Tuesday, August 18, 2015

18th August (Tuesday),2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Global Rice Quotes
August 17th, 2015

Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade          375-385           ↔
Vietnam 5% broken    340-350           ↔
India 5% broken         375-385           ↔
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 345-355           ↓
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         365-375           ↔
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         300-310           ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ      ↔
U.S. pet food 325-335           ↔
Brazil half grain          NQ      ↔
All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel, oryza.com

Rice Gel": A Potential New Ingredient in Processed Foods Industry

Aug 17, 2015
Researchers from Japan's National Food Research Institute (NFRI) have developed a jelly like substance called "rice gel" that can be used in the processing food industry. The researchers claim that the new product could serve as an alternative to wheat in the processing food industry, according to Asia & Japan Watch (AJW). 
They say the demand for the new "rice gel" will be high as most of the consumers are said to be allergic to wheat in processed foods.
The product can be prepared from high amylose rice that is used as animal feed. When the rice is cooked and churned in a machine at high speed, it produces a material that resembles milk pudding with no specific smell or taste. The density of the material can be adjusted by altering its moisture content and the length of the time it is churned. The product is mixed with eggs or other ingredients to form a crispy choux pastry or a chewy "udon" noodles.
Researchers say the "rice gel" does not spoil easily and so it could be used in a broad range of processed foods such as breads and confectioneries.
They told local sources that the "rice gel" was discovered accidentally five years ago when one of a researchers got this material when he was trying to develop something. Though at first he thought of the product as a disaster, he later recognized its properties and extended research on it.

Iran 2015-16 Rice Production Estimated at 2 Million Tons

Aug 17, 2015
The government of Iran is expecting 2015-16 (April - March) rice production, basis milled, at around 2 million tons, Iran English Radio quoted the Secretary of Iran's Government Rice Association (saying on Press TV). The main rice crop season starts in April and ends in September.
The official told local sources that the quality of rice harvested this year is much better in quality and quantity compared to last year. He attributed the increase in production to favorable weather conditions and better yields.
He also noted that better rainfall and adequate heat helped overcome the ill effects of rice blast disease. Iran is said to have escaped the effect of dry spell on the agricultural crops. Other Asian rice exporters such as India, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are experiencing an extending dry spell raising concerns of lower production.
“Our projections about the quality and volume of the rice yield have materialized,” he said.
Iran's local rice production is not sufficient to meet the annual domestic consumption of around 2.9 million tons.  According to the official, Iran imports around 1.3 million tons of rice year. However, Iran had curtailed rice imports since November 2014 due to excess stocks. The Middle East nation has so far not lifted the ban on rice imports.
USDA estimated Iran to produce around 1.75 million tons of milled rice and import around 1.6 million tons in MY 2015-16 (October - September).

India 2014-15 Rice Output Impacted by Bad Monsoons, Says Agriculture Ministry

Aug 17, 2015
The government of India, in its fourth advance estimates for major crops, has estimated India's rice production, milled basis, for 2014-15 crop year (July 2014 - June 2015) at around 104.8 million tons, up about 2.26 million tons or about 2.2% from its earlier estimates of around 102.54 million tons, according to a statement from the agriculture Ministry.
However, the production is estimated to be down about 2% from around 106.65 million tons in 2013-14. The decline can be attributed to below average rains during the kharif main rice crop planting process (June - September 2014) in many key rice growing areas. Unseasonal rains and hailstorm during February and March this year are also  understood to have significantly impacted production of rabi rice crops, says the statement.
According to government sources, India's total food grain production, which includes Kharif (June - December) and Rabi (November - March) crops, in 2014-15 is likely to reach around 252.68 million tons, down about 5% from last year's 265.57 million tons.  
The Ministry of Agriculture releases first advance estimates in September when kharif sowing is over, second advane estimates in February when Rabi sowing is over, third advance estimates in April-May and fourth estimates in July-August after receiving data from all states.
USDA estimates India's milled rice production at 102.5 million tons in MY 2014-15 (October - September), down about 4% from an estimated 106.54 million tons produced in MY 2013-14. It expects India to export around 10.6 million tons of rice during 2015, slightly up from an estimated 10.15 million tons in 2014.

Louisiana 2015 Rice Output May Drop Due to Low Yields, Say Experts

Aug 17, 2015
Rice output in the U.S. state of Louisiana is expected to be below last two years' output, the Advocate quoted the Director of the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station.
Harvesting of the 2015 crop in the southern Louisiana is going on. The official told reporters that output in South Louisiana is likely to decline by about 10-15% from last year. He also noted that grain quality in northern Louisiana may be affected by the persisting hot, dry weather. Harvesting of the crop is yet to start.
The official says that heavy rains between March and May as well as cloudy skies thereafter are main reasons for low yields. He adds that cloudy weather would lead to fewer and smaller grains per plant and heavy rains disrupted fertilizer application on time. Submerging of small plants for longer time and incidence of plant diseases add to the woes of the farmers, he says.
He noted that they expect quality of earlier-planted rice to be fine but that of later-planted rice to be affected. The official however noted that harvest operations are going on smoothly and farmers are preparing for the second crop.
Louisiana is the third largest rice producing state in the U.S. after Arkansas and California and accounts for about 15% of the total U.S. rice production. It mostly produces long-grain rice. According to USDA, Louisiana produced around 1.26 million tons of long-grain rice and around 219,722 tons of medium grain rice in 2014.

Vietnam Exports 3.343 Million Tons of Rice During January 1 – August 13, 2015

Aug 17, 2015
Vietnam exported around 3.343 million tons of rice during January 1 - August 13, 2015, down about 22% from around 4.26 million tons exported in first eight months of 2014, according to data from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). The average rice export price so far in this year stands at around $414 per ton (FOB), down about 4% per ton from around $431 per ton recorded during same last year.

