Friday, October 02, 2015

1st October,2015,2015 Daily global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Rice News Headlines...

ü  Rice Research to Production short course helps young scholars advance their careers in rice science
ü  Rice Research To Production Short Course Helps Youthful Researchers Propel Their Vocations In Rice Science
ü  Plant breeding, digital science - meeting world food demand
ü  We Went Black And Never Went Back: The Origin And Spread Of 'Emperor's Rice'
ü  Low-cost hay displaces idea for feeding rice straw to cattle
ü  Silicon 'plant stones' for strong rice: Fertilizing & recycling Si in Vietnamese fields
ü  Cambodian Rice Millers Begin Cracking US Market
ü  Haryana rice millers end strike
ü  APEDA Commodity News
ü  Vietnam expects higher prices for rice after Philippines bid
ü  Kharif acerage up despite poorest monsoon in 6 years
ü  More imports of rice expected as El Nino looms
ü  Vietnam Becomes Cuba’s Second Most Important Asian Partner
ü  Gov’t exporter sits out rice deal
ü  Thai rice illegally imported into Myanmar
ü  FCI starts paddy procurement today
ü  Grains Q3 Review And Q4 Outlook
ü  U.S. Rice Responds as El Niño Takes Its Toll in Central and South America  
ü  Hy-Vee Dietitians Urge Shoppers to Think Rice   
ü  Weekly Rice Sales, Exports Reported 

News Detail...

Rice Research to Production short course helps young scholars advance their careers in rice science

 Gene Hettel (All photos by G. Hettel)   |  Oct 1, 2015

Getting their feet wet in rice paddies, three Asia Rice Foundation USA (ARFUSA) grant winners and other scholars learn how rice is connected to the international community.

ARFUSA SCHOLARS working together: Jenna Reeger (left) and Ana Bossa Castro watch Hussain Sharifi take a stab at pollinating a rice plant during one of the RR2P course’s practical activities.“The hands-on experience of producing rice has certainly been relevant to my research,” expounded Jenna Reeger, currently pursuing a PhD in plant biology at Penn State University. “Understanding how farmers prepare their fields and plant rice has certainly been enlightening thanks to traveling around the Philippines to see different areas where rice is grown.

”This assessment of the International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI’s) 3-week short course on Rice research to production (RR2P)was the consensus of three graduate students attending universities in the United States and who also won recent Travel and Study Awards from ARFUSA. A unique situation in which three ARFUSA scholars participated at the same time in the RR2P, Ms. Reeger was joined in the ninth annual edition of the course, held at IRRI headquarters in the Philippines, by fellow 2015 winner Hussain Sharifi, a PhD student in the Agro-Ecosystems Laboratory at the University of California at Davis, and 2014 winner Ana Bossa Castro, a PhD student in plant pathology at Colorado State University.

Bringing a unique community of students together

“The RR2P course is becoming quite popular with ARFUSA scholars and other young scientists from around the world who are looking to advance their careers,” said Jan Leach, distinguished professor at Colorado State University and one of the training coordinators for the course.

DISCUSSING HER research with IRRI collaborator Chitra Raghavan, scientist in plant breeding (left), and Jan Leach, R2RP coordinator (right), Ms. Bossa Castro plans her next steps.“The students touch on everything from learning how to prepare the fields and plant rice using a water buffalo as well as modern technology all the way to using molecular breeding tools,” added Dr. Leach. “It is a huge opportunity for them to learn about rice production and the research that goes on at IRRI and around the world.”The course also brings together a special community of students. “Past participants often keep their interaction going,” explained Dr. Leach. “So, they will have international colleagues in the rice research community for the rest of their careers. This is hugely important for their success. They also gain experience in communication, for example, how to present their research and how to make it understandable to lay people. They are also learning cultural aspects, not only the distinctive ways of rice production in the Philippines and other parts of the world, but also through interacting with scientists from different countries and learning to respect their culture.”

