Thursday, August 13, 2015

13th August (Thursday),2015 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

China to Slow Imports of Vietnam Rice

Aug 12, 2015
China, one of the major destination for Vietnamese rice for the last few years, has cut down on rice imports from Vietnam since the beginning of this year. The Chinese actions have also impacted Vietnam's rice exports severely during the first half of this year.
Increasing demand for imported rice in China has been a boon to Vietnamese exporters over the last few years. China imports rice despite being the world's top rice producer with over 140 million tons annually. A few internal factors are said to have led to higher imports. One, fall in proportion of rice in the country's food basket has led to a decline in paddy rice acreage significantly; two, increasing prices of domestic rice prices; and three, Chinese preference to imported rice have contributed to higher imports in the recent years.
Experts say China normally imports higher volume when prices are low. But this year, low prices especially in Vietnam could not attract Chinese demand. However, both UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and USDA are predicting China to import more rice from Vietnam in the second half of 2015 due to declining rice prices as well as the impact of drought-inducing El Nino pattern on Chinese production.
However, experts have expressed concern that since China is holding huge amount of stocks in its inventory and is unable to sell them to local traders, the Chinese government may ask traders to buy rice from the government stocks in exchange for import quotas.
In that case, they say Vietnam's rice exports may be impacted severely. The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) has last month forecasted Vietnam to export around 5.91 million tons of rice in 2015, down about 6.5% from an earlier estimated 6.32 million tons, Reuters quoted a report from the VFA.
Meanwhile, a devaluation of the renminbi (yuan) is expected to make rice and other  imports more expensive. Experts say China has acted proactively by devaluing its currency on concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) may hike interest rates, a move that could strengthen the U.S. dollar while putting upward pressure on the renminbi as it is linked to the dollar.
In this situation, China may not be in a position to take advantage of the low rice export prices. Vietnam 5% broken rice is currently quoted at around $345 per ton compared to Thai 5% rice at around $370 per ton, India 5% rice at around $370 per ton and Pakistan 5% rice at around $345 per ton.
On the other hand, following the Chinese yuan devaluation, Vietnam has doubled its trading band for interbank dollar/dong transactions letting dong to depreciate freely. These moves together with the lowering of the floor price of 25% broken rice may lead to further declining of the Vietnam rice export prices, say experts. 

Floods May Lower Myanmar's Rice Exports in 2015, Says FAO

Aug 12, 2015
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts the on going floods in Myanmar are likely to impact the volume of rice exports in 2015. The FAO had earlier estimated Myanmar to export around 810,000 tons of rice in 2015. But in the light of floods affecting vast areas of paddy fields, the UN agency says Myanmar's rice exports may be below the earlier estimated figure.
The 2015 main (wet) season rice is currently at the vegetative to early reproductive growth stage. Severe floods in the northern and western Myanmar are said to have damaged around 210,000 hectares of standing paddy crop. Prior to floods, the FAO forecasted the country's aggregate paddy production, including the on going 2015 main and the forthcoming 2015/16 secondary season, at around 29.2 million tons. However, the actual may be below this figure, says the FAO.
Wholesale prices of the most commonly used rice variety Emata declined in July with the arrival of 2014-15 second season harvest but remained above their year-ago levels.

Conab Slightly Lowers Brazil 2014-15 Production Estimates Due to Likely Fall in Acreage

Aug 12, 2015
Brazil’s National Grains Supply Company (Conab) has forecasted the country's 2014-15 paddy rice production at around 12.432 million tons (around 8.45 million tons, basis milled), up about 2.6% from around 12.121 million tons (around 8.24 million tons, basis milled) in 2013-14, and slightly down from its July forecast of around 12.499 million tons.
Conab has estimated Brazil's 2014-15 paddy rice acreage at around 2.284 million hectares, down about 3.75% from around 2.373 million hectares in 2013-14, and slightly down from its July forecast of around 2.292 million hectares.
Most of the decline in acreage is expected in the North/Northeast region. Rice acreage in the North/Northeast regions is estimated at around 739,200 hectares, down 8.5% from around 808,400 hectares in 2013-14. On the other hand, paddy rice acreage in the key rice growing Centro-Sul (Center-South) region is projected at 1.545 million hectares in 2014-15, down about 1% from around 1.565 million hectares in 2013-14.
Average rice yield in Brazil in 2014-15 is projected at around 5.45 tons per hectare, up about 6.6% from around 5.11 tons per hectare recorded in the previous year, and slightly up from its July forecast of around 5.43 tons per hectare.
USDA estimates Brazil MY 2015-16 (April – March) paddy rice production at around 11.765 million tons (around 8 million tons, basis milled), down about 6% from an estimated 12.5 million tons (around 8.5 million tons, basis milled) in MY 2014-15. It estimates Brazil’s 2015-16 paddy rice acreage to decline slightly to around 2.3 million hectares. USDA estimates Brazil to export around one million tons of rice and import around 550,000 tons of rice in 2015.

Global Rice Quotes
August 13th, 2015
Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade          375-385           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken    340-350           ↔
India 5% broken         380-390           ↔
Pakistan 5% broken    340-350           ↔
Myanmar 5% broken   405-415           ↔
Cambodia 5% broken             425-435           ↔
U.S. 4% broken           485-495           ↔
Uruguay 5% broken    535-545           ↔
Argentina 5% broken 530-540           ↔
Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken 350-360           ↔
Vietnam 25% broken 325-335           ↔
Pakistan 25% broken 310-320           ↔
Cambodia 25% broken           410-420           ↔
India 25% broken       345-355           ↔
U.S. 15% broken         460-470           ↔
Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd            370-380           ↓
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd    415-425           ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd         370-380           ↔
U.S. parboiled 4% broken       570-580           ↔
Brazil parboiled 5% broken    545-555           ↔
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken            NQ      ↔
Long grain fragrant rice
Thailand Hommali 92%          850-860           ↓
Vietnam Jasmine         485-495           ↔
India basmati 2% broken        NQ      ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken   NQ      ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails             835-845           ↔
Thailand A1 Super      320-320           ↔
Vietnam 100% broken            310-320           ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd    280-290           ↔
Cambodia A1 Super   350-360           ↔
India 100% broken stxd         305-315           ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ      ↔
U.S. pet food 325-335           ↔
Brazil half grain          NQ      ↔
All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

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

Aug 12, 2015
India rice sellers lowered their quotes for 5% broken rice and parboiled rice by about $5 per ton each to around $380-$390 per ton and $370-$380 per ton, respectively, today. Other Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged today.                                                                                                                   
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is indicated at around $365 - $375 per ton,  about $25 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $340 - $350 per ton. India 5% rice is indicated at around $380 - $390 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $40 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice shown at around $340 - $350 per ton.
25% Broken Rice
Thailand 25% rice is shown at around $350 - $360 per ton, about $25 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $325- $335 per ton. India 25% rice is indicated at around $345 - $355 per ton, about $35 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice shown at around $310 - $320 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is indicated at around $380 - $390 per ton. India parboiled rice is indicated at around $370- $380 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $45 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice last  shown at around $415 - $425 per ton.                                                                                                                                                                 
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is indicated at around $320 - $330 per ton, about $10 per ton from premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $310 - $320 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $305 - $315 per ton, about $25 per ton premium on Pakistan broken sortexed rice shown at around $280 - $290 per ton.

Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Dragged Lower by Huge Losses in US Grains as USDA Surprises Market with Bearish S&D Report

Aug 12, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Sep delivery settled 8 cent per cwt (about $2 per ton) lower at $11.710 per cwt (about $258 per ton). The other fell tumbled today as the USDA surprised the market with what has been interpreted as a very bearish S&D report; Soybeans closed about 6.3% lower at $9.1000 per bushel; wheat finished about 2.9% lower at $4.9725 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 5% lower at $3.6800 per bushel.
U.S. stocks fell about 1% on Wednesday as a second day of decline in the yuan against the dollar increased concerns about global growth. The major averages trimmed losses in midday trade as oil recovered slightly to boost the energy sector 1% and Apple turned higher to gain more than 1%.The People's Bank of China set the yuan fixing at 6.3306 against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, 1.6% weaker than the previous day's level. The move signaled Beijing's new commitment to set the daily fixings according to the previous day's closing spot prices and market-moves of other major currencies.
The yuan extended losses, dipping to 6.42 per dollar, its weakest level in four years, fueling expectations of more sustained weakness and a feared "currency war"—where countries artificially weaken their currencies to gain a competitive advantage. U.S. job openings totaled 5.2 million in June, versus 5.3 million expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down 138 points, or 0.80%, at 17,263. The S&P 500 traded down 15 points, or 0.74%, at 2,068, with financials leading eight sectors lower and energy and utilities leading advancers. The Nasdaq traded down 44 points, or 0.89%, at 4,992. Gold is trading about 1.4% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 0.1% higher, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 1.1% lower about  1:00pm Chicago time.
Tuesday, there were 6,239 contracts traded, up from 1,554 contracts traded on Monday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Tuesday decreased by 99 contracts to 10,094.

India Rice Stocks in Central Pool Stand at 18.6 Million Tons as of August 1, 2015; Down 24% from Last Year

Aug 12, 2015
India’s rice stocks in the central pool as of August 1, 2015 stood at around 18.6 million tons (including a milled equivalent of about 5.021 million tons of paddy), down about 24% from around 24.56 million tons recorded during the same period last year, according to data from the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
Month-over-month, India's rice stocks in the central pool are down about 13% from around 21.5 million tons recorded on July 1, 2015. However, current rice stocks are about 61% more than the required buffer and strategic reserve norms of around 11.54 million tons for this time of the year, according to the FCI.
Total food grain stocks (including rice and wheat) in the central pool stand at around 55.523 million tons as of August 1, 2015, down about 13% from last year's stock of around 63.639 million tons and down about 8% from last month's stock of around 60.323 million tons. Wheat stocks stand at around 36.778 million tons, down about 3.5% from last year's stock of around 38.108 million tons and down about 5% from last month's stock of around 38.68 million tons.
The government of India had revised the buffer norms for food grains, including rice, in the Central Pool in January this year. According to the new norms, buffer stocks for food grains to be maintained with the FCI at this part of the year is 41.12 million tons. 

