Saturday, June 20, 2015

19th June (Friday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

China Offers Food Aid to North Korea Suffering Worst Drought in a Century
© AP Photo/ Kim Kwang Hyon
10:32 19.06.2015(updated 12:03 19.06.2015) Get short URL
 China expressed its willingness to provide food to North Korea after Pyongyang revealed that the country plagued by food shortages was suffering from a severe drought unseen for a century. The United States refused to help.
"We hope that the government and people of North Korea will tide over the disaster at an early date and the Chinese side is willing to provide assistance at the request of North Korea," said Lu Kang, China's foreign ministry spokesman.
"We express sympathy to North Korea for the serious drought," he added, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.
The dry spell has already affected approximately 30 percent of North Korean paddy fields badly hitting the main rice-growing provinces. According to South Korean authorities, grain production in the North could fall by 20 percent compared to 2014.The news sparked fears that drought would lead to food shortages in a country where memories of the famine in the 1990s are still fresh.The United States has declined to offer assistance to North Korea. Earlier this week, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that he had no "specific information about the validity of the drought" and was not aware of any US plans to provide food assistance, according to Yonhap
 Commerce Ministry to sell cheap rice to low-income people
June 19, 2015 2:49 pm
The Commerce Ministry will sell cheap rice to about 200,000 low-income earners via co-operatives to help ease their financial burden.The project is expected to require a budget of Bt100 million. About 5,000 tons of white rice will be sold in 2-kg packages to low-income earners through cooperatives across the country. To ensure the target demographic has access to affordable rice, the Interior will undertake a survey of low-income earners countrywide and forward the data to governors who will oversee distribution. The target number of customers is estimated at 200,000.

NFA OKs $100M rice importation from Vietnam

By: Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
05:19 AM June 19th, 2015
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 The National Food Authority (NFA) Council has approved the purchase of about $100 million worth of rice from Vietnam after accepting a revised offer from Hanoi as the state agency scrambles to build up buffer stocks of the staple in anticipation of the June-August lean season.According to an NFA statement, the interagency NFA Council, in a special meeting last June 17, awarded the contract for the supply of 100,000 metric tons (MT) of long grain white rice (25 percent brokens) to Vietnam “based on their revised offer of $416.85/MT under the government-to-government procurement scheme.”Vietnam was earlier awarded the supply contract for 150,000 MT, 25 percent brokens well-milled long grain rice. With the 100,000-MT supply contract, it now has a total contract award of 250,000 MT.The average price of $412.81 per MT for the 250,000 MT is lower than the $421/MT offered last February and $475/MT in September 2014. The total price for the 250,000 MT to be supplied by Vietnam is $103.2 million.The NFA said the first rice shipment from Vietnam is expected to arrive in the country by August 15.
Vietnam’s winning revised offer was above the $408.14 per MT price ceiling set by the Philippines.The NFA Council accepted Vietnam’s revised offer after the NFA committee on government-to-government procurement (CGGP) elevated the case to the council.The CGGP initially rejected the offers from Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, which are way above the government’s reference price for 100,000 MT well-milled long grain white rice at 25 percent brokens.Thailand offered $418 per MT for 100,000 MT; Vietnam offered $417/MT for 100,000 MT; and Cambodia offered $464/MT for 50,000 MT.In the second round of bidding, Thailand withdrew, saying that the Philippine government’s reference price was too low against the average prevailing price in the world market.Cambodia revised its offer to $455.50/MT for the supply of 50,000 MT, while Vietnam offered $416.85 per MT for the supply of 100,000 MT. Both offers were still beyond the price ceiling set by the NFA Council. It was at that point that the CGGP elevated the case to the NFA Council.The 100,000 MT is part of the 250,000 metric tons approved by the NFA Council for importation through the recommendation of the food security committee in preparation for the lean season when supply of rice is traditionally low and prices are high.The NFA has to maintain a 30-day buffer requirement beginning the lean month of July. The NFA has at present a buffer stock of 750,000 MT of rice. This is enough for the next 24 days.The NFA Council is chaired by Francis N. Pangilinan, the presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization, with representatives from the NFA, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority and a farmer’s representative.
Commerce Ministry to sell cheap rice to low-income people
 June 19, 2015 2:49 pm
The Commerce Ministry will sell cheap rice to about 200,000 low-income earners via co-operatives to help ease their financial burden.The project is expected to require a budget of Bt100 million. About 5,000 tons of white rice will be sold in 2-kg packages to low-income earners through cooperatives across the country. To ensure the target demographic has access to affordable rice, the Interior will undertake a survey of low-income earners countrywide and forward the data to governors who will oversee distribution. The target number of customers is estimated at 200,000.

