari district administration has procured 2.7 lakh metric tonnes of paddy from farmers through paddy procurement centres for the Rabi season. The centres will remain closed from June 20, according to S. Satyanarayana, Joint Collector. Reviewing the procurement process with officials and rice millers, Mr. Satyanarayana asked millers to complete the custom milling process at the earliest and hand over rice to the Food Corporation of India (FCI). He said the FCI would soon provide warehousing facilities.

Weak rainfall could hamper paddy yield


KATHMANDU, JUN 11 - Just as the country is reeling under severe heatwave, meteorologists have forecast a second consecutive year of weak rainfall. The deficient rains could hit farmers, particularly those growing paddy in the Tarai districts, and could adversely affect the country’s economy already shattered by the April 25 earthquake and its powerful aftershocks.The four-month long monsoon season Description: Description: -normally starts from June 10. However, no rainfall activities have been recorded throughout the week.The continued dry conditions and lack of soil moisture due to absence of any rainfall activities during the pre-monsoon days has already hit the farmers as they have not been able to sow paddy seeds, something that should have been done a week ago.“Farmers have not been able to sow paddy seeds that should have been planted a week ago,” said Nawal Kishor Yadav, coordinator of Dhanusha-based National Rice Research Centre under the Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC).Paddy sowing period in most of the Tarai districts starts in early June and stretches until the end of the same month. After sowing period ends, paddy transplantation starts from June 30 in many Tarai districts.“However delay in sowing paddy seeds could affect the paddy transplantation. The deficient rains in districts with poor irrigation facilities will further aggravate the farmers’ woes,” Yadav said. “There is still time for sowing seeds if the soil gets some moisture.
” NARC has been promoting the dry direct seeded rice practice in some Tarai districts.The direct seeded rice requires 35 to 40 percent less water than the normal paddy sowing and plantation process, according to NARC.“Similarly, NARC has released around 74 varieties of improved paddy seeds, of which 62 are used widely by the farmers,” Yadav said. Some of these seeds are tolerant to extreme climatic changes and stresses such as drought, flooding and submergence.The government has already decided to distribute 423 tons of improved varieties of paddy seeds for the farmers in 14 earthquake-affected districts and also provide 25 percent subsidy while purchasing seeds for farmers in other districts.Shiva Nepal, a senior meteorologist at the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), said that as per the prediction of the South Asian monsoon prepared by a group of weather experts across the world, except for few places in the Eastern hilly districts and Western Nepal, the monsoon is expected to be ‘below average’ across the country.
“There are chances of short to long dry spells along with extreme rainfall events during this monsoon, both likely to cause impact on overall agriculture sector,” said Nepal. The information about the possible dry spells and extreme rainfall events has been shared with the policy makers, agronomists along with the farmers so that appropriate measures could be taken to help the farmers to deal with dry conditions, he added.Last year, the unexpected wet spell caused by heavy rains and thunderstorms during the rice harvesting period in October affected the farmers a lot. The projected growth with average monsoon rains last year went down due to the ‘unexpected’ weather condition, Yadav added.
Brief showers bring respite from heat
Cloudy weather with brief thundershowers in some parts of the Central and Eastern regions on Wednesday brought some respite from the continued rise in temperatures and heat wave conditions in Tarai districts.According to the Meteorological Forecasting Division (MFD), the sudden change in weather condition is likely to persist until Thursday evening but heavy rains are very unlikely in the same period.
Normal life in many western Tarai districts and some parts of Central and Eastern regions has been affected owing to the rising temperatures and heat wave conditions in the past two weeks. The heat wave also claimed three lives in Tarai districts where the temperature rose between 42 and 44 degree Celsius in the recent days.“Strong thunder clouds developed locally in the western region is further intensifying and moving towards east. This local disturbance is further supported by the moisture inflow from the cyclonic movement developed along the Arabian Sea, “said Shanta Kandel, a meteorologist at the MFD.
She said the system will result in thunder shower activities in Kathmandu as well as some eastern districts. She, however, added that the sudden rainfall activity on Wednesday is not connected to monsoon rains and the Far-West Nepal would witness heat conditions for next couple of days.Usually the rain-bearing monsoon enters the country on June 10 from the eastern region and takes almost a week to spread throughout the country. Weatherpersons have predicted that the monsoon is likely to be delayed by a couple of days this year. On Wednesday, Dharan, among the 19 meteorological stations of the MFD, recorded the highest rainfall measuring 19.8 millimetres, followed by Pokhara at 7.3 millimetres and Kathmandu at 6 millimetres.
 Posted on: 2015-06-11 07:49

PH cuts estimate for Q2 rice output due to dry weather

Posted at 06/11/2015 11:30 AM

MANILA - The Philippines, one of the world's top rice importers, has made a slight cut to its estimated output of the staple grain in the second quarter of 2015 due to dry weather and worries over crop disease.Unmilled rice output in the April-June period is now expected to reach 3.898 million tonnes, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in an updated production report.That is down from the 3.902 million tons predicted in April and a January forecast of 3.96 million tons.Philippine farm officials are closely watching the impact of dry weather from an El Nino weather pattern as they consider importing more grain to boost buffer stocks.

Demand for more cargoes could be good news for key regional exporters Vietnam and Thailand.The Philippine state grains procurement agency, the National Food Authority (NFA), has imported 650,000 tons of rice so far this year after purchases in 2014 totaling around 1.7 million tons, the biggest in four years.The NFA already has government approval to buy another 250,000 tons if drought brought on by El Nino hurts its harvest. It also has the option to import 100,000 tons not allocated in a tender held last week.On top of that, the government is ready to allow traders to bring in up to 805,000 tons more, with tariffs, in the third quarter.


The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) thanked the government for giving income tax relief to the rice millers in the budget but regretted the dis-concern of the government to the real impediments being faced by the rice industry and urged the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to play its role and save the rice industry.President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the rice millers are facing bankruptcy and are unable to repay the loans of the banks due to lack of demand from overseas buyers. He recommended easy repayment facilities for the millers to overcome the difficulties of cash inflows.Thaver said we had predicted long ago and kept reminding the ministry of commerce (MINCOM) to work in this direction to overcome this anticipated adverse situation. It was very necessary that the government should have worked on reducing cost of production by removing taxes on farm inputs. Secondly it is also very important for the exporters to enhance sales by promoting brands in global markets.
Thirdly it was required that our exporters should have entered new markets and promoted different varieties of rice.The SME rice exporters who added value to the grains were eliminated by the big rice exporters who supported the Quality Review Committee (QRC) and made transactions difficult for the small to medium sized exporters scaring them of QRC rejection of cargo.The TDAP needs to act fast and take positive concrete steps to revive the rice industry on war footings. The SME rice exporters must be facilitated, supported and encouraged to re-enter the rice business and re-open their units.
The parboiled units in Sindh need to be revived. The situation can only be saved by vigorous efforts of the TDAP to offer free services to SMES who wish to promote their brands in non traditional markets. The SME exporters are unable to export to third world countries and for this the cover of export credit guarantee insurance (ECGI) is urgently required at affordable premium. The banks are not discounting letter of credits of low rating banks and this aspect is very discouraging and again the ECGI could facilitate transactions.Thaver said the TDAP had formed a steering committee to establish an SME Export House to promote the SMES to sell their goods in overseas markets but shelved the plan for reasons best known to them. All over the world the SMEs are encouraged to sell their goods on the internet and UNISAME had suggested to Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and TDAP to join hands and establish an SME Gallery to exhibit the products and brands of the SMES.
The lethargy of the authorities is proving injurious to the cause of the sector.The other most important aspect which has given a setback to the rice industry is the decline in orders fro Iran. The MINCOM needs to take up the matter with Iran and establish framework for payments to and from Iran for mutual benefit.UNISAME thanked the MINCOM for finally disbanding the QRC and also the ministry of finance for granting relief to the rice units in the budget.