During August 1-13, 2015, Vietnam exported around 42,698 tons of rice, down about 93% from around 627,089 tons rice exported in full month of August 2014, and down about 92.8% from around 589,323 tons rice exported in full month of July 2015. The average export price so far in August stands at around $382 per ton, down about 11% per ton from a year ago and down about 4.5% per ton from a month ago.

Decline in Thai Rice Exports May Impact Global Rice Trade in 2015, Says USDA

Aug 17, 2015

In its August Rice Outlook report, USDA forecasts 2015 global rice trade at around 42.5 million tons, down 2% from an estimated 43.4 million tons in 2014, and down 2.7% from last month' forecast of around 43.7 million tons. USDA expects a 2 million ton or 18% decline y/y in 2015 Thai rice exports, but says an increase from other countries may not fully compensate for fall in Thai exports.
On the exports side, USDA lowered projections for Thailand rice exports based on shipment pace through June and a stiff competition from India and other markets. It also lowered export forecast for Argentina and the U.S. based on slow pace of sales.On the imports side, USDA lowered prospects for Brazil and Mexico; and raised prospects for Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the U.S. based on a stronger pace of deliveries through June.
USDA estimates global rice trade in 2016 at around 42.3 million tons, slightly up from last month's forecast of 42.1 million tons.It increased 2016 export prospects for India and Vietnam, but lowered forecasts for Cambodia, Argentina, Uruguay and the U.S. It raised 2016 import forecasts for Cuba and the U.S. imports.
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17th August (Monday),2015 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Vietnam joins race to sell rice to Philippines
VietNamNet Bridge - With the current balance of power, Vietnam and Thailand will participate in a ‘duel’ to obtain the right to sell 250,000 tons of rice to the Philippines.
Race for quota-based rice sale

The Filipino National Food Authority (NFA) has bought 750,000 tons of rice so far this year through three bids, while leaving open another 250,000 tons that can still be purchased.The Philippines will also buy 805,200 tons of rice more under the WTO’s MAV (minimum access volume) mode. However, the purchase will be undertaken by private businesses, not the government.
Of the 750,000 tons of rice, 550,000 tons will be provided by Vietnamese enterprises, and the remaining 200,000 tons by Thai exporters.As for the package of 805,200 tons of rice under the MAV, Vietnam has been assigned to provide 293,100 tons. The same volume has been allocated to Thailand. Each of the three other Asian countries including China, India and Pakistan will provide 50,000 tons. Nevertheless, the Filipino private businesses may be unlikely to import enough 805,200 tons of rice.Analysts believe that only Vietnamese and Thai rice can be competitive, thanks to the low prices, and therefore, Vietnam and Thailand would be the top choices for Filipino businessmen.

Meanwhile, “made in China” rice will not likely enter the Filipino market because of its high price. Indian rice is now sold in some Chinese provinces at $625-635 per ton. If counting the 35 import tariff, the selling price would be no less than $840-860 per ton, higher than the Filipino market price, hovering around $770 per ton.Analysts also think that Filipino private importers are not likely to import 100,000 tons of rice from India and Pakistan, because the two countries have offered the export price which is $18-33 per ton higher than Vietnam.The big disadvantage of the two rice exporters India and Pakistan in the competition to sell rice to the Philippines is that they are relatively far from the country.Statistics show that since 2011, when India’s rice exports exploded, it exported only 105,000 tons to the Philippines in the 2012-2013 season. It sold 60,000 tons in total in the other three seasons.

NFA and Vietnam-Thailand duel

If Filipino private importers cannot import enough 805,200 tons of rice as predicted, it is highly possible that NFA would be assigned to import 250,000 tons out of 805,200 tons.Analysts believe that with the current balance of power, Vietnam and Thailand would have to join a duel to obtain the right to sell rice to the Philippines. Myanmar will unlikely be able to compete with Vietnam and Thailand in prices.


Government urged to help farmers affected by El Niño

 (The Philippine Star) | 
The weather bureau has warned that El Niño conditions could become stronger starting October and peak by November or December when the sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific will become much hotter than average. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Francis Escudero is calling on government agencies to prepare alternative employment and emergency assistance for farmers who will be affected by El Niño this year.Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, lamented that the Department of Agriculture (DA) failed to use its budget to prepare farmers for the impact of El Niño.The Senate finance committee has made available around P5 billion for 2015 to the DA to address the problem of El Niño through interventions such as the Small Water Impounding Project, which is meant to improve irrigation facilities in preparation for the dry months. But Escudero said the DA failed to do its job.“The Department of Agriculture should be in the forefront of this, but based on our analysis, the DA has been very slow in responding to this issue as manifested by its underspending. It’s very slow in releasing funds for this purpose,” he added.
For this reason, Escudero is calling on the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to be more proactive in addressing problems that may be caused by the phenomenon.“Our farmers are going to need all the help they can get in the coming months, and national agencies should be ready to work with local governments to pull our farmers through this difficult season,” Escudero said in a media briefing in Daet, Camarines Norte, one of the provinces bracing for an extended dry spell.
Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Escudero urged TESDA to provide farmers with agriculture-related technical and vocational skills training so that they can find other sources of income when working at the farm proves to be unproductive.As for the DSWD, the senator said the agency should ensure that families of farmers affected by the drought will receive financial assistance through the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.
“The government has to be proactive and prepare for the worst-case scenario. Our farmers have to be given all kinds of assistance to make up for the projected crop losses because of the drying up of farmlands,” he added.The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has warned that the present moderate El Niño conditions could intensify by the end of the year and even surpass the strength of the El Niño in 1997 to 1998, which was the worst dry spell in the Philippines.The 1997-1998 episode caused severe drought in 70 percent of the country and damaged 292,000 hectares of rice and corn plantations. It cost the agriculture sector at least P3 billion in damage, according to PAGASA and the South Australian Research and Development Institute.
The weather bureau has warned that El Niño conditions could become stronger starting October and peak by November or December when the sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific will become much hotter than average.Sen. Grace Poe said the impacts of climate change are putting a bigger burden on the government’s resources as extreme weather events continue to create a new demographic of poor Filipinos.Poe said at least 12 million Filipinos are at risk for the hazards brought about by storms and floods, the second biggest population of at-risk people in the Asia Pacific region.
From 1998 to 2009, the country has lost at least $24 billion in GDP value due to the impact of climate change, the senator said, citing a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.“Extreme weather conditions destroy not just people’s homes but also their sources of food and livelihood. With every storm that passes, more people are displaced, more people go hungry, more lose their livelihood,” Poe said.“Climate change just keeps creating a new set of poor Filipinos, so we have to mitigate its impact,” she added.