Oryza Overnight Recap – Chicago Rough Rice Futures Little Changed as Traders Make Last Minute Adjustments to Positions Ahead of USDA S&D Report

Aug 12, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Sep delivery are currently seen trading 1 cent per cwt (about $0.22 per ton) higher at $11.800 per cwt (about $260 per ton) during early floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading mixed this morning; soybeans are currently seen trading about 0.3% lower, wheat is listed about 0.7% higher and corn is currently noted about 0.2% higher.
U.S. stock index futures indicated another sharply lower open on Wednesday, with Dow futures down briefly more than 150 points after China moved to devalue its currency for a second day in a row. The People's Bank of China set the yuan fixing at 6.3306 against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, 1.6% weaker than the previous day's level. The move signaled Beijing's new commitment to set the daily fixings according to the previous day's closing spot prices and market-moves of other major currencies. The yuan extended losses, dipping to 6.42 per dollar, its weakest level in four years, fueling expectations of more sustained weakness and a feared "currency war" – where countries artificially weaken their currencies to gain a competitive advantage. Traders on Wednesday may be busier watching market signals than the few earnings and data on the calendar. 
On Tuesday, a negative technical sign appeared in the chart of the Dow, after its 50-day moving average crossed below its 200-day moving average, a bearish sign known as the "death cross". European equities slumped after a yuan-related selloff in Asian stocks weighed on investor sentiment, with auto stocks coming under significant pressure. Some key data releases were also expected on Wednesday, with June JOLTS data due at 10.00 a.m. ET, followed by the July Federal Budget statement at 2.00 p.m. Gold is currently trading about 0.7% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 0.8% higher,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.9% lower at 8:45am Chicago time.

Philippines 2015 Paddy Rice Output May Fall Below Target Due to Drought, Says PSA

Aug 12, 2015
The Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) has estimated the country's 2015 paddy output at around 18.86 million tons, about 6% below the targeted 20.08 million tons and slightly down from last year's output of 18.97 million tons, according to Reuters.
The country's first half harvest was impacted by the persisting dry conditions induced by an El Nino weather phenomenon. The Philippines paddy output in the first half of 2015 was recorded at around 8.3 million tons, down about 1% from last year's 8.39 million tons and down about 2.4% from the targeted 8.5 million tons
The local weather bureau has warned of an intensifying El Nino in the coming months significantly affecting paddy output in central, southern and northern provinces. The PSA forecasts rice output in the second half of 2015 to drop about 0.5% to around 10.54 million tons.
The development implies that the government may be prompted to import more rice in the year. The National Food Authority (NFA) has already imported 750,000 tons of rice (200,000 tons from Thailand and 550,000 tons from Vietnam) under government-to-government deals to ensure adequate stocks in the lean season (June – September). It has also allowed the private traders to import 805,200 tons of rice under the WTO minimum access volume (MAV) rule. The NFA is still authorized to import another 250,000 tons in case of adverse weather conditions.
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.

Pakistan Rice Growers Urge Government to Procure Paddy at a Fixed Price

Aug 12, 2015
Pakistan rice growers are urging the government to fix the purchase price for paddy and procure paddy from farmers in order to help them come out of their financial problems, according to local sources.
Addressing a convention of paddy growers, the President of a Pakistan rice growers association noted that paddy growers in some rice growing regions are facing severe financial troubles as there are no buyers for their paddy. He noted that rice stocks worth $6 billion have not been exported and due to that millers and traders are not buying paddy from farmers this year.
He therefore noted that the government should purchase paddy from farmers through the Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation Limited (PASCO) and the Pakistan Trading Corporation (PTC) to give a financial boost the them.
The official also urged the government to make arrangements for exporting the existing stocks on an emergency basis to protect growers and exporters from becoming bankrupt.
Other speakers in the convention also urged the government to modify its policies regarding paddy procurement, pricing and exports to protect the rice sector, which can earn billions of foreign exchange to the country.
Pakistan exported around 3.93 million tons of rice in FY 2014-15 (July-June), up about 6% from around 3.72 million tons exported in FY 2013-14, according to preliminary data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Philippines Rice Stocks Decline for Second Consecutive Month in July 2015

Aug 12, 2015
Philippines rice stocks have declined for second consecutive month in July 2015, after increasing in April and May, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).
Total rice stocks in the Philippines as of July 1, 2015 stood at around 2.57 million tons, down about 15% from around 3.02 million tons recorded in June 2015, and up about 27% from around 2.03 million tons recorded during the same period last year.
According to the BAS, household stocks (which account for about 37.1% of total rice stocks in the country) stood at around 950,000 tons as of July 1, 2015, up about 8% from year-ago levels of around 880,000 tons. Commercial warehouse rice stocks (which account for about 32.7% of total stocks) have reached around 840,000 tons as of July 1, 2015, up about 22% from their year-ago levels of around 690,000 tons. The rice stocks with the National Food Authority (NFA) (which account for 30.2% of total stocks) stood at around 770,000 tons, up about 67% from around 460,000 tons recorded in June 2014.
Month-on-month, household rice stocks are down about 18%, commercial warehouse rice stocks are down about 24% and NFA rice stocks - in which about 91% are imported rice - are up about 2.6%, according to the BAS.

The BAS says that the Philippines' rice stocks as of July 1, 2015 are enough to last for 76 days (household stocks are enough for 28 days, commercial warehouses stocks are enough for 25 days and stocks with NFA are enough for 23 days).
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12th August (Wednesday),2015 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Rice Respite


A new transgenic variety holds great promise for reducing greenhouse gas emission

By: The Financial Express | August 12, 2015 12:22 AM

Flooded rice fields are a known source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emission—as per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, such fields generate enough methane to account for 20% of global warming. Over 90% of the world’s total wetland paddy cultivation happens in Asia. And the two top rice-growers in the continent, and indeed, the world, China and India—India accounted for over 22% global rice production in 2014—also happen to be two of the top overall GHG emitters. So, it is welcome news that Chinese scientists, as per a Nature report, in collaboration with researchers in Sweden and the US, have developed a strain of rice that can cut methane emission.

So far, increasing the yield has been the focus of rice research, and not cutting methane emission. For the latter, the minimal efforts undertaken have all been concentrated on modifying agricultural practices—moderating fertiliser usage, water management, etc. SUSIBA2, the new variety developed by Chinese scientists, is the harbinger of a biotechnological intervention that can meet the twin goals of increasing yield and reducing methane emissions.

 The strain was created by transferring genes responsible for starch production in stem and grains using transcription factor technology. Expression of the gene routes most of the starch produced by photosynthesis to the grains and stems, which means lesser than usual is available at the roots for soil microbes to process into methane. While scientists are pondering over what the large scale cultivation of such rice would mean for the survival of beneficial soil bacteria in the long-term, there can be no doubt that SUSIBA2 represents an important breakthrough for rice-growing nations.

Chinese firm eyes eco-tourism in Kingdom

Wed, 12 August 2015
Chinese company Ratelong Inc has plans to build a rice research facility and set up an eco-tourism business in Mondulkiri, after the proposal was welcomed by the minister of commerce earlier this week.The company, which according to the Ministry of Commerce’s website has a wide portfolio of businesses – from exports to advertising and construction – will now submit a proposal to the Council for Development of Cambodia, according to ministry spokesman Ken Ratha.“However, Minister Chanthol expressed his welcome and support to interest expressed by the company in investing in Cambodia,” Ratha added, declining to add further details on the proposal.

Yang Sang Koma, president at the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) said research in the rice sector was needed given the sector’s importance, but didn’t have any specific details about the proposed project.However, he added that support should be extended to existing research facilities, rather investing in a new one.“I don’t know what a world-class rice research facility means?

The quality of rice in Cambodia is already world-class,” he said.Ho Vandy, managing director of World Express Tours and Travel, said if the project were to go through, it would be the first Chinese company to invest in eco-tourism in Cambodia.“Normally, eco-tourism is created by local people in cooperation with some NGOs.

If it really happens, this is a good sign for tourism sector in Cambodia,” he added.“Mondulkiri province [is a high] potential place for eco-tourism.”Minister of Tourism Thong Khon in 2013 said that the northeastern region, where Mondulkiri is located, has great potential for ecotourism development.Tourism figures in May 2013 showed Chinese tourists visiting Cambodia at over 289,000, second only to Vietnamese tourists with a little less than 400,000 tourists

Export $6b stocked rice to relieve growers, govt urged

August 12, 2015

SIALKOT Paddy growers’ leaders have urged the government to start rice export so as to facilitate the farmers, saying that produce worth US$ 6 billion has been in the warehouses for the last two years.A Kissan Board Pakistan office-bearer urged the government to announce the support price of paddy to steer the growers out of financial crisis. Addressing a convention of paddy growers, its Central President Sadiq Khan Khakwani said that the paddy growers were much perturbed due to prevailing paddy crisis across Pakistan and they had also been suffering great financial crisis.

He urged the government to give guarantee of purchase of the paddy yield directly from the growers through PASCO and Pakistan Trading Corporation (PTC) to give a financial boost to them.
 The speakers demanded early export of paddy stock on emergency grounds, saying that there were no exports of rice for the last two years from the most of the areas which were the hub of rice. He said that the huge paddy quantity had been lying stocked in the go-downs, as the farmers and rice dealers could not export it due to strong policies of the government. If this huge quantity of paddy yield was not exported on emergency ground, the growers would become bankrupt. They said. Nisar Ahmed, Arsalan Khan, Malik Ramzan, Farooq Ahmed and Amanullah also addressed the convention.