Rice exporters protest against massacre of Rohangya Muslims in Burma

10 June 2015 by ppiimages
Members of the Rice Exporters Association hold signs that say "Stop killing Muslims," and chant slogans against the massacre of Rohangya Muslims in Burma, in Karachi, Pakistan.
Description: Rice exporters protest against massacre of Rohangya Muslims in BurmaDescription: Rice exporters protest against massacre of Rohangya Muslims in Burma
Members of the Rice Exporters Association held a protest and chanted slogans against the massacre of Rohangya Muslims in Burma, in Karachi, Pakistan.Please note: the text contained in "Rice exporters protest against massacre of Rohangya Muslims in Burma" has not been corrected, edited or verified by Demotix and is the raw text submitted by the photojournalist.
All views and opinions expressed are that of the independent photojournalist and do not represent the views of Demotix Ltd. These details have been included in order to provide as much information as possible to the Media buyer.Demotix reserves the right to pursue unauthorised users of this content. If you violate our intellectual property you may be liable for: actual damages, loss of income, and profits you derive from the use of this image or clip, and, where appropriate, the costs of collection and/or statutory damages.

Rapid groundwater depletion threatens Pakistan food security: officials

Description: Reuters 

By Aamir SaeedJune 10, 2015 6:48 AM

PAKPATTAN, Pakistan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Until recently, Ghulam Mustafa made a living growing sugarcane, rice, barley and wheat on his 10-acre farm in Punjab province.But these days he is struggling. The water available in wells in the area is dwindling, and the cost of pumping it to his crops is rising. Like many other farmers in the area, Mustafa, 51, now plans to cultivate only half his land and leave the rest for his livestock."The groundwater level in our area has gone down around 15 to 20 feet in the last five to six years," he said.

"And unfortunately it continues to decline each year."Across Punjab province and two districts of neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, groundwater supplies are depleting at 16 to 55 centimetres (6 to 21 inches) a year, according to a study carried out by the International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute (IWASRI), part of the Pakistani government's Water and Power Development Authority.Efforts by farmers to find more water are only exacerbating the problem. Muhammad Saeed, director at IWASRI, said that 42 percent of the land in Punjab is irrigated using wells and the excessive pumping of groundwater is quickly lowering the water table.

Mustafa, for instance, said he must deepen his well in Pakpattan district almost every year to get enough water for irrigation. The deeper his well gets, the harder his generator has to work to pump out the water – and that uses more diesel fuel.The farmer's monthly fuel bill for his pump has increased from 5,000 rupees ($49) to 7,000 rupees ($68) in just the last year."Pakistan lacks a water recharge system in the area, as we cannot get water from the Sutlej and Beas rivers under the Indus Water Treaty with India,” Saeed said. That water-sharing treaty, signed in 1960, divides the Indus River system equally between India and Pakistan, giving each country exclusive use of three of the river's tributaries."In the near future, farmers will no longer be able to grow water-intensive crops like sugarcane and rice,” Saeed predicted.

According to the 2010 agricultural census carried out by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, almost 64 percent of the country's population lives in rural areas and earns a living from agricultural activities such as crop cultivation, livestock rearing, and transportation of agricultural products to market.At present, half of Pakistan’s population is food insecure and if the current trend of water depletion continues in Punjab and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — two regions that are home to 80 percent of Pakistan's farming population — food production and farming income will suffer, said Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an independent non-profit organization in Islamabad.

"The availability and accessibility of food may become difficult for over 60 percent of the populace in the next 10 years if immediate steps aren’t taken to recharge the aquifer,” he said.According to the IWASRI study, about 145 million acre-feet of water flows through Pakistan each year, but the country's existing storage capacity is only 14 million acre-feet, meaning it can only store enough water to last 30 days. The international standard is 120 days.


Improving water storage will be important. But Suleri believes another way to combat the growing water shortage is to teach farmers how to effectively irrigate crops with less water."The government should introduce water-efficient seed varieties in water-stressed areas and train farmers on using drip irrigation and sprinkle irrigation to save the scarce resource,” he said.Pakistan's wheat farmers have lost over 1.5 million tonnes of their crop this year due to erratic rainfall, hailstorms and water shortages, said Pervaiz Amir, country director for the Pakistan Water Partnership.He suggests the government should work to artificially recharge groundwater in water-short areas by building structures to capture water during the flood season and hold it in place, allowing it to percolate into the soil.Like Suleri of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Amir also believes the government needs to help show farmers how to more efficiently use limited water, to boost food production while protecting water sources.

"The government should regulate indiscriminate groundwater extraction by creating water (protection) zones and introducing water-saving technology in the agriculture sector to boost food security,” he said.For farmers like Mustafa in Pakpattan, solutions to Pakistan's shrinking water supply cannot come soon enough. He worries he will lose everything if levels of canal water and groundwater in the area keep decreasing."I fear that my whole farm may turn into a desert in next 10 years if the water scarcity continues at the same alarming pace,” he said.(Reporting by Aamir Saeed; editing by Jumana Farouky and Laurie Goering :; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers
humanitarian news, climate change, women's rights, trafficking and corruption. Visit