2nd quarter farm output
bares El Niño’s scourge

INTENSE HEAT took its toll on the country’s agriculture production, which shrank last quarter and pulled down first-semester growth, in turn putting gross domestic product (GDP) expansion further at risk.

The Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (PSA-BAS) reported on Friday that volume of farm production contracted by 0.37% in the second quarter, slower than the 1.78% logged in January-March and the 2.73% seen a year ago.That led to a 0.73% crawl last semester against the government’s 3.3-4.3% full-year growth target.“The downturn was traced to the intense heat during the quarter, which negatively affected the performance of crops and fisheries subsectors,” the report read, adding that these were not offset by increases in the livestock and poultry sub-sectors.Value of production last quarter likewise fell 5.21% to P372.4 billion from 2014’s comparable three months. 

The report on the country’s agriculture performance was released two weeks ahead of the scheduled announcement of second-quarter and first-half gross GDP data on Aug. 27. The agriculture sector accounts for about a tenth of the GDP, which in turn is targeted to expand 7-8% this year.Asked on his reading on second-quarter GDP growth, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan had said in a congressional hearing earlier this week on the proposed P3.002-trillion 2016 national budget that the successive drop in merchandise export receipts across all three months of last quarter was worrisome and that farm damage from the El Niño-spawned dry spell bears watching.


Output of the crops sub-sector -- which accounted for 49.8% of total production -- dropped by 3.05% in the second quarter, compared to the 5.87% growth recorded in 2014’s comparable three months.Last semester saw this sub-sector slip by 0.54%.
“The intense heat that prevailed during the period pulled down production of palay and corn by 2.88% and 15.76%, respectively,” the PSA-BAS said.The hot weather condition, however, enhanced the performance of other crops: pineapple, mango, abaca, mongo,
 camote, cassava, cabbage and garlic.


The PSA-BAS last Wednesday reported that actual production of palay -- or unmilled rice -- fell 2.9% to 3.96 million metric tons (MT) last quarter from 4.07 million MT in 2014’s comparable three months.The second-quarter harvest led to a 0.7% contraction to 8.32 million MT last semester from 8.38 million MT in 2014’s comparable six months.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.The PSA-BAS had said in that earlier report that “probable production” of both staples this semester similarly may suffer.“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 may slip by to 18.86 million 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, compared to 7.77 million MT actually harvested last year.The Agriculture department had set production targets of 20 million MT for palay and 8.4 million MT for corn this year.


Last quarter saw two other sub-sectors -- livestock and poultry -- improve production.Contributing 16.24% to total farm output was livestock, which registered a 5.2% growth from only 0.68% the past year. This was driven primarily by the 5.6% increase in hog production. Other livestock segments, save for carabao, also improved output. Second-quarter growth spurred this sub-sector to expand by 4.25% last semester.The poultry sub-sector -- which had a 15.18% share -- produced 4.71% more, a significant improvement from only 0.12% as all components increased output. “Chicken boosted the subsector’s performance in the second quarter of the year by posting a 5.08% growth in production,” the report read. For the first half, this sub-sector grew 5.03%.

Fisheries, which accounted for 18.79%, produced 1.53% less last quarter, although this performance was marginally better than the 1.59% decline a year ago. “Affected by the intense heat during the quarter and posting reductions were milkfish, tilapia, round scad and skipjack.” This sub-sector produced 2.12% less than a year ago last semester.Farmgate prices -- particularly for crops, livestock and poultry -- fell 4.86% last quarter, leading to a 4.14% drop last semester.


Clouds and rain make for lower rice yields in Louisiana

Posted: Aug 16, 2015 4:18 AM PDTUpdated: Aug 16, 2015 7:27 AM PDT

CROWLEY, La. (AP) - LSU agriculture experts estimate that the yield from this year's rice harvest in south Louisiana will be down 10 to 15 percent from last year.A news release on the rice crop from the LSU AgCenter says the harvest is just getting under way in north Louisiana but hot, dry weather could affect grain quality in that part of the state.Steve Linscombe, director of the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station and Dustin Harrell, an AgCenter rice specialist, both listed heavy rainfall from March until May, and frequent overcast skies as major reasons for lower yields.
Linscombe said less sunshine made for fewer and smaller grains per plant. Harrell said excess rainfall meant farmers were unable to make fertilizer applications on time. Disease was also a factor in lower yields.Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rice harvesting progressing in Louisiana, but yields are down

But yields are down

Aug. 17, 2015
South Louisiana rice farmers have had excellent weather to get the 2015 crop out of the field, but the yield is a decline from the two exceptional harvests over the past two years, according to LSU AgCenter experts.“This is not going to be one of the harvests for the record books,” said Steve Linscombe, director of the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station.Linscombe estimated this year’s harvest in south Louisiana is down 10-15 percent from last year.The north Louisiana rice crop has endured unusually hot, dry weather that could affect grain quality, he said.