Meanwhile, Rice Millers’ Association Punjab President M Yousaf, Secretary General Naeem Gill and MPA Arshad Javaid said that the paddy yield is backbone of the national economy. They earn precious foreign exchange in the shape of rice exports to the tune of US$ 3 billion annually, they said. They said that all the business and trade activities related to rice exports had been lying suspended for the last two consecutive years across the country. They added that the investment of exporters in rice was lying frozen for the last two years, as the huge quantity of rice yield has not yet been exported due to the “unfair” government policies. They demanded early export of this rice to save the growers from the loss of billions of dollars.

RE-AUDITING OF FIRMS: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to re-audit all the main factories, industrial units, trade and business centres to ensure maximum recovery of taxes.
It has decided to remove flaws from the tax collection and depositing system and to expande its tax net to bring maximum people under the net in Gujranwala Division. According to the senior FBR officials, the re-audit of the would start in a couple of days in Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts. Meanwhile, the local traders have hired the services of lawyers to avert the re-auditing. The traders have also provided the details of their bank accounts in this regard.

The major step of re-auditing was being taken by the FBR Gujranwala authorities after receiving official targets of expanding the tax net, bringing maximum people under the net and ensuring maximum tax collection. Targets have been given by the FBR Headquarters Islamabad with the clear directions of early compliance with these directions regarding achieving the targets.

GE rice paper retracted from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Greenpeace comment


Greenpeace East Asia welcomes the recent retraction of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, on the genetically engineered (GE) ‘Golden’ Rice paper by Guangwen Tang, as an important step in upholding ethical standards in research.The Chinese government, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, declared the GE ‘Golden’ Rice research in Hengyang, Hunan Province to be illegal. The first author, Dr. Guangwen Tang and his co-researchers were found to have breached ethical standards and were penalized for their actions.Jing Wang Greenpeace East Asia, Food and Agriculture Senior Campaigner said:“The students and their parents who were involved in the study were not provided with sufficient information before the feeding trials were conducted, of particular concern given that the food safety of GE crops is still a controversial question in the scientific and academic world.

“Over the years, the Chinese public has had growing concerns on the safety of GE crops, particularly on ‘Golden’ Rice, which prompted the government to caution on GE research in China, especially when children are concerned.“In 2008, when Greenpeace East Asia first learned of the research, we immediately sent a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture to inform them of the study. The Ministry then replied saying that they met with the related institutions and had pulled the plug on their research. Although the study was strictly banned by the government, the feeding trials persisted and were unknown to the general public.“Twenty years after it was first conceptualized, GE ‘Golden’ Rice continues to be a failed experiment, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars poured into it.“Instead of investing in a failing experiment, governments and philanthropic organizations should redirect their investment towards long term solutions that will address not just Vitamin A deficiency, but also food and nutrition security, especially for countries like China which are starting to reel from the impacts of climate change.

“They should channel investments to Ecological Agriculture, a type of farming that grows food in harmony with nature by working with diversity that exists on the farm. Diversity builds farm resilience and provides diverse food sources for diverse diets. These are, in turn, a vital part of the long-term solution to food and nutrition security including malnutrition, of which Vitamin A deficiency is just one of the many.”

Thailand: Rice Auction Totalling 666,228 Tonnes To Be Launched

BANGKOK, Aug 11 (Bernama) -- More than 40 private-run rice trading firms will participate in a rice auction totalling 668,228 tonnes to be launched by the Commerce Ministry's Foreign Trade Department, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported officials as saying Tuesday.Officials said that a total of 58 rice trading firms have qualified to contest in the auction and by early today more than 40 of them had submitted their bidding prices.

The bidding was scheduled to end at noon.So far the government had organised eight rice auctions amounting about 3.9 million tonnes and could earn 41 billion baht.Official statistics released by the ministry showed that the government has rice in warehouses totaling 15.11 million tonnes across Thailand at the end of June this year.The government is trying to release a large amount of rice stored at warehouses, bought by the previous toppled government from farmers on the rice-pledging programme which is accused of tainted with massive corruption.


Joynagarer Moya wins G I tag


Jhilmil Mukherjee Pandey,TNN | Aug 11, 2015, 10.50 AM IST
KOLKATA : Here's a first from the world of Bengali sweets. Our very indigenous Joynagarer Moya, sweet roundels made of a special kind of puffed rice and bound with jaggery, has won the coveted G I (geographical indication) tag. While the decision was firming up since April, the state government, which has been championing the cause of the moya, has just been intimated about the crown. Naturally, the moya makers of South 24 Parganas Joynagar, are rejoicing. This authentication tag attaches great prestige to the special sweet with a very short life that makes its annual appearance only in winter. 

Joynagarer Moya had to go through a stringent test and documentation process for two and a half years before finally wresting the crown from the G I scientists in Chennai, who work as a wing of the ministry of commerce and industries. The state department of science and technology, which had applied for the G I tag is now enthused about winning the tag for its other two applications - Mihidana and Sitabhog of Burdwan, which are presently being evaluated for a final declaration towards the later part of the month. A GI tag is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin.

India as a member of the WTO enacted the GI Act in 1999, which came into effect in September 2003. The GI tag ensures that none other than those registered as authorised users (or at least those residing inside the geographic territory) are allowed to use the popular product name. Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India. The Joynagarer moya was invented in 1929 by two confectioners of Bahura and Charan near Joynagar - Purna Chandra Ghosh and Nitya Gopal Sarkar who sold their creation at their Sri Krishna Mistanna Bhandar. The secret lay in the use of kanakchur rice, which is a special variety of winter rice grown locally.

This rice has a distinct aroma that is heightened when this rice is puffed up. Special gawa ghee and nolen gur, also collected fresh locally, are then used to bind the khoi (puffed rice) into a moya. Kanakchur rice cannot withstand chemical fertilizers. "Initially the Joynagar moya makers, threatened by the plethora of fake and cheaper varieties that flood the market in winter, tried to apply for the G I status on their own but faced several hurdles. So they approached the state government for help.We documented the regional history, lore, ingredients, authentic recipe, the formulae used by the inventors and the list of makers at Joynagar who still follow the original process. The G I scientists inquired and tested random samples for consecutive years before agreeing to give the Joynagar er moya the coveted GI tag,""said Mahua Hom Chowdhury, scientist of the Patent Information Centre of the WB State Council of Science and Technology, which is a wing of the state's department of science and technology.

A total of 150 moya shops have been included in the G I tag as the only authentic makers. It implies that the rest of the shops across the state who will still sell the moya are selling fake stuff. It was after submitting the application for Joynagarer Moya that the state government received appeals from the makers of sitabhog and mihidana of Burdwan too. "Our scientists actually camped in Burdwan for months and along with officials of the district administration, prepared separate dossiers for both mihidana and sitabhog. We were stunned by the details," said an excited state minister for science and technology, Rabiranjan Chatterjee. He was found basking in the glory of the Joynagarer Moya. "This is our first sweet GI. We have also received GI for three Bengal varieties of mangoes - fazli, himsagar and lakshman bhog," he said.

The document prepared for mihidana and Sitabhog and submitted to the GI office says that On February 10, 1904, Viceroy Lord Curzon visited Burdwan to confer the title of maharaja on then king of Burdwan Vijaychanda. Bhairav Chandra Nag, a local sweet-maker, had made the sitabhog and mihidana to mark the occasion. Mihidana is made from Kaminibhog, Gobindabhog or Basmati rice.

The rice is mixed with besan and saffron and blended. The mix is poured into hot ghee through a brass ladle with holes. The deep-fried saffron grains are then dunked in sugar syrup. Sitabhog on the other hand is, cottage cheese or chhana and powdered rice rolled into a dough. It is broken into tiny bits and fried in ghee, then soaked in sugar syrup.

Amira Nature Foods : Retains Kasowitz and Commences Legal Action Against Market Manipulators

08/11/2015 | 09:22am US/Eastern

Amira Nature Foods Ltd (NYSE:ANFI), a leading global provider of branded packaged Indian specialty rice, announced today that it has retained the law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP to investigate and pursue claims against those who have been disseminating material false, misleading, and defamatory information about Amira and engaging in other serious misconduct against the Company.As part of this effort, Amira has today filed a lawsuit against Prescience Point Research Group, LLC, Prescience Investment Group, LLC, Spruce Point Capital Management, LLC, Ben Axler, and Eiad Asbahi in Supreme Court, New York County seeking damages and injunctive relief for defamation, trade libel, civil conspiracy, tortious interference, including but not limited to interference with banking, auditors, investors, and capital market relationships.

The suit also names various “John Doe” defendants who will be identified and joined as the Kasowitz’s investigation unfolds.“After great patience, we have concluded that we must act to protect our Company, our people, and our investors from this vicious cabal of market manipulators and their lies and other egregious misconduct,” explained Karan A Chanana, Chairman of Amira Nature Foods Ltd.

About Amira Nature Foods Ltd

Founded in 1915, Amira has evolved into a leading global provider of branded packaged Indian specialty rice and other products, with sales in over 60 countries today. The Company primarily sells Basmati rice, which is a premium long-grain rice grown only in certain regions of the Indian sub-continent, under its flagship Amira brand as well as under other third party brands. Amira sells its products through a broad distribution network in both the developed and emerging markets. The Company’s global headquarters are in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and it also has offices in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Amira Nature Foods Ltd is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “ANFI.”
For more information, please visit

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements of a forward-looking nature. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “is/are likely to,” “future” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: our goals and strategies; our expansion plans; and our future business development.

We would like to caution you not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and you should read these statements in conjunction with the risk factors disclosed in “Risk Factors” appearing in our Annual Report on Form 20-F as well as our other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those risks are not exhaustive and reflect our expectations as of the date of this press release. We operate in a rapidly evolving environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time, and it is impossible for our management to predict all risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statement. We do not undertake any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements except as required under applicable law.
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Rice exporters worry about reduced demand from China
VietNamNet Bridge - China, the biggest Vietnam rice importer since 2012, hsa unexpectedly reduced imports in the first months of the year, raising controversial predictions about the level of demand from the world’s most populous country.