Pakistan wheat surplus to cool imports this year

Anis Majeed, chairman of Karachi-based food commodities firm Bombi’s Group, said the country was estimated to produce 25 million tonnes of wheat this year versus around 24m tonnes last year. Domestic wheat consumption was pegged around 22-23m tonnes, he said. —AFP/File
LONDON: Wheat surplus in the country is likely to mean little appetite for imports this year, although it will purchase more oilseeds due lower crop prospects, a leading local trader said.In November last year, the country imposed a 20 per cent import duty on wheat to help protect local farmers from imports, leading to the cancellation of some of the import deals.
Description: Anis Majeed, chairman of Karachi-based food commodities firm Bombi’s Group, said the country was estimated to produce 25 million tonnes of wheat this year versus around 24m tonnes last year. Domestic wheat consumption was pegged around 22-23m tonnes, he said. —AFP/FileAnis Majeed, chairman of Karachi-based food commodities firm Bombi’s Group, said the country was estimated to produce 25 million tonnes of wheat this year versus around 24m tonnes last year. Domestic wheat consumption was pegged around 22-23m tonnes, he said.“This year, Pakistan will not make big imports because we have the crop and there is a surplus,” Majeed said on a visit to London this week.The International Grains Council estimated Pakistan’s wheat production in 2015-16 at 25m tonnes, versus 25.5m tonnes in 2014-15.
In contrast, the country was expected to import higher quantities of oilseeds including canola, said Majeed, who is also chairman of the wholesale grocers’ association of Karachi.“If you calculate (oilseeds) ... altogether this year, we are expecting to import about 1.5 to 1.6m tonnes,” he said. “Last year was a little less — about 1.2m tonnes and our crop was better than this year.”
Majeed said Pakistan expected a good rice crop although exports were likely to be tempered by slower demand.“Pakistan’s production is around 6.5m tonnes annually — out of which 3.5m tonnes we export,” he said. “Prices have come down as the international market has come down,” he added. “Therefore, there could be a little less (exports) this year.”Majeed said rice exporters were looking to boost sales to Iran, a major consumer of Basmati grade rice.Iran and six world powers are seeking to overcome remaining differences with a looming self-imposed June 30 deadline to reach a deal over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme. The timing of sanctions relief for Iran are among the disputes holding up a nuclear accord.
Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2015

California rice farmers find Japanese trade negotiators a bit starchy

Charley Mathews Jr., a fifth-generation farmer in Marysville, surveys his rice paddies in the Sacramento Valley.
 (Don Lee / Los Angeles Times)
California rice farmers are hoping to export more to Japan but are making little headway in trade talks
 Description: California riceFor years Charley Mathews Jr. has exported tons of his best Sacramento Valley-grown rice to Japan, but it grates on him that very little of that has ever ended up on the tables of sushi restaurants or Japanese households.Instead, the Japanese government, which controls rice imports under a 2-decade-old quota system, has given away most of his and other foreign rice as food aid or sold it domestically as animal feed and an ingredient for rice crackers."We want recognition," said Mathews, 48, a fifth-generation California farmer whose great-grandfather began planting rice 80 years ago. He insists that California rice is as good as Japan's, if only Japanese consumers had a chance to try it.If I eat California rice immediately after it's cooked, I can't tell the difference. But if I taste it after long hours, I can tell the difference.

Expanding U.S. rice shipments to Japan is one of the most contentious and last remaining issues in talks over the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord. The 12-nation deal is expected to be concluded this summer if American lawmakers give President Obama authority to speed passage of trade agreements.The legislation cleared the Senate last month. And although a clutch of House Republicans has joined many wary Democrats in opposing the bill, the GOP leadership in the House has indicated it could take a vote on the measure Friday, suggesting that it believes there is enough support to hand Obama an important and rare legislative victory.Rice growers and others in the U.S. agricultural industry stand to be among the biggest winners should the Pacific trade accord go through.

American providers of pharmaceuticals, software, films and other internationally traded services also would benefit.On the other hand, U.S. makers of cars, textiles and other light industrial goods could lose more market share to imports from Japan as well as Vietnam and possibly others.Yet even as California farmers eye what could be a lucrative expansion into the world's most discriminating rice market in Japan, their ambitions have been complicated by the state's severe drought and the surge in the dollar.The U.S. last year exported $269 million worth of rice to Japan, most of that coming from California.

The state's rice planting this year, however, is expected to be the smallest in about a quarter century. Overall, U.S. farm goods represented $13.2 billion of the $67 billion in total merchandise exports to Japan in 2014.Despite their relatively small value, rice and some other agricultural goods are usually among the most sensitive in trade talks because of their industry's enormous political clout in many countries. The U.S. and Japan locked horns over beef and pork last year, and the fight over rice is even more delicate in Japan, where political and demographic forces are pushing against a further opening of that market.

If the USA protected its trade interests as well as the Japanese do - there would not be a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. If you think that the Japanese government is going to change anything about its trade practices, you are sadly mistaken

Given the size of the California congressional delegation and the potential importance of their votes to the trade pact's approval, the state's 2,000 rice farmers may have an outsized influence on the outcome.In addition to the symbolism of the small family farm that is part of America's history, "rice has become an iconic image of America's problems of opening up overseas markets," said Jock O'Connell, a trade economist at Beacon Economics in Sacramento.And that's true especially in trade relations with Japan, where the U.S. has long complained about non-tariff barriers for foreign cars, electronics and other goods.With more than 2 million farmers working on mostly small paddies, Japanese rice farming is widely considered inefficient. But farmers represent a core constituency for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party, and Japanese negotiators have been reluctant to give much ground when rice consumption continues to shrink with the nation's aging population.

It's a hot-button issue in the U.S. too. The lack of access to Japanese markets for U.S. rice and other farm goods, as well as for automobiles, has long been seen by many Americans as emblematic of Japan's reluctance to open trade.Japan allows imports of 770,000 metric tons of rice, about 9% of annual consumption. California farmers account for the lion's share of that amount, and many of them want Japan to increase its rice imports by 200,000 metric tons or so. The Japanese have been reported to be offering 50,000, which is less than 1% of the total consumption.

"From the beginning, we never sought a total opening because of the sensitivities," said Bob Cummings, chief operating officer at the USA Rice Federation in Arlington, Va. "But when you're looking at less than 1%, that's unacceptable."The high end of that range could add tens of millions of dollars to California's annual rice exports, valued at more than $600 million last year. About a third of that goes to Japan. But experts warn that even a significant increase in the import quota may not help California farmers as much as they hope.One big stumbling block now is the California drought, which has reduced the acreage of rice planted in the last two years about 25%, according to the California Rice Commission. Given the past and likely future water constraints, economists on both sides of the Pacific wonder whether California farmers can ramp up production even if American officials succeed in breaking open Japan's rice market.

"Unless farmers figure out more ingenious ways to irrigate their lands, we may not be able to take full advantage" of the trade deal, said O'Connell, the trade expert in Sacramento.In nearby Yuba City, Jon Munger, operations manager at Montna Farms, hops into his red pickup and drives along the dirt road that bisects a large field. On one side are lush green paddies, inundated with waters from the nearby Feather River. A white-faced ibis, stilts and other birds dance on the surface. On the other side, the square plots are bone dry, covered with browning weeds."People from the highway think we've got wall-to-wall watered fields," he said, alluding to the sensitivities stirred by drought-induced ordinances for consumers to ratchet back water use. But he said about 40% of Montna's entire 4,000-acre farmland was left unplanted this spring for the second year in a row because of water restrictions and costs."It's the most they've ever fallowed," said the 38-year-old. "It's definitely not sustainable.
 We need some help from Mother Nature."Sure, Munger said, increasing the Japanese rice market would be great for California farmers, especially for operations such as his that specialize in premium short-grain rice used for sushi. But at the moment, he isn't thinking about that potential benefit.Another challenge is that the price of Japan's domestically grown rice has fallen sharply in recent years as production and supplies have outstripped consumption.At the same time, the value of the Japanese yen has plunged against the dollar, largely reflecting the weakness of Japan's economy versus America's, making U.S. exports much more expensive. Since fall 2012, the yen has lost nearly 60% of its value against the dollar.