Harvest in that part of the state is just starting.“This has been one of the most difficult years for rice producers that they’ve seen in a long time,” AgCenter rice specialist Dustin Harrell said.Both listed heavy rainfall from March until May and frequent overcast skies as major reasons for lower yields.More clouds mean less sunshine for photosynthesis, and that resulted in fewer and smaller grains per plant, Linscombe said.Harrell said the excess rainfall complicated the season because farmers were not able to make fertilizer applications on time. In addition, small rice plants were submerged for a long time, he said.Plant disease also was a factor in the harvest, Linscombe said.

“Quality seems to be OK, especially on our earlier-planted rice,” Linscombe said. But later-planted rice that matured during the hotter temperatures probably will have quality problems, he said.Even though planting was delayed by weather, harvest went smoothly with few rain interruptions, and dry weather prevented farm equipment from rutting the fields, Linscombe said. That means a good start for farmers growing a second crop of rice.Linscombe said he is noticing more farmers manipulating rice stubble, either by rolling or mowing the remaining stalks, to increase second-crop yields as shown in studies conducted by Harrell.

AgCenter county agent Keith Fontenot said Evangeline Parish rice farmers were reporting mixed results, with yields from 40 to 55 barrels. He said one farmer only managed 26 barrels in a field suddenly hit with a disease.AgCenter county agent Barrett Courville said yields are off by about four barrels an acre from last year. But he said the second crop looks promising.A barrel of rice weighs 162 pounds.Fontenot said he’s seeing many farmers preparing fields for a second crop.“I’m amazed at the amount of work I see happening,” he said. “Everybody looks like they’re going to have a second crop.


Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- Aug 17

India | Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:57pm IST

Nagpur, Aug 17 Gram prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and
Marketing Committee (APMC) here on increased festival season demand from local traders amid weak arrival from producing belts. Upward trend on NCDEX, notable hike in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and repeated enquiries from South-based traders also pushed up prices, according to sources. 
               *            *              *              *
   * Desi gram recovered in open market on good demand from local traders amid 
     tight supply from producing regions.
   * Tuar varieties skyrocketed in open market here on increased festival season demand 
     from local traders amid weak supply from producing regions. Delay in this season's 
     tuar arrival, damaged of crop because of unseasonal rains and weak monsoon also 
     activated stockists.   
   * Masoor and Udid varieties zoomed up in open market on renewed festival season demand 
     from local traders amid thin arrival from producing belts.        
   * In Akola, Tuar - 8,800-9,100, Tuar dal - 12,800-13,000, Udid at 9,400-9,700, 
     Udid Mogar (clean) - 11,300-11,700, 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.
   * 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                   3,700-4,720         3,700-4,610
     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                4,800-4,850         4,750-4,850
     Gram Filter new            6,000-6,200        6,000-6,200
     Gram Kabuli                6,200-7,500        6,200-7,500
     Gram Pink                6,800-7,000        6,800-7,000
     Tuar Fataka Best             13,000-13,500        12,500-13,000
     Tuar Fataka Medium             12,000-12,500        11,500-12,000
     Tuar Dal Best Phod            11,500-11,800        11,000-11,200
     Tuar Dal Medium phod            11,000-11,400        10,600-10,800
     Tuar Gavarani New             9,600-9,700        9,300-9,500
     Tuar Karnataka             10,200-10,500        9,700-9,900
     Tuar Black                 12,400-12,800           11,900-12,200 
     Masoor dal best            8,600-8,800        8,300-8,500
     Masoor dal medium            8,150-8,450        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            8,500-8,800        8,500-8,800
     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)    11,700-12,000       11,500-11,900
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    10,600-11,000        10,500-11,000
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        9,400-9,800        9,300-9,700
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        4,400-4,900        4,400-4,900
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)           3,300-3,400         3,300-3,400
     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        3,300-3,700
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,650-2,850        2,650-2,850        
     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. 32.5 degree Celsius (90.5 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
24.8 degree Celsius (76.6 degree Fahrenheit)
Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.
Rainfall : nil
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.)

Myanmar may resume rice export in November

News Desk
Myanmar Eleven
Publication Date : 17-08-2015

Myanmar's Ministry of Commerce announced yesterday that it would reconsider resuming rice export in November, as the country has imposed a temporary ban following the severe inundation of farmlands.In an announcement, the ministry revealed that Myanmar should need 34.8 million tonnes of paddy rice for domestic consumption. As over 1 million acres of farmlands or nearly 10 per cent of total 15 million acres are damaged by recent floods, rice stocks should be kept for domestic consumption. It also noted that Chin State’s stockpile was zero and it should soon demand rice from elsewhere, as well as the states/regions of Rakhine, Magway, Mon and Kayah.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, there are currently around 15 million acres of rice farmland, 1 million of which was damaged by recent floods. Between 200 and 300 thousand acres have been rendered useless; those areas require urgent attention and timely plantations. Similarly, 1.2 million acres of farmlands for other crops were flooded, though 890,544 acres of that land has resurfaced so far. Among those resurfaced lands, a total of 641,222 acres were damaged, with 407,924 acres totally destroyed and only 3,648 acres maintaining the capacity to be reused. 

The Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) announced last week that the export would be suspended until mid-September. Myanmar plans to export four million tonnes of rice by 2020 but the actual annual rice export has reached only 1.3 million tonnes over the past years.State-media Global New Light of Myanmar reported that yesterday, local authorities in Kawlin Township, Sagaing Region, helped local farmers regrow rice on 745 acres of farmlands with seeding machines and tractors. Aside from causing over 100 fatalities, Cyclone Komen also affected nearly one million people.According to the World Bank, rice accounts for 25 per cent of the consumption of richer households and 50 per cent of the consumption of poorer households.