With 95 million hectares, China’s food crop growing area accounts for only 13.1 percent of crop area worldwide, but with an output of 0.5 billion tons, China makes 20 percent of the total food produced in the world.However, analysts said China faces three problems with its rice production.First, though China has stopped the downward trend in the rice growing area and has maintained high productivity, food security has fallen sharply.In 1970, rice accounted for 55.3 percent of the ‘food basket’ of the country (rice, wheat and maize). The proportion dropped dramatically to 29.8 percent in 2014. Counting only rice and wheat, the proportion dropped from 72.5 percent 53.5 percent.Though Chinese favor rice, they now use more wheat, a factor that has influenced the sharp rise in Chinese rice imports in recent years.

Second, the measures taken to restore the rice growing area to ensure food security has turned China into a big rice importer as the world’s rice price falls.According to the US Department of Agriculture, in 2005 China spent $2.559 billion to support domestic food production. Meanwhile, the figure soared to $30.21 billion in 2011 and $29.562 billion in 2014.A report showed that Chinese direct support to its farmers has increased rapidly from $1.94 billion to $2.5 billion, which has contributed to the rise in rice prices.The Chinese government has also supported Chinese farmers by raising the purchasing price of Japonica rice 2.56 times over an eight year period. As the domestic price is on the rise, Chinese are importing more rice from other countries.Third, Chinese seem to favor less Chinese rice as imports are more competitively priced.

Are there great opportunities for Vietnam rice?

It’s unclear if China will increase imports from Vietnam in the upcoming months. But according to FAO’s and USDA’s prediction, the answer would be ‘yes’ for two reasons. First, the rice sale prices are now at the deepest low. Second, El Nino is expected to be stronger in upcoming months.However, a source said that the government of China may not act as people assume. Since it failed to auction its rice stock recently, it will force Chinese importers to commit to buy rice stocks in exchange for import quotas.

Palay output could miss gov’t target for 2015

PRODUCTION this year of palay -- which typically contributes nearly a fifth to total farm output -- will likely be smaller than 2014’s haul and could fall short of a government target as the current dry spell takes its toll, the Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (PSA-BAS) said in a report yesterday that also gave a similar prognosis for another staple, corn.

Palay and corn production for January-June 2015 were lower than their respective 2014 levels by 0.7% and 2.8%,” the PSA-BAS said in its July Rice and Corn Situation Outlook that was uploaded on its Web site.“This was attributed to contraction in harvest areas as a result of insufficient water supply and intense heat due to the dry spell.”The PSA-BAS said “probable production” of both staples this semester similarly “may suffer setbacks of 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively.
”“Unrealized plantings of palay for the third-quarter harvest due to the late onset of the rainy season and insufficient supply of irrigation water may bring down the second semester output,” it explained, adding that probable corn output is also expected to be lower.As a result, total output for the entire 2015 may decline by 0.6% for palay and 1.6% for corn.In particular, production of palay -- or unmilled rice -- may slip to 18.86 million metric tons (MT) this year from the 18.97 million MT actually harvested last year.Corn output, on the other hand, is seen to hit only 7.64 million MT this year from 7.77 million MT actually harvested last year.

The Agriculture department targets a total of 20 million MT of palay and 8.4 million MT of corn this year, according to Undersecretary Emerson U. Palad. “We can’t say right now that the targets will be missed because the PSA-BAS forecasts are based on the first-half figures and planting intentions, which could still change,” Mr. Palad said in a phone interview.The same report showed that actual palay production fell 2.9% to 3.96 million MT last quarter from 4.07 million MT in 2014’s comparable three months.Palay’s second-quarter harvest, in turn, led to a 0.7% contraction to 8.32 million MT last semester from 8.38 million MT in 2014’s comparable six months.

“Probable” palay output may dip 0.5% annually this semester, with harvest this quarter expected to fall 14.5% to 2.59 million MT.Corn production, meanwhile, fell 15.8% to 1.01 million MT last quarter from 1.20 million MT the past year, causing last semester’s output of this grain to drop 2.8% to 3.38 million MT from 3.48 million MT year on year.“Probable” corn production may slip by 0.6% annually this semester, with output edging up 1.1% to 2.47 million MT this quarter from 2.45 million MT the past year.Palay and corn form bulk of the crops subsector that account for more than half of total agriculture output. The government is scheduled this Friday to report the entire sector’s performance last semester.Agriculture accounts for about a tenth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) which is targeted to expand between 7-8% this year and in 2016. Second-quarter GDP data is scheduled for release on Aug. 27. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano

Why Is China Buying One Million Tons of Rice from Thailand?

Beijing is helping Thailand ease a large burden.
August 11, 2015

August 11, 2015
On August 10, Thailand’s Commerce Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikalya announced that China and Thailand had reached a government-to-government agreement for Beijing to buy one million tons of Thai rice.The agreement is part of a broader memorandum of understanding (MoU) the two countries reached last December for China to buy two million tons of rice from Thailand (See: “Thailand Turns to China”). According to Chatchai, this particular sale involves Thai jasmine rice and Thai-5 percent broken white rice and would be done using market prices. Negotiations for the sale the other 1 million tons of rice to China under the MoU are expected to begin in September.

The deal is significant because it would allow Thailand – currently the world’s second largest rice exporter – to begin to ease the stockpiles of grain it accumulated under a graft-ridden rice-pledging program under former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was overthrown in a coup in May 2014. China had canceled an earlier deal to buy 1.2 million tons of Thai rice in February last year after the country’s anti-corruption agency launched a probe into the scheme, which was advanced as a major reason for her ouster.

It will also be read as a further boost for the Sino-Thai relationship, which has seen some gains this year as the two countries commemorate the 40th anniversary of their bilateral ties. As I have written previously, recent developments – particularly Thailand’s initial decisions to award a submarine deal to China and hand over 109 Uyghurs to Chinese authorities – have led to concerns that the generals are moving too close to China, with worrying implications for domestic politics and foreign policy (See: “Is China’s New Submarine Deal With Thailand Now In Peril?”). This is despite the important limits that continue to exist in the Sino-Thai relationship in spite of these advances, which I have explored elsewhere (See for instance: “China, Thailand Eye Deeper Defense Ties”).

While Thailand’s deal with China does help ease its rice burden, still has a long way to go to rid itself of an estimated 14.5 million tons of rice stockpiles. The Thai government is aware of this and is attempting to strike similar deals with other countries as well. For instance, Chatchai mentioned that Iran had expressed interest in buying Thai rice at the end of August, and that Thai government officials would travel to Tehran to try and finalize an agreement.

PH expects to miss 2015 rice output target


Posted at 08/12/2015 4:18 PM
MANILA - Rice output this year in the Philippines, one of the world's top buyers, is forecast to hit 18.86 million tons, the country's statistics agency said on Wednesday, below a government target of 20.08 million tons.The Southeast Asian country's harvest of unmilled rice in the first half of the year reached 8.32 million tons, down 0.7 percent compared to last year's volume but above a government forecast of 8.27 million tons.The country's rice output in the second half is forecast to drop 0.5 percent to 10.54 million tons, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in a report.

Vietnamese enterprises to reap huge benefits after signing of EU trade pact
UPDATED : 08/12/2015 14:12 GMT + 7

Vietnamese workers make garments that will be exported to the European market at Garmex Saigon JSC.
Tuoi Tre

The Vietnam-EU free trade agreement, which will be reached soon following the conclusion of final negotiations between the two parties, will bring benefits worth billions of U.S. dollars to Vietnamese firms, a senior state official told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in an interviewed published Tuesday.

The deal will open the door wide for more Vietnamese goods, like textiles, fisheries and furniture, to enter the 500-million-strong EU market when the import tax rates levied on them fall toward zero percent, said Luong Hoang Thai, director of the Department for Multilateral Trade Policy under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.The EU will cut the import tariffs imposed on all of those products, which Vietnam has comparative advantages in making, to zero percent during a maximum time frame of seven years, Thai said, adding that this is a result which no other trade partner of the bloc has ever achieved.

On August 4, Vietnam and the EU reached an agreement in principle for a free trade deal after concluding many sessions of negotiations from June 2012 to August 2015 with a view to ensuring an effective environment for trade and investment relations.The in-principle agreement includes the elimination of nearly all tariffs, at over 99 percent, for the two sides, in which Vietnam will liberalize tariffs over a 10-year period and the EU will do so over a 7-year period.The agreement also covers non-tariff barriers to trade and other trade-related aspects such as public procurement, regulatory issues, competition, services, investment, intellectual property rights and sustainable development.Vietnamese firms will gain benefits worth billions of U.S. dollars after the free trade pact is signed, director Thai said.

Roadmap of seven years

Some types of Vietnamese shipments, including vegetables, processed fruit and fruit juice, handbags, suitcases, plastics, ceramic and glass products will immediately be exempted from import taxes when the agreement takes effect.Particularly, with certain kinds of Vietnamese goods, the EU will cut tariffs from the benchmark rates of its Generalized System of Preferences, not from the higher rates of the Most Favored Nation currently applied to all other countries, Thai said.Some categories of Vietnamese goods exported to the bloc in relatively large volumes, such as textiles and footwear, will have a tariff reduction schedule of up to seven years, while many tariff lines will be lowered to zero as soon as the pact becomes effective.

However, the rule of origin for such products when exporting to the EU is also tight, he said.For garment and textile products, the rule applies to two stages, including that the fabric must be made in Vietnam and the sewing process must take place inside the Southeast Asian country.This is easier to meet than the “yarn forward rule of origin” that the U.S. requests in all negotiations with Vietnam for the TPP, Thai added.The “yarn forward rule of origin” means that all items in a garment from the yarn stage onward must be made in one of the countries that is party to the TPP agreement.The TPP is a proposed regional free trade agreement aimed at eliminating tariffs and lowering non-tariff barriers that is being negotiated by 12 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam.