Rice trade: Formation of development board proposed

Published: June 19, 2015

Rice exports have stagnated at $2 billion per annum mainly due to lack of research and development work on new varieties. STOCK IMAGE
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has urged the federal government to constitute a rice development board, which will serve as a single platform to address the issues concerning the industry.

FPCCI Senior Vice President Abdul Rahim Janoo, in a letter to Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan and Federal Minister of Food Security and Research Sikander Hayat Khan Bosan, said this would help promote different rice varieties, especially the unique basmati rice as well as regular paddy.

“Rice exports have stagnated at $2 billion per annum mainly due to lack of research and development work on new varieties that yield more at lower costs and are acceptable in the global market,” Janoo said, adding competitors had come up with such products due to market-oriented and demand-driven research in consultation with all stakeholders.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th,  2015

Myanmar to export 200,000 tonnes of rice to EU

Rice warehouse
Myanmar expects to earn US$1 billion on exports of 200,000 tonnes of rice to European Union countries during the 2015-16 fiscal year, according to Ye Min Aubg, the secretary of the Myanmar Rice and Paddy Federation.“We want to earn US$1 billion because at this moment we are getting between $6 million and to $7 million from the rice and paddy sector. Fewer exports than imports causes instability in the currency exchange rate. So we need to promote the export sector. Promoting the rice and paddy sector will benefit both farmers and merchants. And we will control the quality of the rice we sell. If we export low-quality rice, we won’t get paid enough. But if we export good-quality rice, not only will we get paid a good price, but also will not have to export as many tonnes of rice,” said Ye Min Aung.He added that the rice export sector was officially promoted in 2010.In previous years, Myanmar has exported rice to EU countries such as Belgium, Denmark and Poland.Myanmar exported 1.4 million tonnes of rice in the 2012-13 fiscal year, 1.3 million tonnes in 2013-14 and 1.8 million tonnes of rice in 2014-15.

Monsoon, defying El Nino threat, boosts crops

A better-than-expected start to the rainy season has eased concerns of dry weather fuelling inflation in India
A better-than-expected start to the monsoon in an El Nino year has eased concerns of dry weather fuelling inflation in India, where food costs represent almost half of the consumer price index. Photo: HT

New Delhi: Planting of crops from rice to cotton and soybeans in India is gathering pace as farmers benefit from an increase in monsoon rains, defying forecasts that a developing El Niño would curb rainfall.Almost 80% of India received excess or normal downpours since 1 June, allowing farmers to begin sowing of rice, cotton, corn and soybeans in the south, west and central regions, according to the India Meteorological Department.
 The good showing is set to continue through June, it estimates.A better-than-expected start to the monsoon in an El Niño year has eased concerns of dry weather fuelling inflation in India, where food costs represent almost half of the consumer price index. Normal rainfall is critical for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to accelerate economic growth in a country where smartphone makers to gold jewellery retailers derive the bulk of their sales from 833 million people living in villages, most of whom depend on farming.“We can’t thank god enough for the good rains so far,” said Rao Saheb Devrao Ingole, a 53-year-old cotton farmer from Maharashtra. “Good rainfall in June has always helped sowing.”Farmers depend on the monsoon, which accounts for more than 70% of annual rainfall, to grow crops and produce hydro- electricity, and for drinking water. The rainfall during the June-September season waters more than half of nation’s farmland, where sowing begins in June.
While rainfall has been 11% more than the average between 1951 and 2000, showers in July hold the key to a bumper harvest, according to TransGraph Consulting Pvt., a Hyderabad- based commodity consultant. Precipitation in July accounts for more than a third of the season’s total of 89 centimetres, according to the weather bureau.The developing El Niño will curb monsoon rainfall to 88% of average this year, the second back-to-back shortfall in three decades, the IMD says, while private forecaster Skymet Weather Services Ltd predicts precipitation will be 102% of the average.“The recent rains have eased concerns and we expect good progress in crop sowing,” said Nagaraj Meda, managing director of TransGraph Consulting. “Most of the crops, except pulses, are available in abundance. Global supply is also good for most of the crops and if rains fail, India can import and control inflation.”Consumer prices jumped 5.01% in May while foodcosts rose 4.8%, the statistics ministry said on 12 June. Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan, who cut interest rates three times this year, has said further action will hinge on the monsoon rain.
He flagged a shortage of precipitation as the biggest risk to the economy because agriculture accounts for about 15% of gross domestic product.El Niño poses a risk for the global economy in the second half because the event may hurt crops and boost world food inflation, Citigroup Inc. said this week. In India, forecasts for a weak monsoon after a heatwave in parts of the country should be a warning to policymakers as it could have an impact on rural consumption and food prices, HSBC Holdings Plc said.“Though timely arrival of rains is good, distribution is more important and we have to see how the monsoon unfolds in July,” said K.K. Singh, head of weather bureau’s agriculture meteorology division. Bloomberg