The upshot is that California exporters of short-grain rice, the sticky variety favored in Japan, have lost practically all of the price advantage they once enjoyed in Japan, said Kazuhito Yamashita, an agricultural policy expert at the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo.Ten years ago, he noted, Japanese rice was triple the cost of California's, and even two years ago, it was 50% more.With the price gap now gone, Yamashita said, some Japanese trading companies are even thinking about exporting Japanese rice to California.

 "It's very amazing," he said.Many Japanese also question whether California rice can compete on quality. Foreign rice generally doesn't have a good reputation among Japanese consumers."If I eat California rice immediately after it's cooked, I can't tell the difference," said a Japanese government official, who asked for anonymity given the sensitivity of the trade talks."But if I taste it after long hours, I can tell the difference," he said. A colleague nodded in agreement. "The Japanese rice, even after long hours, is still sticky."

Rice hopes pinned on China

By Htin Linn Aung   |   Thursday, 11 June 2015

Rice exports are set to continue rising on the back of increased shipments to China, according to U Ye Min Aung, general secretary of the Myanmar Rice Federation.

Rice farmers may receive a higher price if exports grow, though domestic consumers may suffer. Photo: AFP

 Myanmar launches its first official rice exports to China in May, and aims to export the next portion of its 100,000 tonne quota at the end of June, he said.Rice exports to China have generally been illegal from China’s point of view, until the two sides reached an agreement last year to begin legal shipments.With the start of the official trade with China, Myanmar exports have to meet certain health standards and can now be shipped by sea, rather than the informal trade which generally goes overland past Muse in northern Shan State.

Description: Rice farmers may receive a higher price if exports grow, though domestic consumers may suffer. Photo: AFP“Official exports to China are succeeding,” said U Ye Min Aung. “The next round of official exports will start this month and in July. In the meantime, we are also expanding in African markets, so we expect next year’s exports to be stronger.The price of 1 metric tonne of emahta rice is from US$330 to $350, an increase from about $320 last month. Rice prices traditionally climb the furthest in the year from the November-to-December harvest.A total of 29 companies now have permission to legally sell rice to China.
Nine companies were initially approved for the trade earlier this year. At the time, industry insiders questioned the fairness of some of the firms, which have to meet China’s stringent health standards, saying many of the selected companies were small or not yet formed.Myanmar hopes to export 2 million tonnes of rice this year. The country had previously average over 2 million tonnes of exports a year until World War II, before steadily declining until the 1990s, according to a World Bank report last year. Rice exports have since been steadily increasing, it added.Much of the recent growth in exports has come from Chinese demand. It went from insignificant in 2011 to 747,000 tonnes in 2013, more than half of the total 1.277 million tonnes traded that year, the report said.

U Ye Min Aung said domestic exporters see bigger opportunities from growing demand along the Chinese border, even though it does not official recognise the trade.Growing exports have been blamed for putting upward pressure on domestic prices, but U Ye Min Aung said there is still room for both exports and domestic consumption.“High prices in the domestic market are not good for consumers,” he said.“It is hard to handle, but we need to find ways to lower the gap between wholesale and retail prices.”U Chit Khine, a prominent businessperson and official with the Myanmar Rice Industry Association, said prices surges do not always end up with farmers.“Rising rice prices increase the price for paddy.
When this happens, it’s good for farmers. But if there are restrictions by way of price controls, farmers don’t receive the benefits,” he said.“Instead of the old method of restricting price rises, we should seek more exports and find other ways to import for domestic consumption, such as importing cheap rice from Thailand.”Thailand has been attempting to sell off its buffer stocks of rice following a failed attempt to corner the global market by its previous government.

 Translation by Zar Zar Soe

Gov’t-to-gov’t talks slated for remaining rice imports

THE NATIONAL Food Authority (NFA) will resort to negotiated procurement next week for the balance of the 250,000-metric ton (MT) rice imports needed to further boost the country’s buffer stock in the face of increasing production uncertainty this quarter, an official said yesterday.
“Government-to-government negotiations will be conducted next week for the 100,000 MT,” NFA Public Affairs Director Angel G. Imperial, Jr. said via text when asked on the government’s plans after Vietnam bagged a contract earlier this month to supply just 150,000 MT.Mr. Imperial said Vietnam received the notice of award last Wednesday, adding that “60% of the 150,000 MT will be delivered not later than July 15, while the remaining 40% will be delivered not later than Aug. 15.” Vietnam was the only country that matched the $410.12/MT floor price set for 25% broken rice variety in the June 5 auction.

Existing bilateral agreements allow the Philippines to import rice from Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia through government-to-government procurement mode. All three countries were invited again for the negotiated procurement, said Mr. Imperial.NFA last month said it was prepared to import an additional 250,000 MT should El NiƱo turn out to be more intense than expected.

Last March, Vietnam and Thailand bagged contracts to supply a total of 500,000 MT in time for the three-month annual lean season that starts in July.All this comes as the government has cut further its second-quarter estimates for grain staples, citing an expected contraction of harvest areas due to “adverse effects of dry spell, insufficient water supply, and incidence of pests and diseases in some provinces.
”The Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics’ May update shows second-quarter palay production is now expected at 3.898 million MT, compared to April’s 3.902 million MT estimate and 4.3% less than the 4.073 million MT actual output in 2014’s comparable quarter. For corn, production this quarter may total 997,000 MT against April’s 1.029 million MT forecast and 17% less than the 1.202 million MT actual output in the same period last year. This is the second downward revision of second-quarter estimates from the original 3.96 million MT and 1.25 million MT respective forecasts last January.

PH cuts estimate for Q2 rice output due to dry weather

Posted at 06/11/2015 11:30 AM
MANILA - The Philippines, one of the world's top rice importers, has made a slight cut to its estimated output of the staple grain in the second quarter of 2015 due to dry weather and worries over crop disease.Unmilled rice output in the April-June period is now expected to reach 3.898 million tonnes, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in an updated production report.That is down from the 3.902 million tons predicted in April and a January forecast of 3.96 million tons.