Currently the textile and dyeing sector in Vietnam is still undeveloped, so the country has to import a lot of materials, especially from other nations in the region.So to develop the industry, Vietnam needs to have a large market size, as many foreign businesses will channel their investment into the Southeast Asian country.In addition, with a commitment to open markets for investment facilitation, Vietnam has the opportunity to become a regional hub connecting commercial and investment activities of European firms, Thai predicted.
Regarding agriculture, the EU has consented to grant Vietnam a quota equivalent to about 80,000 metric tons per year at a tax rate of zero percent as soon as the agreement takes effect, more than triple the current level of 25,000 metric tons per annum.

Particularly, there are no quotas for broken rice, and the tax will be zero percent.With this commitment, particularly in terms of rice, except broken rice, the tax reductions will help Vietnamese businesses save nearly 17 million euros (US$20 million) a year.For other items, like cassava, the EU’s quota for Vietnam will be 25,000 metric tons per year, whereas now they import about 33,000 metric tons worldwide annually.As regards seafood, many items, such as tropical fish, will see the import duty reduced to zero percent as soon as the agreement takes effect. For other items it will take longer, a maximum of three years, for the tax rates to be dropped to zero.

Only the quota on canned tuna is much tighter, as this is a particularly sensitive product in the mindset of the EU.However, the grouping’s quota is still higher than the rate Vietnamese firms are currently exporting their products to the market.

Win-win solutions

The economies of Vietnam and the EU are complementary to each other, with only a few items remaining in direct competition.A number of southern European countries still produce textiles and footwear and Italy and Spain currently grow rice, so both parties must attempt to resolve all the differences when negotiating.For Vietnam, the garment and textile sector is important, so Vietnam has worked to promote high levels of liberalization, including the zero percent tax rate as soon as the pact kicks in.Commenting on the fact that the taxes on beef, milk and pork imports from the EU will be at zero percent in three to seven years, which will hammer the Vietnamese livestock industry, Thai said that as Vietnam is committed to opening the market for beef following the free trade agreement with Australia - New Zealand, the Southeast Asian country will apply the same policy to European products.

As to pork, the time frame for the European meat is a roadmap lasting seven to nine years. For chicken, it will take 10 years, the longest time for a European product to be fully exempted from tax when entering Vietnam.Meanwhile, in seven years the EU has to basically drop all taxes for Vietnamese goods.Some have voiced concerns that Vietnam is on the weak side when opening the market for high-value EU products like cars, motorcycles and pharmaceuticals in exchange for much lower value-added Vietnamese products.But Thai rejected these opinions.

Presently Vietnam is shipping to the EU about $27 billion worth of goods, most of which are products from agriculture, forestry, fisheries, furniture and garment-textile.Over 40 percent of the export turnover of Vietnam to the EU enjoys a zero percent tax rate. So when the free trade pact kicks in, the rate will rise to 100 percent in a maximum of seven years.Currently, the average import duty for Vietnamese shipments to the EU is 6.5 percent, so with $27 billion in total exports to in 2014, Vietnamese firms can save over $1 billion in tax exemption when the pact is reached, Thai said.
Coming along with the tax cut is the rising competitiveness of Vietnamese goods and the probability of expanding in the EU market, thus resulting in the development of domestic production, he added.


Thailand: Thailand aims for rice exporter champ this year

Thai News Service
Thailand is hopeful to become the number one riceexporter of the world this year despite the decline inexports due to the global economic situation, says the deputy government spokesman.The Deputy Government Spokesman, Sansern Kaewkamnerd, has said that Thailand is positive to remain as the number one rice exporter to the world in terms of quantity and trade value despite the decline in global economic growth and negative export values in several countries.According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Thailand was the number one rice exporter in the first half of this year with an amount of exported rice at 4.46 million tons valued at 72.142 billion baht, while the runner up for riceexports was India with an export of 4.25 million tons.

It is expected that the amount of exports in the second half of this year will increase as many countries have expeditedimports of rice from Thailand due to concerns regarding the current drought situation. The weakened Thai baht currency also contributes to an increased pricing competitiveness of Thai export products to other countries, the Deputy Government Spokesman has said.The Thai government is still confident in Thai entrepreneurs as the country is among those with lower declines in export value when compared to other countries. Thailand has seen a decrease by 4.8 percent in its export, 79 percent in import, and 3.47 percent surplus in trade balance.

Many Thai export products have also shown positive growth, reflecting their growth potential despite the global recession and the capability of Thai products to penetrate the global market.The Deputy Government Spokesman has revealed theexport products that have shown positive growth in the first six months of this year. Among these were electric transformers and parts, which have grown by 10.66 percent, condensers by 28.3 percent, cement by 8.81 percent, motorcycles and its parts by 6.75 percent, other vehicles and parts by 38.27 percent, and tapioca products with 18.10 percent. The overall export value was at 2.05 billion US dollars.

CORRECTED-Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- Aug 12

Nagpur, Aug 12 Gram prices zoomed up here in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) here on good buying support from local traders amid thin supply from
producing belts. Reports about weak production in this season, healthy rise in Madhya Pradesh
gram prices and enquiries from South-based millers also helped to push up prices, according to
               *            *              *              *
   * Desi gram raw recovered in open market on renewed demand from local traders amid 
     tight supply from producing regions because of heavy rains yesterday.
   * Tuar varieties ruled steady here on subdued demand from local traders.   
   * Lakhodi dal reported strong in open market here on increased demand from local 
     traders amid weak arrival from producing belts.   
   * Wheat MP Sharbati varieties firmed up in open market on good festival season demand 
     from local traders amid thin supply from producing regions like Punjab and Haryana.   
   * In Akola, Tuar - 7,800-8,200, Tuar dal - 11,300-11,500, Udid at 9,100-9,500, 
     Udid Mogar (clean) - 11,100-11,500, Moong - 7,600-7,800, Moong Mogar 
    (clean) 9,200-9,800, Gram - 4,200-4,400, Gram Super best bold - 5,800-6,000 
     for 100 kg.
   * Other varieties of wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market 
     in thin trading activity because of heavy rains, according to sources.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close   
     Gram Auction                   3,860-4,450         3,700-4,510
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                n.a.                7,300-8,150
     Moong Auction                n.a.                6,000-6,400
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Gram Super Best Bold            6,000-6,200        6,000-6,200
     Gram Super Best            n.a.                
     Gram Medium Best            5,600-5,800        5,600-5,800
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Mill Quality            5,500-5,700        5,400-5,700
     Desi gram Raw                4,750-4,850         4,700-4,800
     Gram Filter new            6,000-6,200        6,000-6,200
     Gram Kabuli                6,100-7,400        6,100-7,400
     Gram Pink                6,800-7,000        6,800-7,000
     Tuar Fataka Best             11,600-11,800        11,600-11,800
     Tuar Fataka Medium             10,900-11,300        10,900-11,300
     Tuar Dal Best Phod            10,500-10,800        10,500-10,800
     Tuar Dal Medium phod            9,900-10,200        9,900-10,200
     Tuar Gavarani New             8,300-8,500        8,300-8,500
     Tuar Karnataka             8,700-9,000        8,700-9,000
     Tuar Black                 11,400-11,800           11,400-11,800 
     Masoor dal best            8,300-8,500        8,300-8,500
     Masoor dal medium            7,900-8,200        7,900-8,200
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold               9,600-9,800         9,600-9,800
     Moong Mogar Medium best        8,200-8,800        8,200-8,800
     Moong dal Chilka            8,800-9,000        8,800-9,000
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            9,700-10,000        9,700-10,000
     Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG)    11,500-11,900       11,500-11,900
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    10,500-11,000        10,500-11,000
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        9,300-9,700        9,300-9,700
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        4,500-5,000        4,500-5,000
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)           3,300-3,400         3,100-3,350
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)        4,500-5,000        4,300-4,700
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,200         3,100-3,200
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,300-3,900        3,300-3,900
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,400-1,500        1,400-1,500
     Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG)    1,550-1,700        1,550-1,700
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)        1,300-1,500           1,300-1,500
     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)    3,300-3,700        3,200-3,700
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,650-2,850        2,550-2,850        
     Rice BPT New(100 INR/KG)        2,800-3,000        2,800-3,000
     Rice BPT (100 INR/KG)               3,050-3,300        3,050-3,300
     Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG)        1,700-1,900        1,700-1,900
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)      2,300-2,500        2,300-2,500
     Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG)      2,600-2,800        2,600-2,800
     Rice HMT new(100 INR/KG)        3,400-3,800        3,400-3,800
     Rice HMT (100 INR/KG)               3,900-4,300        3,900-4,300
     Rice HMT Shriram New(100 INR/KG)    4,300-4,500        4,300-4,500
     Rice HMT Shriram old (100 INR/KG)    4,600-5,100        4,600-5,100     
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    8,000-10,000        8,000-10,000
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    7,000-7,500        7,000-7,500
     Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG)    4,500-4,800        4,500-4,800
     Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG)        5,200-5,600        5,200-5,600
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,100-2,350        2,100-2,350
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)        2,400-2,500        2,400-2,500
Maximum temp. 33.3 degree Celsius (91.9 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
24.1 degree Celsius (75.4 degree Fahrenheit)
Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.
Rainfall : 17.2 mm
FORECAST: Generally cloudy sky. Rains or thunder-showers likely. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 33 and 24 degree Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices.)

Another B6.3bn in state rice stocks sold


Government rice is displayed at a warehouse in Suphan Buri province. The Commerce Ministry called a new bid yesterday to sell stockpiled grains. PATIPAT JANTHONG
The government has sold 426,977 tonnes of rice worth 6.29 billion baht in its latest auction.Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said authorities agreed to sell that amount from 50 warehouses to 47 qualified bidders.That represents 63.9% of the 668,228 tonnes of rice put up for the fifth auction, which was called yesterday.The grains are mainly 5% white rice, Thai Hom Mali fragrant rice, white broken rice and Thai Hom Mali broken rice.The outcome will be submitted to Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya for consideration and the National Rice Policy Committee for final approval.

Since Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha took office, the Commerce Ministry has held nine auctions including five this year in order to speed up disposal of 18 million tonnes of state stocks accumulated from rice-pledging schemes.It has sold 4.4 million tonnes for 48.6 billion baht.However, the government has fetched an average of only 10,000 baht per tonne of milled rice from the auctions, far below the 24,000 baht a tonne spent by the previous government for pledging excluding management costs and interest rates.Losses incurred from the auctions are estimated at a minimum of 55 billion baht.