Paddy accounts for 30 per cent of total planted area and 40 per cent of gross agricultural output. It is estimated to account for 13 per cent of the country’s GDP. In a related development, residents of Matupi Township, Chin State, are reportedly facing food shortage as the city has been cut off from the plains region of Myanmar for about 20 days.The recent heavy downpours have caused landslides in the region, causing people to leave their homes. As of July 23, the incessant rains damaged sections of roads and swept away bridges in the south of Chin State. Bus lines services from Pakokku to Matupi stopped until August 10.

 “Currently, no trucks can reach Matupi. Rice, edible oil and salt are in short supply here. The distance between Matupi and Pakokku is about 30 miles by foot. We have to go there by foot or by motorcycle, which could take us about three days to go there. We can go to Pakokku by car via Mindat. It may take about one month to complete the restoration of the damaged road,” said Sali Napolyan, a resident of Matupi. The 88 Generation (Peace and Open Society) is seeking possible ways to send rice to Matupi as road access is blocked. The road linking Pakokku and Matupi is about 200 miles long.  Normally, bus fare for the Pakokku-Matupi trip is 15,000 kyats. Landslides along the Pakokku-Matupi road are common in the rainy season. But due to Cyclone Komen, the situation is more severe this year.


Myanmar farmers need help replanting rice after floods: U.N.

Green Business | Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:24am EDT
An aerial view of a part of Sittwe city at Sittwe, Rakhine state, Myanmar, August 5, 2015.
Farmers in flood-hit Myanmar face a scramble to replant damaged paddy fields in the next two weeks to avoid food shortages, and aid efforts in some of the country's hardest hit areas remain a challenge, the United Nations said on Saturday.More than 1.3 million people have been critically affected and at least 106 people have died since heavy monsoon rains coupled with a cyclone last month caused floods across the country, according to the government.Water has receded in many areas, allowing farmers to assess the damage to their crops and also to seed stocks as the end of planting season nears.

"If farmers aren't able to get rice seeds and plant in the next two weeks the window for the next season is pretty much over," said Pierre Peron, spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA) in Myanmar."If they are not able to replant they will miss out completely on this season and the impact on food security will be much larger than if we can provide them with support to replant."Myanmar is a rice exporter, but has halted exports to stabilize prices.The U.N. and NGOs have supplied emergency food assistance to 386,000 people impacted by the floods, OCHA said in its latest situation report on the flooding.
Over 1.4 million acres of paddy was flooded, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. The crops in over 500,000 acres have been destroyed in what has been the worst natural disaster in Myanmar since Cyclone Nargis killed nearly 140,000 people in May 2008.

The government has provided $1.2 million for paddy seeds in Rakhine State, one of the hardest hit areas, but, "further support will be needed to help farmers and rural communities rebuild", OCHA said.

In Chin State, a mountainous region bordering Bangladesh and India, where heavy rains caused major landslides, aid workers were still struggling to access some of the state's more remote regions."Access to areas in Chin State has been difficult and continues to be difficult," Peron said on Saturday.In the capital of Hakh five out of six townships experienced landslides that damaged hundreds of homes.Zung Hlei Thang, an MP representing Chin State, said the prices of rice and other commodities had risen sharply since the landslides made many state roads largely impassable, stemming imports."The living conditions are difficult," he said.

(Additional reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Editing by Simon Webb and Susan Thomas)

India's foodgrain output fell 4.66% in 2014-15

New Delhi, Aug 17, 2015, (PTI)

India's foodgrain production is estimated to have declined 4.66 per cent to 252.68 million tonnes (MT) in 2014—15 crop year due to poor monsoon and unseasonal rains in February-March.

The country had registered a record foodgrain production of 265.04 MT in 2013—14 crop year (July—June). Wheat, rice, coarse cereals and pulses are part of the foodgrain basket."Total foodgrain production in the country is estimated at 252.68 MT, which is lower by 12.36 MT than the last year's record foodgrain production of 265.04 MT," an official statement said.While releasing the fourth advance estimates for 2014— 15, the Agriculture Ministry today said the production of most of the crops fell because of a bad monsoon in 2014 and unseasonal rains/hailstorms during February-March 2015, which affected kharif (summer—sown) and rabi (winter—sown) crops.

Rice production is estimated to have fallen to 104.80 million tonnes (MT) in 2014—15 against the record output of 106.65 MT in the previous year.Wheat output is estimated to have declined to 88.94 MT in 2014—15 as against a record 95.85 MT achieved in the previous year.The Ministry has revised downwards the production of wheat, pulses and oilseeds from its earlier estimates released on May 13. Wheat output was then pegged at 90.78 MT, pulses at 17.38 MT and oilseeds at 27.38 MT."It may be noted that production of kharif crops during 2014-15 suffered due to bad monsoon. Unseasonal rains and hailstorm during February-March 2015 had a significant impact on production of rabi crops."As a result of setback in kharif as well as rabi seasons, the production of most of the crops in the country declined during 2014-15," the statement read.

India had received 12 per cent deficient rains from the South-West monsoon in 2014.As per the fourth estimate, production of coarse cereals is estimated to have declined to 41.75 MT in 2014-15 from 43.29 MT in the year-ago period.Pulses and oilseeds production in the country, which is dependent on imports for lentils and edible oils, is also estimated to have dropped to 17.20 MT and 26.68 MT, respectively, in 2014-15.In the previous year, pulses output stood at 19.25 MT and that of oilseeds at 32.74 MT.Cotton production is estimated to have declined marginally to 35.48 million bales (of 170 kgs each) from 35.80 million bales while jute and mesta output too fell to 11.45 million bales (of 180 kg each) from 11.69 million bales in the period under the review.Sugarcane output is estimated to have risen to 359.33 MT from 352.21 MT in the said period.The government releases four advance estimates followed by a final estimate of foodgrain production.