Kharif planting gains pace as monsoon progresses

Total acreage down 7.4% so far as area under coarse cereals, sugarcane trails
As the South-West monsoon advances further into central India, sowing of key kharif crops such as rice, pulses and oilseeds has gained pace in key producing States.Data released by the Agriculture Ministry show that sowing for the kharif season is down 7.4 per cent this year compared to the same period last year, mainly driven by a fall in acreage of coarse cereals such as jowar, bajra and ragi and sugarcane.

Crop-wise data
As of Friday, kharif acreage touched 91.61 lakh hectares (lh), down from 98.88 lh registered in 2014-15.Acreage of rice, pulses and oilseeds, have risen marginally while coarse cereals such as jowar and ragi have witnessed a sharp fall.Rice has been sown across 8.33 lh against 8.2 lh earlier while pulses have a recorded a 4.4 per cent increase to 4.51 lh as compared to 4.32 lh previously.
Coarse cereals acreage is, however, down more than 42 per cent, with 7.19 lh covered so far this year against 12.42 lh at the same time last year.Significantly, the Centre had hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for ragi by 100/quintal earlier this week, from 1,550.The MSP for jowar varieties and bajra were raised by 40 and 25 per quintal, respectively.
Monsoon progress
Though the onset of monsoon this year was delayed by about five days, the quick progress in last two weeks has resulted in 10 per cent rains above normal for the current season from June 1-18.About 16 of the 36 meteorological sub divisions, accounting for 54 per cent of the area of the country, have received excess rains so far.Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the South-West monsoon — currently estimated at 86.5 mm, is likely to remain strong this month with another storm system building over the Bay of Bengal, which should bring more rain to parts of central and eastern India.“Conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into some more parts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal during next 48 hours.
Conditions are also favourable for further advance into some more parts of north Arabian sea and Gujarat during the next 72 hours,” said the Met agency.The IMD has predicted the four-month long monsoon to be at 88 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 89 cm.An agency official, however, stated on Friday that rain is expected to be at 92 per cent of the LPA in July. Sowing of oilseeds has registered a marginal uptick to 2.79 lh from 2.22 lh while sugarcane is down to 41.58 lh from 43.92 lh earlier.Cotton acreage has also fallen slightly to 19.66 lh from 20 lh at the same time last year.
Jute and mesta has been sown across 7.55 lh this year against 7.81 lh previously.
(This article was published on June 19, 2015)


PM repeats rice-delay plea

19 Jun 2015 at 20:58
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has repeated his plea to farmers to delay planting of the main rice crop because of a water shortage."I do not want to force things but please help out by switching to crops that need little water, or by switching to aquaculture, livestock or alternative crops," Gen Prayut said on his weekly Returning Happiness to Thai People broadcast on Friday night.The appeal may have come too late, however. Many farmers say they are determined to go ahead and plant rice because they have already bought their seed and other supplies for the season.The Agriculture Ministry has said that there is only enough water in reservoirs to irrigate the 3.4 million rai of paddy fields already planted in the main rice bowl of the Chao Phraya River basin.Farmers holding another 4 million rai in 22 provinces have been asked to delay planting until normal levels of rainfall return, expected around late July.