After the latest auction, the government now holds 13.9 million tonnes of rice, 5.8 million of which are categorised as low-quality and rotten, while 8-9 million tonnes have been dubbed Grade P, meaning it has passed ministry certification and is a mix of Grades A and B. Grades A and B are defined as in slightly poor condition and in need of sorting out for improvement.
Gen Chatchai said responsible authorities would next week finalise ways to deal with low-quality and rotten grains.Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said the government's rice auction drew prices similar to market prices. Quick rice auctions also lower government expenses in keeping rice stocks, worth 46 million baht per day."The government's auctions fetched just above 10 baht a kilogramme, close to the market price of 11-12 baht per kg," Mr Charoen said.In the first half of this year, Thailand shipped 4.46 million tonnes of rice, down 4.7%, worth US$2.21 billion. Nigeria was the largest importer of Thai rice at 475,362 tonnes, up by 105% year-on-year, followed by the Philippines at 422,110 tonnes (up 255%) and China at 361,106 tonnes (up 9%).

Japan’s Shinmei Foods opens West Sacramento production facility

Regional rice growers will contribute to production of company’s rice patties
28,000-square-foot facility in Southport Business Park will employ 20 initially
City touts its ‘food hub’ status with latest addition

Shinmei Foods USA on Wednesday Aug. 12, 2015 opened its 28,000-square-foot American headquarters and food-production facility in West Sacramento’s Southport Business Park. It specializes in making gluten-free rice patties. Mark Glover
Shinmei Foods USA had its day in the sun Wednesday, opening its 28,000-square-foot food production facility in West Sacramento’s Southport Business Park.But West Sacramento also shined, with Mayor Christopher Cabaldon proclaiming that his city “has emerged as a global food hub.”Few would argue the point. Over the past several years, West Sacramento has been chosen as a destination for multiple international food industry firms. That includes the 70,000-square-foot U.S. headquarters of Nippon Shokken USA Inc. The Japanese food-maker opened its facility in 2013, perhaps a quarter mile from the Shinmei site.

Other international food firms landed by West Sacramento include Germany-based agrochemical company Bayer CropScience and TOMRA Sorting Solutions, the Norwegian conglomerate. TOMRA’s equipment processes most of the world’s french fries. West Sacramento also touts its local food enterprises, including the headquarters home of Raley’s.And now, Shinmei Foods USA is part of the mix.The 20-employee plant – Shinmei’s first in the United States – accommodates production, sales and administration in support of Shinmei’s gluten-free rice patties. Patties produced at the plant will include rice grown by farmers throughout the Sacramento region.

Shinmei Co. Ltd., Shinmei USA’s parent and one of Japan’s largest rice millers and distributors, announced in 2013 its plans to build the $10 million facility on a 6-acre site in the Southport park. Shinmei is banking on the growing popularity of gluten-free products and Asian food in the U.S. marketplace and beyond.“The standard American diet has become more Asian,” Shinmei Foods USA President Mitsuzo Fujio said during ribbon-cutting ceremonies on Wednesday.
Fujio also noted that West Sacramento was an ideal location for the company’s first U.S. plant “because the Sacramento Valley produces high-quality rice,” adding that the city is ideally located for “domestic and international distribution.”Shinmei is targeting sales of its rice patties in the overseas markets of Australia, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Initially, the West Sacramento factory aims to produce 28 million rice patties a year. Long term, depending on the national and international acceptance of rice patties, the facility could be expanded to produce 130 million rice patties a year on as many as four production lines, with more than 100 employees on site.Shinmei is promoting the healthy aspects of its rice patties. Also, the company says its patties are easier to prepare than standard rice – they can be heated in a microwave oven – and flavored in numerous ways. The company says the patties can be eaten as a snack, a side dish or used in place of bread in hamburgers and other sandwiches.The West Sacramento Shinmei facility was constructed by a partnership that included Sacramento-based Potter-Taylor & Co., the MacLaughlin Co. and global management consultants Victus Partners.

Read more here:

USA Rice Wants Consumers to Think Rice Online with New Consumer Website
 Think Rice
Grab your tablet and start thinking rice!
ARLINGTON, VA -- As part of USA Rice's refreshed online presence and rebranding of domestic marketing initiatives, USA Rice launched the new consumer-facing website, The design, functionality, and streamlined content of the site make it a valuable resource for all public audiences."Today's consumers, health professionals, retailers, and chefs are all interested in the same types of information," said Fred Zaunbrecher, a Louisiana rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Domestic Promotion Committee. "So we saw an opportunity to merge and re-organize our content into a single resource for these audiences."

The home page highlights the most relevant and popular content areas, including: recipes, farmer features, and information about rice's good environmental story."The consumer recipe database is part of the site that I'm particularly excited about," said Katie Maher, manager of USA Rice's domestic promotion programs. "We categorized all of our recipes to enhance the search functionality - so now, visitors can look for recipes by categories such as 'gluten-free', 'vegetarian', 'under 500 calories', 'summer salads', 'holiday favorites', and so on."

Maher explained that the recipe page also features a "Recipe Collections" section which will rotate with different themes and recipes throughout the year.

One of many new, exciting features
" contains exciting new interactive features that allow us to present a lot of information in a concise and modern way," said Zaunbrecher. "There is a map of rice growing states, a rice nutrition benefits feature, and a U.S. rice varieties section that are all easy to navigate."
Maher added that USA Rice is already receiving positive feedback from retail dietitians and member companies and that there are plans to bolster the "Meet U.S. Rice Farmers" section, so she encourages members to get ready to be interviewed!

Contact: Colleen Klemczewski (703) 236-1446

WASDE Report Released
WASHINGTON, DC-- U.S. 2015/16 total rice supplies are projected at 278.4 million cwt, nearly unchanged from last month. Lower production more than offsets larger carryin stocks and imports. The first survey-based forecast of the U.S. 2015/16 rice crop is 205.0 million cwt, down 2.0 million from last month and 7 percent below the previous year. Average all rice yield is forecast at 7,472 pounds per acre, down 72 pounds per acre from last month's projection, and 1 percent below last year. Area harvested is unchanged at 2.74 million acres. Long-grain production is forecast at 149.0 million cwt and combined medium- and short-grain production at 56.0 million. The all rice import projection is 25.5 million cwt, up 0.5 million from last month-with the increase in long-grain.

U.S. 2015/16 total rice use is projected at 236.0 million cwt, 4.0 million below last month, but 3 percent above the previous year. Total domestic and residual use is lowered 1.0 million cwt to 129.0 million due mostly to a smaller crop and a lower residual component. Exports are forecast at 107.0 million cwt, down 3.0 million from last month, and 6 percent above last year. The decrease is due to reduced supplies and strong competition with Southeast Asian exporters. Long-grain and combined medium- and short-grain exports are projected at 74.0 million and 33.0 million, respectively. U.S. all rice ending stocks for 2015/16 are projected at 42.4 million cwt, up 4.0 million from last month, but 11 percent below the previous year. 

The 2015/16 U.S. long-grain rice season-average farm price is projected at $11.50 to $12.50 per cwt, up 60 cents per cwt on each end of the range from last month. Combined medium- and shortgrain price is projected at $17.80 to $18.80 per cwt, unchanged from a month ago. The California and Other States medium- and short-grain prices are unchanged from a month ago at a midpoint of $21.00 per cwt and $14.80 per cwt, respectively. The 2015/16 all rice price is projected at $13.40 to $14.40 per cwt, up 40 cents per cwt on each end of the range. 

The projected decrease in global 2015/16 total use of rice is greater than the drop in total supply resulting in an increase in world ending stocks. Global rice production is lowered 1.7 million tons to 478.7 million, still a record, due primarily to forecast reductions for Argentina, Cambodia, Iraq, WASDE-544-3 South Korea, Thailand, and the United States. Thailand's 2015/16 rice crop is lowered 1.0 million tons to 18.0 million, attributed mostly to an abnormally low rainfall in important growing areas, including the Central Region. Planted area has been lowered by 3 percent due to restrictions on irrigation water availability imposed by the government of Thailand because of low reservoir levels. Global beginning stocks for 2015/16 are increased 1.1 million tons due mostly to a 1.0-million-ton increase in Thailand.
Thailand's 2014/15 exports are reduced by 1.0 million tons to 9.0 million due to the slow pace of sales. World 2015/16 consumption is reduced 1.0 million tons to 487.8 million, still a record. Consumption is lowered in Bangladesh, India, and the United States. Global trade is lowered 0.4 million tons due mostly to a reduction in exports from Cambodia and the United States. Global 2015/16 ending stocks are projected at 90.8 million tons, up 0.3 million from last month. 

Read the complete report
CCC Announces Prevailing World Market Prices 
WASHINGTON, DC ---The Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporationtoday announced the following prevailing world market prices of milled and rough rice, adjusted for U.S. milling yields and location, and the resulting marketing loan gain (MLG) and loan deficiency payment (LDP) rates applicable to the 2015 crop, which will become effective today at 7:00 a.m., Eastern Time (ET). Rough rice prices decreased $0.20 per cwt for long grain and $0.21 per cwt for medium/short grain.

World Price

Milled Value ($/cwt)
Rough ($/cwt)
Rough ($/cwt)
Long Grain
Medium/Short Grain

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

U.S. Milling Yields
Loan Rate
Long Grain
Medium/Short Grain

The next program announcement is scheduled for August 19, 2015.    

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for August 12
Net Change

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

Philippines Set to Miss 2015 Rice Production Target

By Erik dela Cruz on 04:27 pm Aug 12, 2015
Category Business, Commodities

Workers unload sacks of imported Vietnam rice from a ship docked at a port area in Manila on June 8, 2015. (Reuters Photo/Romeo Ranoco)
Manila. The Philippines is set to miss its 2015 target for rice output after dry weather hurt the first-half harvest, raising the prospect of increased imports to boost stocks ahead of forecast stronger El Nino weather conditions. Unmilled rice output this year is forecast to hit 18.86 million tonnes, the country’s statistics agency said on Wednesday, below both last year’s record harvest of 18.97 million tonnes and a government target of 20.08 million tonnes.