Rice and noodle sales surge: Soaring demand for Asian-style cuisine means Britons have eaten an extra 9,000 tons of rice over the past year

Brits have tucked into extra 12m tonnes of rice and noodles in past year
Pouched rice has become the bestselling format in the market
The Grocer says much of the growth is being driven by Japanese brands

Britain is turning Japanese -- at least when it comes to our soaring appetite for exotic foods like rice and noodles
Britain is turning Japanese -- at least when it comes to our soaring appetite for exotic foods like rice and noodles, according to the latest research yesterday.For a report published on the 70th anniversary of victory in the war against Japan highlighted a massive growth in demand by Brits for the favourite cuisine of the Japanese people.And it showed that Brits have tucked into an extra 12 million tonnes of rice and noodles in the past year.But the study also shows that pouched rice has become the bestselling format in the market overtaking plain packaged rice for the first time as Brits look for convenient carbs.Under the headline ' Why Britain is turning Japanese ', trade magazine The Grocer said: 'Britain is turning Japanese, as 80s new wave popsters The Vapors might have put it.'Brits are slurping up record volumes of those famous Japanese staples, rice and noodles.'Data from market analysts Kantar Worldpanel showed that value sales of rice and noodles were up 5.3per cent to 504.9 million in the year to April 2015.Volume sales were up 6.5per cent with UK families forking out an extra 24.5 million on products in the past year.The Grocer says that much of the growth is being driven by Japanese brands or those taking cues from the country's cuisine - such as Kabuto, Nissin and Itsu.

Itsu creative director Julian Metcalfe told the magazine: 'From our conversations with key buyers, it appears the rise of noodles is coming from the premium, authentic sector.'The research shows that adventurous Brits are also eating more South Asian and other far-flung cuisines with Ramadan now crucial for High Street retailers.

Kantar Worldpanel said that the growth in rice and noodles has been largely driven by more shopping trips and bigger baskets at the store. In addition, the average prices across rice and noodles have fallen this year with more promotions by brands and own-label products.
Data from market analysts Kantar Worldpanel showed that value sales of rice and noodles were up 5.3per cent to 504.9 million in the year to April 2015
But the study shows that pouched rice has become the bestselling format in the market overtaking plain packaged rice for the first time as Brits look for convenient carbs.It says that volume sales of pouched rice have grown by a sixth year-on-year -- to 45 milion kg --while value is up 10per cent to 171.9 million.Plain packaged rice is up 2.7per cent to 161.8 million with volumes up 2.2per cent to 99.4 million kg.The Grocer said: 'The growth of pouches has come on the back of continued new product development fuelled by shoppers' growing appetite for wholegrain rice products.

'Last September, Uncle Ben's introduced pouched wholegrain versions of four of its flavours which owner Mars said was in response to wholegrain rice sales growing by 82per cent over three years.'At the same time, number two brand Tilda rolled out a Brown Basmati & Quinoa pouch and followed this with Brown Basmati & Wild Rice in March. In April, Uncle Ben's introduced a range of five Rice & Grains products made with wholegrain rice, quinoa and other grains.'Tilda head of marketing Anna Beheshti told the magazine: 'Wholegrain rice is a key category driver as consumers' dietary needs are becoming more complex.

Promote National Rice Month and Earn Scholarship Money

ARLINGTON, VA -- USA Rice encourages high school seniors throughout rice country to invest the waning days of summer vacation in planning an innovative promotion campaign for September, National Rice Month (NRM).  Three scholarship prizes, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, totaling $8,500 are available.  The grand prize is a $4,000 scholarship and a trip to the 2015 USA Rice Outlook Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the scholarship presentation.  The second-place winner will receive $3,000 and third-place, $1,500.

High school graduating students in the 2015-16 school year who live in rice-growing states -- Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas -- can qualify to enter by conducting a promotion campaign in their local communities during September with U.S.-grown rice as the central theme.  Scholarship entries will be judged on their creativity and impact in promoting U.S.-grown rice, NRM, and the importance of rice in their state.

Entries are due October 15.  Applicants can submit a synopsis of their promotion in a variety of ways, including in video format.

For more information about the scholarship, visit the contest web page.

Contact:  Amy Doane (703) 236-1454

Crop Progress:   2015 Crop 88 Percent Headed  

WASHINGTON, DC -- Eighty-eight percent of the nation's 2015 rice acreage is headed, according to today's U.S. Department of Agriculture's Crop Progress Report. 

Rice Headed, Selected States 
Week Ending
 August 16, 2014  
August 9, 2015 
August 16, 2015
2010-2014 average
Six States

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Preliminary):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for August 17
Net Change

September 2015
+ $0.175
November 2015
+ $0.180
January 2016
+ $0.180
March 2016
+ $0.150
May 2016
+ $0.140
July 2016
+ $0.140
September 2016
+ $0.065

Genome sleuths fight threats to Vietnam rice crop

17 August, 2015 - 11:42 By Tony Quested
An experiment in Vietnam for testing salinity tolerance rice varieties

East of England genomics experts are fighting to maintain a healthy Vietnamese rice crop in the face of a number of threats to productivity.The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) in Norwich is leading the development of advanced bioinformatics capabilities for next-generation rice genomics in Vietnam to aid precision breeding to improve this staple crop. The international project aims to maintain crop productivity in the face of climate change, disease resistance and salt tolerance – and to potentially develop higher-value rice varieties for the global market.