"This year, Thailand is facing a recurrence of drought," Gen Prayut said on his broadcast. "The causes may be climate change and deforestation. The latter has resulted in a diminished amount of raw water available, an amount that was low to start with."Today, we see how water in dams, canals and rivers is depleted. Farmers grew crops in quantity last year, resulting in continuously reduced raw water supplies. This has been exacerbated by the lowered amount of rainfall now."Let this be a lesson and let us turn this crisis into an opportunity. I must ask for cooperation in delaying the planting of in-season rice and in abstaining from the planting of off-season rice."He also encouraged farmers to think of innovative ways to supplement their incomes."I have seen on television that frogs and turkeys are being raised for export. Livestock might be kept in rubber plantations and paddies might be converted to vegetable fields," he said.

"The government is considering support toward alternative farming such as raising crickets — these can be eaten as a source of protein. Earthworms could be raised to generate more income and for use in soil improvement. Much of our soil has deteriorated."At the same time, the premier acknowledged that the authorities needed to do a better job of water management."The government does not deny any responsibility for the well-being of people and the task of finding water sources," he said."Some plans call for water to be drawn from the Salween River and from the Mekong," he said, though this would be quite costly.He also noted a report from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment that said only 10% of groundwater was being utilised and there was much more potential for its use.Other sources, he said, might be available to replenish reserves in dams and then fed into the irrigation system."We will do our best, and we ask for a little patience," he said.

There should be an agricultural diversification programme for small farmers in the rice industry

Dear Editor,
The rice industry has gone from strength to strength, in terms of acres under cultivation and yield per acre, now averaging two tons per acre, that is, 32 bags at 140 lbs per bag per crop, due mainly to higher yielding varieties produced at the Burma Rice Research Station, and improved cultivation and husbandry practices. However, the industry has been slow to respond to acquiring markets for the increased production.As a result of new technology, drying and milling systems have improved, resulting in better recoveries from paddy to rice.A lot is being said now of monies that are owed by millers to farmers, by the Guyana Rice Development Board to the millers and by farmers to input suppliers, but nothing is mentioned of monies owed by millers to commercial banks, and the pressure the millers are under to dispose of the paddy in a timely manner, so as to pay the farmers.
The problem of millers owing the farmers could have been non- existent, if the money that was made available to Guyana (about $3 billion) by the European Union for the rice industry, was put in a revolving fund as in Suriname, rather than in the Consolidated Fund after the first year.Because of the rapid increase in production, those looking for markets have been caught with their pants down. This is bearing in mind, that Guyana exports about 75 per cent of its production, while only 4 per cent of world’s production is traded.The entry of Venezuela, although offering a higher price than Europe and the Caribbean, has caused some serious confusion in the rice industry, as they are only purchasing about 40 per cent of the production. All farmers on the other hand, are asking for prices based on the Venezuelan price, which is not possible.A lot of numbers have been thrown around in relation to the price of a bag of paddy, some very ridiculous, resulting in more confusion.
Return on investments:
The commercial banks are offering 3 to 4 per cent per annum on fixed deposits. The return on investment for most businesses, is considered good, at 20 per cent per year.It costs a farmer about $65,000 to produce two tons per acre per crop. Therefore, the total cost per acre per year (2 crops) equal $130,000. If the farmer were to make 20 per cent on his investment, he would expect $130,000 plus $26,000 equalling $156,000.Considering 32 bags per crop equals 64 bags per year, the price per bag should be $156,000/64 equalling $2,437, which can be easily sustained by the Caribbean and European markets, which are readily available.An additional $200 per bag on paddy can be available to the farmer, if cost savings can be considered in the areas of the levy to the GRDB, charges at the export ports, etc.