The Philippines is already one of the world’s biggest rice importers and its state grains procurement agency has been given permission to import an extra 250,000 tonnes this year if El Nino drought conditions worsen and hurt local output.Additional demand from the Philippines should be welcomed by top rice exporters Vietnam and Thailand, which have bulging stockpiles.The Philippines procurement agency, the National Food Authority (NFA), has already purchased 750,000 tonnes this year via government-to-government deals with its two Southeast Asian neighbours.The local weather bureau this month said El Nino dry weather conditions may intensify in coming months, with below normal rainfall likely to persist this month in some central and southern provinces and even in the major rice-growing provinces of Cagayan and Isabela in the north.

The Philippines’ rice harvest in the first half reached 8.32 million tonnes, down 0.7 percent from last year, but above a government forecast of 8.27 million tonnes, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a report.Farms in central and southern Philippines, hit by drought, suffered “significant reductions” in rice output, the PSA said.“Palay (paddy rice) crop in some irrigated areas were totally damaged by dry spell during reproductive stage in Bukidnon, while in Lanao del Norte some areas were not planted due to insufficient water supply,” it said, referring to two badly hit provinces.Rice output in the second half is forecast to drop 0.5 percent to 10.54 million tonnes, the PSA said.Global rice prices are expected to surge by 10 percent to 20 percent in the next few months as the El Nino grips top producers in Asia.

Hutchinson: In rice to Cuba and other export markets, Arkansas needs to be No. 1


On Thursday, a gold-spades-and-dirt-turning ceremony at the Rice Research and Extension Center marked the beginning of construction on the Foundation Seed Facility, an $8.6 million building designed to enable continued agricultural innovation, with researchers bringing new higher yielding, higher-quality crop varieties to market.

By Stuttgart Daily Leader Staff

Posted Aug. 11, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Arkansas, already No. 1 in U.S. rice production, needs to be No. 1 when it comes to rice exported to other markets, Gov. Asa Hutchinson told a crowd some 500 packed into the Grand Prairie Center for the Arkansas Rice Expo.“We have an opportunity to expand the Cuban market,” he said in his keynote on Friday. “While I am very concerned about their suppression of human rights, I also recognize that agricultural products should not be used as a tool for foreign policy.“And as they expand their market and their tourist opportunities, which is going to happen in the coming years, there’s going to be more demand for rice,” Hutchinson said. “Arkansas needs to be there at the table and to be No. 1 in exports to Cuba and other global markets.”

Earlier in the day, Keith Glover, president and CEO of Producers Rice Mill, said that exports will be the key to determining the price of U.S. long-grain rice in the coming year. The total supply is expected to be about the same as last year, which could help stabilize prices. Other factors that could influence the price include the extreme heat of recent weeks. Similar temperatures in 2010 and 2012 had adverse impact in those years.In the market year that just ended, 88 percent of long-grain rice exports are shipped to Western Hemisphere nations. But South America is a key competitor for that market, Glover said.

 Asian rice is also selling cheaper than U.S. rice in global markets. Glover noted that last year, Iraq's purchase of U.S. rice was disappointing but Colombia's purchases helped pick up the slack.The industry is hoping that Colombia and Venezuela maintain last year's purchase levels. Lifting the embargo on trade with Cuba would also be a plus, he said.The strong U.S. dollar is also potential problem for rice prices. "A high dollar is a silent killer of commodity prices," Glover said.

Foundation Seed Facility
On Thursday, a gold-spades-and-dirt-turning ceremony at the Rice Research and Extension Center marked the beginning of construction on the Foundation Seed Facility, an $8.6 million building designed to enable continued agricultural innovation, with researchers bringing new higher yielding, higher-quality crop varieties to market. The Foundation Seed Facility will be operated by the University of Arkansas System’s Division of Agriculture.“We're pleased that farmers in the state decided this was a good use of their funds and that they wanted to be a part of this,” said Mark Cochran, vice president of the UA System Division of Agriculture. He noted that the current seed facility was constructed in 1951 and that the new building will accommodate the increased capacity of varieties that the rice program is handling.

News shared by PhilRice

PhilRice Agusan turns 25

From its humble beginnings 25 years ago, PhilRice Agusan stands today with a strong foundation in creating impacts on  farmers and its surrounding communities in Northern Mindanao. With the theme Reaping the Silver, Sowing for Gold, PhilRice Agusan celebrated its 25th anniversary on 7-8 August.Among the highlights of the celebration was the groundbreaking ceremony of the 12 million-peso building for the station’s laboratory and lodging facilities.

PhilRice’s first executive director, Dr. Santiago R. Obien lauded the previous and present staff members of PhilRice Agusan for their relentless efforts in performing the Institute’s mandate.  Obien also talked about the challenges they faced in establishing the station.

PhilRice Agusan takes root when Obien recognized the topography and agro-climatic conditions of Caraga suitable for rice research and production. Former Agusan del Norte Governor Consuelo V. Calo sold 12.8 ha of her land to PhilRice and the station then was named C.V. Calo Rice Experiment Station.

Since its establishment in August 1990, the station has already trained more than 10,000 farmers and technologists on rice production and has been involved in local and national projects funded by various institutions.

PhilRice Agusan researchers have done massive work on pest and nutrient management. Research on Metarhizium anisopliae, a biocontrol agent that attacks rice black bug (RBB), and on zinc deficiency are among PhilRice Agusan’s major contributions to rice research in the Philippines.

The local tourism council in Caraga also recognized the station as a tourist destination because of its picturesque landscapes and facilities.

Led by Branch Director Abner Montecalvo, the station today maintains more than 50 ha of seed production and rice experiment areas. It has nearly 100 personnel.

“I am very happy to know that the management and staff of PhilRice Agusan has been doing a great job and plans to do a lot more. They have showed how well they maximize their resources and handle the challenges in this region,” says Dr. Calixto M. Protacio, PhilRice’s recently appointed executive director.

Farmers, former executive directors, branch managers, and employees attended the celebration.

Soil guide book to increase farm productivity
Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija – The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has produced a guide book titled Simplified Keys to Soil Series to provide farmers accurate soil identification through qualitative analysis of the soil’s basic properties: color, texture, pH (measure of acidity and alkalinity), and coarse fragments. 

Wilfredo Collado, senior science research specialist of Agronomy, Soils and Plant Physiology Division (ASPPD), said that the tool will not just provide better approach towards agro-technological transfer but will also help enhance agricultural productivity in a farming area.

“Once the soil is identified, most suitable crops can now be selected and planted, and at the same time, proper soil management recommendations can be devised,” Collado explained during a seminar titled “Key to Soil Series: A Tool for Improving Agricultural Productivity,” on 22 July.

Collado also said that farmers will also be guided on soil fertility and management, and appropriate technology requirements for a particular crop.

Soil identification follows simple methods from soil sampling, color determination, pH and texture determination. The steps under these methods are detailed in the guide book.

A soil series guide book for each of the major rice producing provinces of the country (Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Iloilo, Pampanga, Tarlac, Aklan, Antique, Bataan, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Zambales, Aurora, Cagayan, Negros Oriental, and Negros Occidental) is also available.

The seminar was organized in celebration of the International Year of Soils in 2015.

Farmers, extension workers, or anyone interested may contact the PhilRice Text Center (0920-911-1398) should they want to know more about the guide book.
Rice Science Museum now a tourist spot
Science City of Muñoz – The Department of Tourism (DOT) has accredited the Rice Science Museum as a tourist facility and as a Local Government Unit-licensed tourist establishment.
With its accreditation, the Rice Science Museum is the only DOT and LGU-listed tourist facility in Nueva Ecija registered in the, a DOT-maintained website. In Central Luzon, the Rice Science Museum shares similar accreditation with the Aquino Center and Museum in Tarlac City.
Ronaldo P. Tiotuico, DOT director in Region III, said that the museum is a “good place to visit and the contents are intellectually stimulating as they present rice culture, traditions, and science in a way that the public will appreciate and understand.”
Recently, the Rice Science Museum went mobile, in partnership with the Museo Pambata, to encourage children to build a career on ensuring the country’s food supply.
In the Paglaki ko, gusto kong maging.... activity of the Philippines' premier children's museum, 8 to 12-year-old pupils in Metro Manila imagined themselves as agriculturists in the future.
“Children must learn about this noble career at an early age as it is a career that helps feed the nation,” said Noreen Parafina, Museo Pambata’s programs director.
Meanwhile, Charisma Love B. Gado, senior science research specialist and activity facilitator, said that studies around the world have shown the indispensable role of museums in the society owing to their educational value through informal learning and discovery.
“One of our studies showed indicators that farmers are learning from the museum during their visits. They discuss the contents with their fellow visitors; they can connect the contents with their experiences in everyday lives; and they can share what they have learned to their fellow farmers,” she said.
Since its re-launch in Sept. 2014, the Rice Science Museum has highlighted rice science, art, and technology through material culture of rice-farming communities in the country, labor-and cost-reducing machines, and rice seeds. Collections covering the species found in the rice environment, rice ecosystem, rice grains, and art works have also been exhibited.
Located at the Philippine Rice Research Institute in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, the museum had thus far opened three exhibits titled, Lovelife with Rice, Abundant Harvest, and Colors of Rice.  Colors of rice, which focuses on the health and nutrition aspects of rice, will run until Feb. 2016.
For more details, email
International Benchmark Price
Price on: 12-08-2015
Benchmark Indicators Name
CZCE Early Rice Futures (USD/t)
Pakistani 100%, FOB Karachi (USD/t)
Pakistani 25% Broken (USD/t)
Black Sea, FOB Brazil (USD/t)
NYSE Liffe Feed Wheat Futures (USD/t)
GFO, HRW, DAT Ontario (USD/t)
South Africa, HPS 70/80 peanuts CFR main European ports (USD/t)
South African, HPS 40/50 peanuts CFR main European ports (USD/t)
US 38/42 Runners, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
For more info
Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 12-08-2015
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs per Qty
Market Center
Min Price
Max Price
Jhagadiya (Gujarat)
Aroor (Kerala)
Nilagiri (Orissa)
Amirgadh (Gujarat)
Deoli (Rajasthan)
Sainthia (West Bengal)
Sirhind (Punjab)
Haldwani (Haldwani)
Mechua (West Bengal)
Patiala (Punjab)
Solan (Himachal Pradesh)
Akluj (Maharashtra)
For more info
Rs per 100 No
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Unit Price : US$ per package
Price on 12-08-2015
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Package: 50 lb cartons
Package: 50 lb sacks
Round Green Type
Round Green Type
Round Green Type
Package: 7/10 bushel cartons