Philippine farm officials are closely watching the impact of dry weather from an El Nino weather pattern as they consider importing more grain to boost buffer stocks.Demand for more cargoes could be good news for key regional exporters Vietnam and Thailand.The Philippine state grains procurement agency, the National Food Authority (NFA), has imported 650,000 tons of rice so far this year after purchases in 2014 totaling around 1.7 million tons, the biggest in four years.The NFA already has government approval to buy another 250,000 tons if drought brought on by El Nino hurts its harvest. It also has the option to import 100,000 tons not allocated in a tender held last week.On top of that, the government is ready to allow traders to bring in up to 805,000 tons more, with tariffs, in the third quarter.

Modified rice may help combat China’s smog problem, Chinese scientists claim


PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 June, 2015, 8:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 June, 2015, 11:04am
Scientists have cloned a gene from one strain of rice and inserted it into another that requires less fertilisation, which causes smog. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese scientists have found a way to change the genetic make-up of a popular species of rice, a move they claim could ease the country’s chronic smog problem by lowering the amount of fertilisers containing nitrogen that farmers use.China suffers from more severe nitrogen pollution than any other country. 

Description: it has just 7 per cent of the world’s farm land, China consumes over one-third, or 35 per cent, of the world’s nitrogen fertilisers. Such agricultural usage has led to massive pollution of the country's soil, water and air.Many scientific studies had warned that smog in China was being caused by this, in addition to industrial activities.When nitric oxides are released into the atmosphere they undergo a series of photochemical reactions that transform them into harmful fine particulates, which in turn become smog.But it was difficult to persuade farmers to scale back their use of the offending fertilisers. Chinese rice, especially the japonica subspecies grown in northern provinces like Heilongjiang, requires heavy use of fertilisers because of the poor rate at which it absorbs nitride from soil and water. Plants need nitride in order to grow healthily.

Now scientists claim to have unlocked the problem by cloning a gene called NRT1 from indica rice and inserting it into the japonica's genetic sequence. This boosts the rate at which the rice can absorb nitride by more than one-third. The breakthrough, published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Genetics, was hailed as “a great discovery” by an anonymous peer reviewer. It will have “enormous application value” in the fight against nitrogen pollution, the authors wrote.The transplantation of the nitric booster gene “had significantly improved grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency,” they added. 

During a series of field experiments in Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha, the team found that the modified rice species only needed half as much fertiliser to achieve similarly high grain yields as regular japonica. The team was led by professor Chu Chengcai at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology in Beijing.Indica belongs to the same family as japonica but is grown mostly in southern China as well as in tropical regions like Thailand and the Philippines, as well as India. It can absorb nitrogen more easily that its northern cousin.
Yet its area of cultivation is limited because it cannot survive in northern China’s cold climate, despite this region serving as the country’s largest rice production centre. Moreover, Chinese consumers prefer the rich and sticky taste of japonica.In their paper, the scientists said the discovery also represented an important milestone for the “green super rice project," an international effort to develop new species of rice to meet the growing global demand for food resources.
BRRI-dhan 63 raises optimism among farmers, scientists

SHERPUR, Jun 11 (UNB): Production of BRRI-dhan 63, a fine quality high-yielding rice variety newly developed by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), has raised high optimism among farmers in Sherpur as well as agricultural scientists, after it has been released to farmers for growing in Boro season.'Soru balam' or BRRI-dhan 63 is thin and long like miniket rice and it has no aroma, BRRI sources said.The new high-yielding rice variety has raised rays of hope among farmers and scientists after its production of eight tonnes per hectare in the Boro session this year.The success will further increase interests among farmers in the greater Mymensingh region in the next Boro session, local farmers said.
Recently, the BRRI cultivates eight high yielding varieties of rice on a test basis on three acres of land at Talki village in Nakla upazila of the district. Farmers harvested the paddy from the eight plots on trial basis in presence of high officials and agriculturists.Officials observed that the BRRI-63 produced around eight tonnes of rice in only 148 days, which takes little time than BRRI-28 and BRRI-29 and shows somewhat more production than that of the traditional rice.Farmer Gaziul Islam of the village said the rice of the BRRI-63 is fine and tall. Its price is more than coarse rice in the market, he said. Julhas Uddin, another farmer, said, "Many farmers expressed expectation to cultivate the paddy in the next session noticing my success."The BRRI cultivators said the new high-yielding rice variety had been officially released to farmers in 2013 for growing from the next Boro season.
The BBRI-63 was invented as hybrid between BRRI-dhan 28 and Iranian rice Amul-3 and it is possible to collect the paddy from the field within 145 to 148 days. It is highly productive in Boro season with an average yield potential of 7 to 7.5 tonnes (MT) per hectare. The BRRI-63 is exportable for being fine quality high-yielding rice.Its market price will be double than coarse rice as the rice is beautiful and pearly-white, extra long and neat.
The cultivators expected that the BRRI 63 will capture the place of BRRI 26, BRRI 28 and BRRI 29 in next Boro season as it has become popular this season.Chief agronomist of BRRI's breeding department Dr Tomal Lata Aditaya, also breeder of BRRI-63, said "Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury has given us some rice of Amul-3 of Iran.The BRRI -63 was developed with making hybrid between BRRI-28 and Amul-3. We expect that it will contest with the traditional rice."Nakla upazila agriculture officer M Ashraf Uddin said the rice can be harvested seven days earlier than any other hybrid rice and its production and quality is very good. It will be more popular in the next season, he said.
LPN reinstatement lauded
 11 JUNE 2015 @ 7:45 PM

Description: STAR: The Malay Rice Millers’ Association lauded the government’s move to reinstate the National Paddy and Rice Board (LPN) which they believe would protect food security in the country. Its chairman Musonnef Md Radzi said the association had been discussing the issue over 10 years and it was high time for the government to reinstate the LPN’s role in order to monitor and control the paddy industry. Musonnef said the government was the suitable body to look after the padi and rice production instead of Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas) after it was privatised in 1995.
“Bernas has played the role of regulator and distributor for the country’s rice industry as well as to ensure the nation’s rowing rice demand be fulfilled through the management of the National Stockpile and the Padi Price Subsidy Scheme. “However, since the privatisation of Bernas, most of the Malay Rice Millers’ Association had gone ‘bankrupt’ as Bernas solely looked for profit instead of its farmers’ welfare and the rice production,” he said here today. Musonnef said the Bernas should have empowered Bumiputera farmers and rice distributions but everything went wrong since its privatisation. “Citing an example, in 1985, a total of 103 Malay Rice Millers’ Association had registered but today, there are only 19 millers that are still operating.
 “As such, this is about time for the government to review the board and Bernas functions in order to help the farmers as well as to scrutinise the padi industrial cycle,” he said. He added that with the existence of the board, it could increase the padi yields and the country will achieve its goals which no longer rely on imported rice by 2020. It was reported on June 6 that the Agriculture and Agro Based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will bring the matter to the cabinet to reinstate the LPN in order to monitor the production of padi and rice.