Assuming a farmer will live relatively comfortably on $80,000 per month, that is, $960,000 per year, with him earning $26,000 per acre per year, he will need to cultivate $960,000/ $26,000 which is equal to 36.9 acres. The majority of farmers in the rice industry are way below this acreage, resulting in constant complaining, which is justified.So the big question is whether it is an industry problem or a social problem, seeing that the farmers have no other means of income.Obviously, it is not possible to make 36.9 acres available to all the farmers in the rice industry.This is where a new ADP (Export Agriculture Diversification Pro-gramme) should kick in, and encourage the farmers with a small acreage to concentrate on other crops, which will result in them earning 20 per cent or more on their investment.The average price for paddy is $3,000 per bag presently, resulting in the farmer earning $192,000 per acre, resulting in an excess of $62,000 per year that is a return on investment of 48 per cent.
Yours faithfully,
Beni Sankar
Another Chance for TPA          
Friday, June 19, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC-- Following what looked to be defeat during a complicated series of votes in Congress one week ago, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) looks back on track and could be sent to the president's desk prior to the July 4 Congressional recess.  The House passed stand-alone TPA legislation yesterday, and Senate leadership hopes to vote on the measure next week. TPA sets specific objectives for the administration to follow in negotiating trade agreements and provides consultation requirements as negotiations proceed.  In exchange, Congress agrees to forego the ability to amend completed trade agreements when these agreements are sent to Congress for approval. 
The agreements receive an up-or-down vote by Congress.Nonetheless, hurdles remain.  Opposition to TPA is strong among many Democratic and some Republican Members, and this opposition defeated a renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) last week in the House.  TAA was paired with TPA and its defeat sidetracked a complex plan to approve TPA."This has been a confusing week in trade, but it's important to remember that TPA is absolutely necessary to convince our trading partners that the U.S. is serious about concluding trade agreements and to get the other side to put their best offer on the table," said Bob Cummings, USA Rice COO.
 "TPA was necessary to complete NAFTA and the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, both very good for the U.S. rice industry, and support for TPA is part of USA Rice's push for good outcomes in the two big negotiations currently underway - the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership," Cummings continued. "While we're behind TPA for our long term interests, we're very focused on making sure the administration is getting the best deal possible for U.S. rice farmers and exporters in the current TPP negotiations, and we'll assess our support for TPP on the deal's merits."
 Contact: Colleen Klemczewski (703) 236-1446

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for June 19
Net Change

July 2015
- $0.095
September 2015
- $0.090
November 2015
 - $0.085
January 2016
 - $0.080
March 2016
- $0.080
May 2016
- $0.080
July 2016
- $0.080

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- Jun 19

Nagpur, June 19 Gram and tuar prices reported strong in Nagpur Agriculture Produce
and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on increased buying support from local millers amid
restricted supply from producing belts because of rains. Fresh rise on NCDEX, upward trend in
Madhya Pradesh pulses and reported demand from South-based millers also boosted prices,
according to sources. 
               *            *              *              *
   * Desi gram raw recovered in open market on renewed demand from local traders amid 
     weak supply from producing regions. 
   * Tuar black reported down in open market here on poor buying support from local 
     traders. Reports about good overseas arrival also pushed down prices.      
   * Wheat mill quality and Sharbati varieties reported higher in open market on seasonal 
     demand from local traders amid tight supply from producing belts like Punjab and 
   * 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.
   * Other varieties of wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market 
     in poor trading activity, according to sources.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close   
     Gram Auction                   3,500-4,700         3,500-4,540
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                6,200-7,290         6,200-7,130
     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            5,800-6,000        5,800-6,000
     Gram Super Best            n.a.                
     Gram Medium Best            5,500-5,600        5,500-5,600
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Mill Quality            5,100-5,300        5,100-5,300
     Desi gram Raw                4,450-4,500         4,400-4,450
     Gram Filter new            5,600-5,800        5,600-5,800
     Gram Kabuli                5,500-7,000        5,500-5,700
     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             7,250-7,350        7,250-7,350
     Tuar Karnataka             7,900-8,000        7,900-8,000
     Tuar Black                 10,900-11,200           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               10,400-10,700       10,400-10,700
     Moong Mogar Medium best        9,700-10,200        9,700-10,200
     Moong dal Chilka            9,100-9,500        9,100-9,500
     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       11,500-11,750
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    10,600-10,800        10,600-10,800
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        8,900-9,200        8,900-9,200
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        4,200-4,400        4,200-4,400
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)           3,200-3,350         3,200-3,350
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)        3,300-3,400        3,300-3,400
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)        3,000-3,100         3,000-3,100
     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)    1,500-1,650        1,500-1,600
     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)    3,100-3,650        3,100-3,600
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,500-2,850        2,500-2,800
     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)        2,600-3,000        2,600-3,000
     Rice BPT (100 INR/KG)               3,200-3,400        3,200-3,400
     Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG)        1,500-1,750        1,500-1,750
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)      2,150-2,450        2,150-2,450
     Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG)      2,600-2,800        2,600-2,800
     Rice HMT new(100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,600        3,100-3,600
     Rice HMT (100 INR/KG)               3,600-4,000        3,600-3,900
     Rice HMT Shriram New(100 INR/KG)    4,000-4,500        4,000-4,500
     Rice HMT Shriram old (100 INR/KG)    4,500-5,200        4,500-5,200     
     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)        5,200-5,600        5,200-5,600
     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. 35.2 degree Celsius (95.4 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
22.5 degree Celsius (72.5 degree Fahrenheit)
Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.
Rainfall : 46.4 mm
FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Rains or thunder-showers likely towards evening or night. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 35 and 23 degree Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices.)