As part of the Newton Fund, TGAC has been awarded over £50,000 by The British Council to develop the bioinformatics capabilities. These will inform next-generation rice genomics in Vietnam to aid precision breeding for improvement of crops by exploring 48 local rice varieties.

As the second-largest global rice exporter, Vietnam relies on its most important agricultural commodity. A dramatic increase in rice production has taken place since the 1980s, due to the expansion of arable land and a shift in the crop’s varieties from producing a single annual yield to two-three yields per year.

With an impressive 3.3 per cent annual yield increase from 1987, Vietnamese rice production has benefited from the uptake of new rice varieties and improvements in genetics applied to advance crop breeding. However, there is an increasing threat to this vital crop from factors associated with climate change such as emerging pathogens and rising sea levels, where Vietnam's major rice growing areas are predominantly coastal, as well as the environmental pressures of rapid urban development.

Developing the bioinformatics capacity in Vietnam will allow research Institutes to benefit from advancements in next generation genomics, applying their computational skills to rice breeding to help maintain productivity in the face of changing climates, and potentially develop new higher value rice varieties for the global market.

In collaboration with the Agriculture Genetics Institute (AGI) in Hanoi, TGAC is working to characterise the genetic diversity of traditional rice varieties from Vietnam, aiming to develop genomic markers associated with traits of interest such as disease resistance and salt tolerance.

With the initial research phase of this project exploring the genetic diversity of 36 local varieties, this project will provide funding for a further 48 varieties to be analysed – with the aim to increase this number to 600 in the future. The generation of such large genomic datasets requires expertise in bioinformatics in order to analyse the data and develop molecular tools to aid precision breeding for improving rice.

The international collaboration between TGAC and AGI will extend out to a wider group of researchers in Vietnam through training workshops to build bioinformatics capacity, using rice as a model.

The programme involves the exchange of scientists from Vietnam to gain expertise in bioinformatics analysis, and from UK to learn about the field phenotyping activities in Vietnam. Scientists from TGAC, AGI and other participating Institutes will host ‘Train the Trainer' workshops in Norwich to train Vietnamese researchers in bioinformatics and genomic analysis to equip them with the skills to sustain training for researchers in Vietnam for the future.

To make the data accessible, TGAC will set up a public database to host the variant data within the context of the latest genome assemblies and annotation. Project lead, Sarah Ayling, crop genomics and diversity group leader at TGAC, said: “The Institutional Links funding provides an opportunity for us to train Vietnamese scientists in bioinformatics, and equip them with the skills to train others to help advance their understanding of next generation genomics.

“These ‘Train the Trainer’ activities will enable the flow of knowledge to other researchers in the region, providing more scientists with the skill-set required to make use of genomic data for rice breeding and improve the crop yield for current and future generations in Vietnam.

“Our partnership will enable TGAC and the UK to provide guidance on best practices and, in collaboration with our Vietnamese colleagues, lead the development of innovative ways to share data and enhance the training and up-skilling of scientists in the areas of bioinformatics and genomics globally.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: An experiment in Vietnam for testing salinity tolerance rice varieties


Lifting obstacles to rice sales could improve Cuban diets

Ration books don't always mean enough rice to go around
Aug 14, 2015Forrest Laws | Delta Farm Press
U.S. farmers and their commodity organizations see improving relations with Cuba as a golden opportunity to increase sales of their crops and ag products to a country that literally is located at their back door.But those groups may be, in fact, “missing the boat” because of a lack of understanding about actual conditions in Cuba. Increased trade would do more than provide another market for U.S. ag; it could be a means of insuring the Cuban people get enough to eat.
According to government rules, each person of a certain age in Cuba is supposed to receive 7 pounds of rice per month. All Cubans have a ration book, which allows them to buy a certain amount of rice, beans, oil, sugar, salt and some other products they need on a daily basis at subsidized prices.“Until about 2003 or 2004 that ration amount was 5 pounds per person,” says Terry Harris, senior vice president for marketing and risk management at Riceland Foods in Stuttgart, Ark. “It was actually raised to 7 pounds in 2004, but rice is still not always available for the people of Cuba.”
Harris, a speaker for the University of Arkansas’ Division of Ariculture’s Aug. 13 Food and Agribusiness Webinar titled  “Rice Marketing with a Cuban Flavor,” has been traveling to Cuba for Riceland Foods since 1999.He negotiated the first shipment of U.S. rice that went to Cuba after Congress relaxed trade restrictions under the embargo put in place by President Kennedy in 1962. The sale was concluded the day before Thanksgiving in 2001, and the first vessel arrived in Havana in February 2002.

Exposing agro-trade to higher risks


If one scans through agro-policy profiles of various governments across the globe, they are generally irrational, full of rhetoric for political agenda and lack pragmatism.

By: Tejinder Narang | August 17, 2015 1:07 AM

If one scans through agro-policy profiles of various governments across the globe, they are generally irrational, full of rhetoric for political agenda and lack pragmatism. Thus, trading entities fear “increased” risks from governments than odd developments in the market triggered by supply-demand mismatch, weather, speculation or going wrong on trading positions.A few illustrations support the assertion in the foreign trade policies of some governments. The Indian government is talking about 4 million tonnes of sugar exports via barter trade. Prime destinations of Indian sugar include Sudan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the UAE, Iran, Ethiopia, etc. Barter with whom and in what time-frame? Is it practical to structure barter in a highly volatile commodity and in such countries?

Sugar is largely traded amongst private parties based on criticality of international parities. Induction of two governments, their official agencies, banks with escrow accounts, etc, to facilitate barter in export process and involving non-sugar related private/public entities—be it of pulses, edible oil, crude oil or any engineering project—is the best way to abort sugar export. The talk (that cannot be walked) projects an illusion to farmers that the government is serious in remedying the glut of sugar stocks—though trade fully understands the passivity of the policy. The upgraded version of barter is called “counter trade”—which in this case implies “counter to the trade” and therefore is mere rhetoric.