Ambassador Haq to inaugurate Pakistani Food and Mango Fest

Last updated: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 7:56 PM

 Waqar Naseem Wamiq

 RIYADH — The Pakistan Embassy is organizing the 4th consecutive Food & Mango Festival at Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh during Aug. 14-16.Pakistan Ambassador Manzoor ul Haq will inaugurate the festival, to mark the independence day of Pakistan, according to Commercial Attaché Waseem Bajwa."The main objective of this event is to promote Pakistani cuisines and Pakistani food products like rice, spices, meat, pickles, drinks and Pakistani companies through a catalog show and other products," Bajwa added.
This year the event has a special significance, as it is part of the Independence Day celebrations of Pakistan.The event is open for three days subject to tickets with restricted tickets of 800 for first two days and 200 tickets available for the last day.The first day will predominantly cover the festivities of Pakistan's independence day. The second day is also open for public with tickets and the festivities will continue. The third day is primarily reserved for diplomats, Saudis and Pakistani dignitaries but the 200 tickets will be available for general public. Gold Sponsors of the festival are Mehran Foods, Abahsein Group, and Qarshi Pakistan.

 Other main sponsors are Bank Albilad, GMT, Renault, Pakistan Investors Forum, Warraich Rice Mills, Al Mina Group, Tamimi, Green Towers.The festival will have special cuisines of all the four provinces with live barbecue, sajji and biryani stalls in addition to the Intercontinental buffet.Mango sweet pavilion, special mango stall (Khokha), jalebi, kulfi etc in addition to the routine sweets offered by Intercontinental will be available.Music and raffle draws on all the three days with all the above extras, will be the fare. The Intercontinental Hotel has given a subsidized offer of only SR150/person exclusively for Pakistan Embassy.  The tickets will be available on first come first served basis and are available at the commercial section of Pakistan Embassy in Riyadh.

The Next Revolution in Rice: An Interview with Dr. Robert Zeigler of IRRI

August 12, 2015
In 1966, IRRI, the International Rice Research Institute, achieved one of the key breakthroughs of the Green Revolution, the “miracle rice” IR8, whose shorter, sturdier stalks were strong enough to support the much higher yields produced with modern fertilizers and pesticides. Fifty years later, rice remains vitally important to Asia, and, indeed, the world. But with the looming threat of climate change, and dwindling supplies of land and water for agriculture, rice production is once again under pressure. Dr. Robert Zeigler, director general of IRRI, spoke recently with In Asia. He says the world needs a Green Revolution 2.0, and, in fact, it is already under way.
Policies can make or break changes in agricultural systems. Photo/Conor Ashleigh
Dr. Zeigler, how important is rice in Asia?

Rice is of fundamental importance in Asia. It provides well over half the daily food energy for the population of Asia as a whole. It provides 70 percent of the food for the poorest of the poor, and most of the world’s poor are in Asia.If you look at Asia and you ask, “What is the one thing that Asians have in common,” it’s not a language; it’s not a religion; it’s not a political system. The one thing all Asians have in common is rice. So, beyond being the most important food, it is one of the most important cultural pillars of the region.

IRRI was at ground zero for the Green Revolution in rice. Do we need a Green Revolution 2.0?
Yes, I don’t think there’s any question about it. When we look at the issues that are facing Asia in the future – climate change, a dwindling supply of land and water for agriculture – they translate into the challenge of feeding a population that continues to grow, without destroying the environment.If we want to have a healthy and green Asia 20 to 30 years from now, with abundant, recovering forests and wetland systems, and still be able to feed our populations, we need to double or triple the output of our existing agricultural lands. That is, in essence, a Green Revolution, and I’m absolutely convinced it can happen.

It sounds like an enormous challenge. Will the second Green Revolution use different tools than the first?
Yes, that’s one of the things that make me so optimistic. The tools that we have available now to coax more production out of our rice plants, out of our agricultural ecosystems, are miraculous compared to the tools we had 20 and 30 years ago.Our understanding of the genetics of the plant, of how organisms interact in the field, is vastly more sophisticated. We have the tools to begin to manipulate how that plant interacts with its environment. We also have tools that can communicate to farmers, even of marginal literacy, how to manage their crop to produce the most for a given investment.All of these come together in such a way that increases in productivity will be much more environmentally benign. The negative impacts of agricultural innovation in the past – excessive fertilizer use, excessive pesticide use – will be distant memories. We will be much more intelligent about the way we manage our crops.
How is rice production in Asia threatened by the effects of climate change?
Well, climate change will hit rice production very hard. Rice is grown in low-lying areas, coastal areas, deltas. In the event of rainfall pattern disruptions, those areas are subject to floods; they’re subject to droughts; and they’re subject to floods and droughts in the same year. Delta areas are also very susceptible to storm surges that bring in salty water from the sea. So rice production is very vulnerable to the weather-related aspects of climate change.
The good news is that we have in our collections of rice, its relatives, and ancient cultivars that are no longer grown, traits for drought resistance, flood resistance, and the ability to tolerate much higher levels of salt. It’s up to us to transfer these traits into rice so that it can withstand the onslaught of climate change. And, in fact, we have proof that we can do this.
So I’m very optimistic that, even though climate change will present enormous challenges to society as a whole, if we continue down the path of research and development that we’re already following, the one thing we don’t have to worry about in the next 50 years is an inability to produce enough rice.
In addition to your scientific research, you have been working with rice-producing countries in Asia. Can you tell me about that?
One of the things that we’ve learned – and it’s been a hard lesson for a scientific geek like me – is that policies can make or break changes in agricultural systems. Price policies, trade policies, policies that determine how seed is sold – these are determined by governments and by bureaucrats and by politicians, and they go into the sausage machine, as it were, of political dialogue.
At our institute, we recognize that our technologies will not be effective without a conducive policy environment. So our senior people are spending a considerable amount of effort interacting with ministries of agriculture, ministries of finance, ministries of planning in key Asian countries, to get them to understand the impact that various policies can have on farms, and how they can tweak their policies so that new technologies will be much more affective.
You have actually dated the beginning of the second Green Revolution to July 31, 2008. It’s already started! Tell me the story of Swarna Sub1.
Swarna Sub1 is a fantastic story.
Rice is subject to flooding across Asia, and while it grows very happily in 10, 15, 20 cm of water, if it goes underwater completely it’ll drown, just like any other crop. So our scientists discovered a gene that enables rice to survive catastrophic flooding: two weeks underwater, three weeks underwater. Our Sub1 rice, Submergence1 – some people call it Submarine rice, Snorkel rice – will hunker down and stay alive, and when the water recedes, it regrows.
Where did the gene come from?
It came from Southern India, from a traditional variety that had extremely low yield, very small grains. Nobody wanted it. When you ate it, it was indistinguishable from cardboard. But it did tolerate floods, so it had survived, and survived, and survived, and in the course of trying to gather all of the rice varieties in the world, we collected it.
We got the gene from that variety, put it into these good, high-yielding varieties, and in 2008, we went to a handful of farmers in a highly flood-prone part of India and asked them to plant them.
So they planted their small plots with Swarna Sub1, and one particular farmer, Mr. Pal, was hit by two floods. His field looked just terrible after the second flood. And we had our scientists there; they took a picture: he was standing in the field. His neighbors were telling him, “Plow in the field; you’re not gonna get anything from this.” And we asked him to not plow.
July 31, 2008, was the date we took the picture, when he had the courage to say, “I’m not gonna plow in my crop; I’m gonna see what happens.” He trusted us, allowed those plants to recover, and he got a beautiful harvest. And the rest is history. There are now over five million farmers in Eastern India who are growing Swarna Sub1 and other flood-tolerant varieties.
Looking to the future and a possible Green Revolution 3.0, what changes are on the drawing board to improve rice?
We’re looking at very fundamental changes in the plant.
Natural selection and evolution are kind of sloppy undertakings. Success means you survive a little better than the next guy, but there’s no notion of perfection in natural selection.
Now, photosynthesis, the way plants capture light, works really well. But it turns out that some plants, about 50 million years ago, developed a more efficient form of photosynthesis, while other plants did not. The very efficient plants include things like corn and sugar cane. The inefficient plants include things like rice and wheat. The efficient photosynthesizers use half the water and a third the nitrogen, and can produce twice as much yield in the same amount of sunlight.
So some of our scientists thought that, if we are going to meet the food needs of the future, on less land, with a much smaller environmental footprint, why don’t we try to convert the sunlight-capturing capacity of rice to the high-efficiency type of corn and sugar cane?

We’re now in the process of taking apart and understanding the fundamentals of photosynthesis in rice and corn and reassembling it in rice so that it will be much more efficient. I’m certain that it’s possible to do – that we can create a rice plant that’s 50 percent more efficient in its use of sunlight, water, and nitrogen, so that we can produce the food that the planet needs on much less land. That would be a third Green Revolution.

Doctor, you seem like a man who loves his work.
Guilty as charged.

Dr. Robert Zeigler is director general of IRRI, the International Rice Research Institute, in Los Baños, Laguna, the Philippines. He can be reached via theirwebsite. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the interviewee, not those of The Asia Foundation.

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