South Bengal dry, north too wet

- Panta bhat in Nadia hotels to beat the scorching heat
The Panta platter at Hotel Haveli. Picture by Abhi Ghosh
Krishnagar, June 10: As the mercury shoots up, a humble comfort food is going posh.Panta bhat, or rice soaked in water overnight and served with lime wedges, onion, pickle and chillis, has been a staple in Bengali homes, especially in the villages, as a cooling dish. Now hotels in Krishnagar are serving "Panta platters" to beat the heat.With the Tropic of Cancer passing through a point close to Krishnagar, the town experiences extremes of heat and cold.For the last 10 days it has been experiencing an average of about 40°C.As a result customers at hotels on NH34, which passes through Krishnagar, were refusing food. No one wanted the hot, spicy dishes that are the trademark at such places.Then the owner of Hotel Haveli, Sanjoy Chaki, had a brainwave. Early this month, the hotel, which has two units in the town including a multi-cuisine restaurant, introduced two varieties of the "Panta thali" - a veg thali and a "Panta with fried fish".
Description:"The traditional veg Panta thali package includes panta bhat, kasundi (mustard paste), sorsher tel (mustard oil), Gandharaj lebu (lime wedges), kancha lanka (chilli), sliced onion, alur chokha (potato mash), fried red chilli, posto bora (fires made with poppy seed paste), alu jhuri bhaja (fried potato strips), mango chutney, sour curd and a sweet paan.This thali costs Rs 70. The fish Panta package offers a choice from three kinds of fish dishes and costs Rs 140."Most of the other hotels are offering "Panta platters" with alur chokha and posto bora. Some customers may not like the fermented flavour of rice soaked overnight, so Chaki soaks the rice in the morning and refrigerates it for six hours. He uses Basmati rice.
"I have been selling over one hundred dishes daily," he says. Rajiv Ghosh, who runs a roadside dhaba, has also introduced the Panta varieties, but at a lower price.Panta is really cool. It is also what the doctor orders.Himadri Haldar, superintendent of Saktinagar district hospital in Krishnagar: "Taking Panta during lunch on a hot day is a good idea. In a humid situation people generally suffer from digestion problems and dehydration. Rice soaked in water can be digested easily and it provides energy and fluids to the body to keep it cool, particularly for those who stay out in the sun."Panta bhat also has more micronutrients than fresh rice, especially sodium, potassium and calcium. It is traditional in some villages for pregnant women to have Panta.Not only the passers-by on NH34, but the whole of Krishnagar could have it.The rise in the mercury level has had an impact, some say, on the attendance in some central and state government offices in particular during May-June.
A central government official of the district administration said: "Generally we record an average attendance of about 90 per cent every day. However, during the past 30 days, a fall of about 10 per cent in attendance has been recorded".However Nadia ADM(G) Utpal Bhadra did not agree."The attendance is normal at the district administrative headquarters," he said.But the Krishnagar district court was closed for about a fortnight owing to the scorching heat. Secretary of Nadia district court bar association Debasish Roy said: "We were compelled to take a break due to heat from May 18 to May 31. The court resumed work on June 1, but the attendance of lawyers and clients is still very poor. The clients from distant areas like Debagram, Plassey, Kaliganj are not coming due to the heat, as they have to travel about 60 km. This is a tremendous problem."

Barley inches up on scattered demand
Thursday, 11 June 2015
New Delhi, June 11:
Barley prices were marginally up by Rs 10 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today on increased demand from consuming industries.However, other grains including wheat, moved in a narrow range on little doing and settled around previous levels.Traders said increased demand from consuming industries mainly pushed up barley prices.In the national capital, barley edged up by Rs 10 to Rs 1,280-1,290 per quintal.
Other bold grains like, bajra and maize slipped to Rs 1,205-1,210 and Rs 1,225-1,230 from previous levels of Rs 1,220-1,225 and Rs 1,240-1,245 per quintal respectively.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) 2,300-2,650, Wheat dara (for mills) 1,520-1,525, Chakki atta (delivery) 1,540-1,545, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) 220, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) 220, Roller flour mill 820-830 (50 kg), Maida 840-850 (50 kg) and Sooji 940-950 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) 10,400, Shri Lal Mahal 10,000, Super Basmati Rice 9,500, Basmati common new 4,900-5,100, Rice Pusa (1121) 3,900-4,900, Permal raw 1,750-1,800, Permal wand 1,900-1,925, Sela 2,300-2,400 and Rice IR-8 1,600-1,625, Bajra 1,205-1,210, Jowar yellow 1,490-1,500, white 2,550-2,650, Maize 1,225-1,230, Barley 1,280-1,290.

Food Hospitality World’s silver edition rolls out in Bengaluru

The 25th edition of Food Hospitality World (FHW) 2015 exhibition kick-started today at the White Orchid Convention Centre in Bengaluru

By: feonline | June 11, 2015 2:56 pm
Description: The 25th edition of Food Hospitality World (FHW) 2015 exhibition kick-started today at Bengaluru

The 25th edition of Food Hospitality World (FHW) 2015 exhibition kick-started today at Bengaluru

The 25th edition of Food Hospitality World (FHW) 2015 exhibition kick-started today at the White Orchid Convention Centre in Bengaluru. This three-day exhibition being held from June 11-13, 2015, was inaugurated by Chef Surjan Singh Jolly, director- F&B, J W Marriott Bengaluru; Bakkappa Kote, chairman, Karnataka Wine Board, Government of Karnataka; KN Vasudeva Adiga, honorary president, Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association; K Syama Raju, president, South India Hotels & Restaurants Association; PK Mohankumar, hospitality consultant and industry expert, and former managing director and CEO, Roots Corporation; and Madhukar M Shetty, honorary secretary, Karnataka Pradesh Hotel & Restaurants Association.

Speaking at the inauguration, Chef Jolly stated, “It is an honour to be at the FHW 2015 exhibition. This exhibition befits the requirements of the hospitality industry for it provides exposure, a platform to exchange thoughts and ideas, and bring creativity to life. It also provides networking opportunities and enables the sharing and use of best practices.”Sharing his perspective, Shetty opined, “The food industry in India is facing several challenges and exhibitions like FHW helps to run our industry smoothly. Presently, we need to have more modern technologies to run this industry.” Adding to the same, Adiga stated, “FHW is running successfully for its 25th edition. This exhibition is beneficial to the hospitality industry for it showcases the latest technologies needed by the hospitality industry. It is also encouraging to see that the state and central government are providing support to the Indian hospitality and travel industry. International fast food brands like KFC, Domino’s, etc, have taken over our market and we need to promote Indian cuisine and hoteliers should focus on doing so by promoting it across the world.”Giving a word of advice Mohankumar said, “The hospitality industry is thinking about globalisation.