GI law yet to be finalised after 15 years

ISLAMABAD: A draft law on geographical indications (GIs) is lying with the government for the last 15 years, and has yet to be finalised.Pakistan may lose ownership rights of hybrid variety of super basmati rice if it fails to finalise the law promptly, sources said.The sources further added that the country has yet to enact the law to register the super basmati as local GI which will provide our policymakers legal grounds to contest the issue of super basmati with India at an international forum.
The proposed law could also provide protection not only to rice, but also to other products, like apricot, Peshawari chappal, Multani halva, Hala’s ajrak, Sargodha’s kinno, Kasuri methi, Sindhri mango, Dir’s chakoo (knife), wild mushrooms of Swat, Neeli Ravi buffalo, Chaman grapes, etc.The law will enhance visibility of several Pakistani export items in the international market as it will protect the ownership rights of goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess a quality, reputation or other characteristic.Geographical Indications are place names (in some countries also words associated with a place) used to identify the origin and quality, reputation or other characteristics of products.

It is a concept of international trade which associates certain product to a specific location, thus identifying its originality and uniqueness. Such an indication to any product distinguishes it from the rest of same kind thus bringing premium to its price.The draft GI law has since been vetted many times by the relevant authorities, but no action had been taken in this regard, said a source.On Thursday, Commerce Minis­ter Khurram Dastagir Khan directed the officials of his ministry to initiate coordination with relevant stakeholders immediately which include Intellectual Property Organisation Pakistan (IPOP), Ministry of National Food Security and Research, relevant provincial departments and the private sector.The minister admitted that some spade-work was done on the GIs law by the previous governments during the last decade, but it was not brought to its logical conclusion.

The government had established IPOP for legislation of similar kinds of laws to provide protection to the local products in the international market.WTO members need to give protection to GIs under Article 22-24 of the TRIPs agreement.Unless Pakistan provides GI protection to its goods by its law, Islamabad could not obtain GI protection for its goods in other countries that have the GI law.The separate law would make Pakistan capable of filing such applications in other countries to protect its various GIs in those countries.It was also proposed to set up a GI registry at Lahore or Karachi and appointment of an officer of the government as registrar, besides sub-registrars and assistant registrars as necessary for its prime office and sub-offices.According to an official statement, commerce minister said that his ministry will enact a new GIs law to bring distinction to indigenous Pakistani products.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2015

Details of Ramazan package unveiled

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi announced on Thursday that under the Rs1.3 billion Ramazan Relief Package 18 food commodities and items would be sold at subsidised rates at about 6,000 outlets of the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) across the country.Briefing media personnel, the minister for industries and production said that market players increased the prices of essential commodities each year ahead of Ramazan, but the government was unable to do anything about it. “Therefore, the PML-N government decided in 1991 to provide relief to the public through the USC,” he said.

Mr Jatoi said that under the package, subsidy of Rs80 per 20kg would be given for wheat flour, Rs20 per kg for ghee, Rs10-15 per kg for gram pulses, Rs15 per kg for white gram, Rs14 per kg for gram flour, Rs50 per kg for dates, Rs56 per 950 grams (packet) for black tea, Rs16 per kg for Basmati rice, Rs17 per kg for broken rice, Rs16-41 per kg for parboil rice, Rs10-15 per kg for moong, masoor and maash (pulses) and Rs15 per litre for packed milk. Spices would be sold at 90 per cent of the prices mentioned on their packets.The USC would sell another 1,000 items at a discount of 5-10 per cent, in collaboration with various vendors, the minister said.He said the performance of the USC would be monitored closely and the people were being encouraged to file complaints, if needed.Mr Jatoi said the finance ministry had releas­ed Rs1bn as subsidy and the industries ministry had constituted a monitoring team to ensure transparency in the programme.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2015

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