Is the Indian action to impose 10% duty on wheat import in public interest? Flour millers in South India are affected by destabilisation of a steady duty-free policy of last 7-8 years. The government is attempting in vain to protect its turf for disposing of FCI-owned low quality wheat at higher prices, while restricting import of good quality cheaper grain from abroad, thus inducing inflationary pressures. The right way would be to discount its official prices at which the low quality grain is tradeable, otherwise the short life of this grain will render it inedible for human and feed consumption. All cost will be then sunk cost.

The Thai government, in 2011-12 and 2012-13, in order to generate political populism of farmers, introduced procurement of paddy at $500/mt versus market price of $280-330/mt. Good and bad paddy was procured not only from Thailand but even through illegal entry from Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Thai traders lost their primacy in the world’s rice market due to non-competitiveness. Today, the new Thai regime is struggling to dispose of 18 million tonnes of accumulated rice, of which 6 million tonnes is unfit for human consumption and 10 million tonnes require reprocessing. The estimate of unverified loss is about $16 billion.

Iran, though it prohibited import of Indian basmati rice in 2014-15, imported about 0.9 million tonnes in the same year—basmati rice is banned officially but select parties are given quotas and licences to import from nominated Indian suppliers. This amounts to state-sponsored canalised import via private importers. Official ban represents crony nexus between the powers that be.
China imports soy seeds (74 million tonnes), and corn (4-5 million tonnes) is imported from the US, Argentina and Brazil. Such cargo is exposed to rejections by citing phyto or GM-related issues, which rattle world markets. By such negative actions, Chinese buyers hammer down world prices or enter into renegotiated contracts at lower values. Foreign suppliers sustain losses silently. Indeed, such actions would have the tacit support of the Chinese government. Traders fear to go legal for the fear of reprisal in future Chinese businesses.

China does not buy Indian non-basmati rice, but it sources the same from Pakistan. The denial by China is irrational and is pro-Pakistan. Right now, annual rice import from Pakistan is limited (0.5 million tonnes), but considering the appetite of the Chinese market, India will be at a disadvantage if this issue remains ignored. The ambiguity in China’s decision is inexplicable—it continues to acquire all shades of rice from Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, totalling 5-6 million tonnes annually.

Nigeria is another example of distorted rice import policy for political patronage. Rice imports are 3-4 million tonnes. Indian exports to Nigeria are 1-1.5 million tonnes. Nigerian importers who have a stake in domestic production can import rice at 30% duty, while standalone/pure traders pay 70% import tax. Effectively, anyone having a rice mill can import with 30% duty, but others are denied equitable treatment. Licensed tonnage depends upon proximity with the ruling elite. Neighbouring Benin also imports huge volumes of rice, which is smuggled into Nigeria. Rice traders have earned, and lost too, substantial money by applying the Benin route to Nigeria.

Russia exports 20-25 million tonnes of wheat annually, against the production of 53-60 million tonnes. Its government is known for abrupt bans/export duties. None can decipher when an intervention will take place. Since Russian grains are one of the lowest priced commodities, the world has to live with the antics of the Russian government.There are other factors such as monthly “estimation” provided by governments of sowing, yields, production, demand, exports and imports—all of which influence the markets. Estimates are only “guesstimates” or, at best, some reasoned conclusion based on assumptions and weather reports. For example, the Indian official forecast of the monsoon has gone wrong so far, while there have been contrary private forecasts. The monsoon news heightens speculation and volatility all the more.
Governments are seldom right. Since they wield authority to act arbitrarily and without accountability, nations, people and trade suffer mutely.
The author is a grains trade expert.

Rice and noodles sales soar as Brits opt for Japanese meals

New research reveals that Brits have slurped up an extra 12 million tonnes of rice and noodles, as demand for Japanese cuisine soars

We ate 12 million tonnes of extra rice and noodles last year  Photo: Alamy
12:57PM BST 17 Aug 2015
British demand for Japanese food is soaring, according to a new report.Research from market analysts Kantar Worldpanel found that, in the past year, Brits ate an extra 12 million tonnes of rice and noodles.Sales of rice and noodles were up 5.3 per cent, bringing sales up to 504.9 million tonnes and volume sales were up 6.5 per cent, meaning families spent an extra £24 million on products last year.The rise in sales is thought to be driven by authentic Japanese brands, or companies who take cues from Japanese cuisine, such as Wagamama or Itsu.Speaking to The Grocer, Itsu creative director Julian Metcalfe said: "From our conversations with key buyers, it appears the rise of noodles is coming from the premium, authentic sector."
Kantar Worldpanel added that the growth can also be attributed to an increase in shopping trips, bigger baskets in store and the reduction of average prices of rice and noodles.
Instant rice has overtaken plain packaged rice  Photo: Alamy
The study also found that the volume sales of pouched rice have grown by a sixth, causing it to overtake plain packaged rice for the first time as Brits opt for quicker, more convenient, meals.
The Grocer said: "The growth of pouches has come on the back of continued new product development fuelled by shoppers' growing appetite for wholegrain rice products. Last September, Uncle Ben's introduced pouched wholegrain versions of four of its flavours which owner Mars said was in response to wholegrain rice sales growing by 82per cent over three years.

"At the same time, number two brand Tilda rolled out a Brown Basmati & Quinoa pouch and followed this with Brown Basmati & Wild Rice in March. In April, Uncle Ben's introduced a range of five Rice & Grains products made with wholegrain rice, quinoa and other grains.
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