The Indian hospitality industry has reached a certain level of maturity. During the initial stages of my career, we used to import all food ingredients, but times have changed now. At present, the ancillary and the hospitality industry needs to network as they are hardly networking. There needs to be more awareness about international equipments in the Indian market. South India is a powerhouse of the Indian economy and it is time that the hospitality industry recognises this. There is also a huge tourism potential down south and there is a need to improve connectivity among Kochi, Puducherry, Chennai and Bengaluru. The south has a robust hotel presence with the highest number of investments taking place across budget, mid and luxury segments. Big strength is also coming from independent restaurants and people in Bengaluru are dining out five days a week.
 There is also a huge opportunity in the breakfast segment. Presently, no brand in south India can deliver like the QSRs; for example deliver breakfast at home. We need to develop technology in this area.”The first day of the exhibition will witness a special honours evening felicitating 15 Hospitality Trailblazers who have made a unique distinction in the south Indian dining space. The second day will have sessions such as the Hospitality Think Tank– GM’s Conclave, where general managers from leading hotel brands from south India will speak about Bengaluru’s potential as a MICE destination. The conclave will be followed by the CeBIT Insight Series, a conference on leveraging the digital platform to enhance customer experiences in the hospitality industry. The Power of Purchase, also to be held on the second day, will focus on the new trends in purchasing, its role and the challenges for hospitality purchasing professionals.

 The concluding day will witness Hospitality Knowledge Exchange on Green Housekeeping, and for the first time Professional Housekeepers Association will be participating in this session. The Baking Contest will be a first time inclusion at this exhibition. It will have live demos by the Institute of Baking & Cake Art (IBCA) that will be organised and overseen by one of India’s top baker, trainer, cake decorator, consultant and food stylist, Chef Manish Gaur who is also the director of IBCA. This baking contest will provide an opportunity to over 5000 professionals from the hospitality and F&B industry to showcase their baking skills and talents. IBCA will provide live demonstrations on baking various creative dishes throughout the three days of the show.The exhibition, spread over a floor space of 6,000 sq mtrs, will witness a total number of 150 exhibitors. Some of the key clients will include: Amrit Group, Bunge India, Amira Basmati Rice, ID Fresh Foods, Forstar Foods, VKL Spices, Williams, and many more. This year’s exhibition will witness exhibitors coming from different segments of the food and hospitality industry like F&B, interiors, kitchen equipment, housekeeping, bakery and others, and will aim at providing solutions to various industry-related problems.
Associations that have signed up for the exhibition include South India Hotels & Restaurant Association (SIHRA); Bangalore Hotels Association (BHA); HOTREMAI; Hospitality, Healthcare, Aviation, Travel and Tourism (HATT); Hospitality Purchasing Managers’ Forum (HPMF); Kerala Hotels & Restaurants Association (KHRA); Karnataka Pradesh Hotels & Restaurants Association (KPHRA); Telangana Hotels Association (TGHA); Kerala Bakery Association (BAKE); Hotel Association of Pondicherry (HAP); and Munnar Hotels & Resorts Association (MHRA).The FHW exhibition is organised by Global Fairs & Media– a joint venture between Hannover Milano Fairs India and The Indian Express Group

Banks cut back on export credit
Export credit saw the sharpest decline in deployment of gross bank credit as on April this year
Namrata Acharya  |  Kolkata  
June 11, 2015 Last Updated at 17:10 IST
High interest rates have hit the export credit portfolio of banks. Reserve Bank data shows banks' export credit as on April had fallen by 8.7% from the Rs 48,200 crore a year before to about Rs 44,000 crore.In the same period a year before, export credit had shown 13.4% growth, from Rs 42,500 crore as on April 2013.Among all sectors, export credit saw the sharpest decline in deployment of gross bank credit as on April this year.

After the government withdrew the 3% interest subvention scheme for exports in April 2014, the cost of rupee credit has gone up significantly, say exporters. The government withdrew rupee export credit to the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector and from almost all engineering export products.Getting bills discounted from a foreign bank which have a tie-up with the importer's bank has become a much more viable option. However, the window is available to only large export houses, based on their counterpart importer's credit record with their respective foreign lender."We're getting rupee credit at around 11% from domestic banks. However, if we get our bills discounted from foreign banks which have a tie-up with importers, the rate of interest is less than 2% per annum. In addition, we are getting payment in dollars, a win-win situation for us from the point of view of the present rupee pricing," said P K Shah, director, Nipha Exports.

"We have written to the government to introduce the interest subvention scheme on rupee export credit, as the rising cost credit is a major issue for exporters," said Rajan Sundaresan, executive director of All India Rice Exporters Association.According to banks, the low offtake of export credit is linked to production stagnation and rupee movement."Generally, the cost of credit is coming down for all businesses. The real problem with export is linked to the rupee, slightly overvalued at present," said Sanjay Arya, executive director, United Bank of India.
"There has been a decline in export credit. We have also seen that in the past few months, there had been some impact (of lower demand) on export of basmati rice, iron and steel, and coal. There are also issues related to dumping from the Chinese market, which has also taken a hit on exports, particularly iron and steel," said an official of UCO Bank.

Recently, Arundhati Bhattacharya, head of State Bank of India, had said dumping of foreign products in the iron and steel sector was an area of concern for banks. "We see that of the total iron and steel demand of 21 million tonnes, nearly 12 mt is getting imported, and we believe dumping is going on from China, Russia and Ukraine. That is an area of concern," she had said here last month.
USA Rice Testifies on Implementation of Conservation Title of Farm Bill     
Buddy Allen testifies
Buddy Allen (second from left) representing the rice industry.
WASHINGTON, DC -- This morning the House Committee on Agriculture's Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry held a public hearing on the implementation of conservation programs in the 2014 Farm Bill. Mississippi's Buddy Allen, a member of USA Rice Federation's Conservation Committee, served as one of the six witnesses offering testimony.As a rice farmer and chairman of his local soil and water conservation district in Tunica, Allen was able to offer a unique perspective on the implementation of the farm bill's conservation programs. Allen praised the Committee's recognition of voluntary ag working lands conservation.

"Working land programs not only address resource concerns, they increase productivity yielding sustainability by making cropland more diverse and efficient," he said. "The consolidation and streamlining of the conservation title will make these programs more efficient and easier to use for farmers and ranchers."
 Allen also discussed the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), "Rice producers have put years of work into finding new ways to reduce erosion and water usage, and to address a number of other critical conservation priorities. Because of the unique methods for farming rice compared to other commodity crops, sensitivity of water quantity/quality and soil stability are particularly essential to maintain operations. That being said, the RCPP is a natural fit for our industry to further augment our already impressive conservation platform."  Allen and the other witnesses thanked the Members of the subcommittee for their support of the 2014 Farm Bill's conservation title and praised the work that NRCS is doing to implement the programs. 
 Contact:  Peter Bachmann (703) 236-1475

116th RMA Convention Focuses on Innovation, Trade, and Global Competitiveness        
  Aloha and welcome
WAILEA, HAWAII -- The 116th USA Rice Millers' Association (RMA) Convention got underway yesterday with a traditional welcome and blessing by Kainoa Horcajo, a Hawaiian Cultural Ambassador.The general session and trade show highlighted markets, trade, and new products and technologies. "With so much happening right now on international trade, this year's convention content is right on target when it comes to relevancy for our business," said RMA Chairman Chris Crutchfield. "The educational program covers a variety of topics including the world economy and its impact on agriculture, telling ag's story in the digital age, and the current realities of the rice trade in China. Of special interest will be the presentation by the U.S. International Trade Commission on their recently concluded study on factors and policies affecting the global competitiveness of the U.S. rice industry.

"Speakers yesterday included William Juting Li, the director of imports for Shenzhen Dragon Ocean Hing Cereals & Oil Supply Ltd, who gave an overview of the China market. Li talked about the potential for U.S. rice in China, and how factors like regional and socio-economic differences there come into play in consumer preference for certain rice types. He said Chinese shoppers buy rice in a variety of ways -- in bulk at grocery stores and in smaller packages when purchasing premium varieties -- and because rice is such an integral part of Chinese culture, they'll also buy rice at places like gas stations where product kiosks are located right next to the gas pumps. Li also said there is strong concern in China about food safety and Chinese consumers are looking for "clean" rice they can trust making imported rice more popular.
Pay at the pump for food and fuel
Half a world away, U.S. rice has reemerged on mainstream UK retail shelves for the first time since 2006. Hartwig Schmidt, USA Rice's regional director for Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, reported on this major victory for the rice industry, saying the reappearance of U.S. rice in UK retail stores comes after years of campaigning and promotional efforts by USA Rice to assure suppliers that U.S.-grown rice is a high quality, competitive crop free of GMO traits.Finally, conference attendees got a glimpse into the future of food from Mike Lee, founder and CEO of Studio Industries. Lee's Brooklyn-based food design and innovation company's goal is to help and empower the food world to design better products and experiences.
His team wants to "raise the bar for innovation today by thinking more ambitiously about the food products of tomorrow" and he encouraged the rice industry to "take a cue from the tech and automotive industries where big thinking energizes innovation" to find "solutions that are better for people, the planet, and profit."Founded in 1899, RMA is one of the oldest agribusiness trade organizations in America. RMA membership, which includes farmer-owned cooperatives and privately-owned mills, represents virtually all of U.S. rice milling capacity, with mill members in Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. RMA associate members include exporters, shippers and other businesses allied with the rice trade.

Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444
CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   

CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for June 11
Net Change

July 2015
- $0.075
September 2015
- $0.080
November 2015
- $0.080
January 2016
- $0.080
March 2016
- $0.080
May 2016
- $0.080
July 2016
- $0.080

Ducks, geese and rice -- the next victims of California's drought?

Description: Birds, drought
The marshlands, canals and culverts in Williams, Calif., north of Sacramento, are temporary homes to geese and other migratory birds that use the area as a stop on the Pacific Flyway.
 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
The next drought victims: Ducks, geese and rice
The nests of hundreds of thousands of birds and the food for millions more could be imperiled this year because of fewer rice crops in California – the latest symptom of the state’s historic drought. Only about 375,000 acres of rice are expected to be planted this year, a 30% decrease from a typical year and the lowest in California since 1991, according to a statement from the California Rice Commission.Description: Chronicling California's drought

In summer, the rice is used as nesting for native mallards and shore birds, said Mark Biddlecomb, director for the western region of Ducks Unlimited, a wetlands conservation group.In the fall, after the rice is harvested, the fields are flooded and the remaining grain becomes food for up to 7 million ducks and geese in the Sacramento River Valley, he said. If the crop is reduced, the feeding area becomes more concentrated, which makes the population more vulnerable to diseases.

“I hate to say it’s cascading, but it kind of is,” Biddlecomb said of the drought’s effects.The drought also annually costs the state billions of dollars in economic activity and tens of thousands of agricultural jobs, the commission noted.In 2014, about 408,000 acres of rice was planted, which was also below normal, the group said.If not for a fortuitous spell of strong winter storms in late December that expanded feeding grounds, an outbreak of Avian botulism within the fowl population would have spread further, Biddlecomb said.“This coming winter, if that doesn’t happen, and if we don’t use our water resources wisely … we can really be in a world of hurt,” Biddlecomb said.

California’s rice crop predicted to be 30 percent below normal

Written by Lesley McClurg - Capital Public Radio
Category: California News
 Published: 10 June 2015

Sacramento, California - Because of California’s historic drought, the state’s rice crop will be 30 percent below normal - at 375,000 acres. Experts say the smaller planting will hurt the economy and wildlife that depend on shallow flooded fields.Tim Johnson, the President of the California Rice Commission says the largest impact will be felt in the small towns like Colusa, Marysville and Yuba City where farmers and workers depend on the rice industry for jobs.“But, also in places like the Port of West Sacramento where we export our rice internationally and the rice mills and rice driers you see around the community,” says Johnson.The ripples will be felt statewide. Johnson says the fallowed acreage will costs California’s economy hundreds of millions of dollars.

Dry fields are also bad news for ducks and geese that depend on flooded rice fields for food and breeding grounds. Mark Bittlecomb is the Ducks Unlimited Western Regional Director.“We’re fearful that disease could happen. Avian botulism outbreaks were just starting last December, and that could happen again this year if (waterfowl) are concentrated,” he says. “And it (disease) can go through the population rather quickly and you can see massive die-offs.”Biologists and engineers are working with landowners to increase water efficiency so more habitat is available using less water.This year’s planting is the smallest since 1991
Boonsong on B20m bail in G2G rice case
11 Jun 2015 at 19:30 1,526 viewed3 comments
Former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom has been granted bail in the government-to-government (G2G) rice sales corruption case and ordered not to leave the country without court permission, according to the Supreme Court.Mr Boonsong applied for bail on Thursday and placed a savings account as surety. The court approved it and set his bail at 20 million baht, said Thanarirk Nitiseranee, president of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders, who supervises the case. Former commerce minister Boonsong TeriyapiromMr Boonsong is among 21 individuals accused of colluding to help two Chinese firms not authorised by the Chinese government to undertake G2G deals with the Thai government to buy rice from stockpiles generated by the Yingluck administration's pledging scheme.

Description: C:\Users\RPM\Downloads\8 june 2015\g.bmpThey were indicted on March 17 on charges of committing and supporting malfeasance in violation of the Criminal Code and competitive-bidding and anti-corruption laws.Mr Thanarirk said three other defendants had been bailed under the same conditions after indictment. Other defendants are required to submit bail applications before trial begins on June 29.The 21 defendants include three people who held political positions in the Yingluck Shinawatra government, three civil servants and 15 individuals who were authorised directors of companies and juristic persons.  The accused each face maximum punishment of life imprisonment and combined total fines of 35 billion baht.Get full Bangkok Post printed newspaper experience on your digital devices with Bangkok Post e-newspaper. Try it out, it's totally free for 7 days.

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