Something “cool” about IRRI

More interactions between scholars and Banaue farmers.
Ms. Reeger, who is also a Penn State University Graduate Fellow, a Graham Endowed Fellow, and Roche/ARCS Foundation Scholar, grew up on a small vegetable farm in western Pennsylvania. “I learned about plants from a very young age,” she explained. “Then I found I could study science involving plants in college. I became interested in agriculture, which I believe is a major concern that scientists should be focusing on.”Her main goal is to develop drought-tolerant rainfed rice varieties that will provide more reliable yields under drought stress and promote food security and financial stability for rainfed rice growers. “I find IRRI to be a very unique place with so many different people working on all the aspects of rice,” she said. “I think there is something very special and ‘cool’ about this—a lot of people working together to achieve the same goal.”
SHARING A light moment, Ms. Reeger and Mr. Sharifi discuss their participation in the RR2P course.Regarding the RR2P course, she relayed that the “high point” was the 3-day visit to the Banaue rice terraces in Ifugao Province of northern Luzon. “The ancient rice terraces are very beautiful,” she said, “and it was very interesting to talk with the people who live there and observe how they grow rice on the terraces with 2,000 years of experience.”Also during her time at IRRI, she was able to interact with scientists working on breeding for drought tolerance and the physiology of drought. “I met multiple times with Dr. Amelia Henry, IRRI’s drought physiologist, to discuss her work and to make plans for my return trip to IRRI—for which I am using my ARFUSA grant to set up a field trial,” she pointed out.” The budding plant biologist is now back at Penn State taking classes in her second year of graduate school, where she is also president-elect of the Graduate Women in Science chapter at the university.
First in the family to obtain a college degree

Mr. Sharifi was born into a small-farm family in remote Bamyan Province of Afghanistan. He was the first in his family to obtain a college degree when he completed his BS in plant protection at Kabul University.

GAINING HANDS-ON experience, Ms. Bossa Castro (left) and Mr. Sharifi (right), along with other RR2P course participants, separate panicles in the rice bundles during their visit with farmers in Banaue. Click photo for a video clip.

In his U.C. Davis research under the direction ofBruce Lindquist, a former IRRI scientist based in Laos, his main research focus is to improve water-use efficiency in current conservation agriculture rice systems. For example, in part of his research, Mr. Sharifi aims to develop a predictive tool in order to support improvements in rice breeding, production, quality, and management. “To this end,” he said, ”I am evaluating the effects of environmental factors—such as temperature, photoperiod sensitivity, and field management practices, including the alternate wetting-drying system—on rice growth and development.“IRRI is certainly a premiere institute for rice science,” he added. “I find the work being done here fascinating.

The RR2P course provided me with a great opportunity to be exposed to many different topics and issues. More than that, a high point for me was getting to know and become friends with all the course participants from 12 countries. I’m sure I will come across many of these people again as colleagues at some point in my career.”Mr. Sharifi has a main interest in remote sensing. “I think we should use this technology to develop appropriate tools for extending available information to where we need to,” he said. “My time here at IRRI has enabled me to interact with the GIS group and the crop modeling group (Oryza2000) with Tao Li and Ando Radanielson, Adam Sparks, and Steve Klassen. It is great that the scientists here are so willing to take the time to talk to a young scientist like me.” He has returned to U.C. Davis to finish his PhD research in early 2016. “I plan to pursue a career in international crop research with a focus on rice cropping systems,” he concluded.

She came back!

Attending the RR2P course brought Ms. Ana Bossa Castro back to IRRI a second time. The Bogotá, Colombia, native was here last year to receive training and to consult with Hei Leung, principal scientist in IRRI’s Genetics and Biotechnology Division and a collaborator in her research on finding novel resistance sources to defeat bacterial diseases of rice. “I’ve worked as a research assistant at CIAT [International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia] for a few years and I had been very interested in coming to IRRI and learning about the research done here,” she said. “When I got here for the first time last year, I was impressed by the fields and the labs, the genebank, and the genotyping facility.

 This second time, I got the chance to know more about the cutting-edge research done in different topics and meet several scientists. Through the course, I had hands-on experience in field practices and interacted with farmers. The trip to Banaue was an enriching opportunity as I talked with local farmers and heard about their traditional practices and their limitations in rice production. The RR2P course allowed me to meet participants from 12 different countries, know about their cultures, and exchange research experiences with them.”
PARTICIPANTS AND faculty involved in the 2015 Rice Research to Production course at IRRI, 10-28 August.Originally, Ms. Bossa Castro was interested in molecular biology to perhaps become involved in human cancer research; however, after taking a college class in plant pathology, she became interested in food security and feeding growing populations. “I changed my mind on what direction to take, but still could be involved with molecular biology—and maybe it is just as important as cancer research by benefiting even more people.

”During her work at CIAT, she was a visiting scholar in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Dellaporta at Yale University on two occasions. “There, I acquired and applied molecular techniques to make advances in my project,” she said. “This gave me an opportunity to prove my creativity and initiative to cope with new research experiences.”Ms. Bossa Castro believes she is on track with her research to find new resistance genes for important bacterial pathogens. “With continued collaboration with IRRI and CIAT, my main goal is to contribute to the reduction of losses caused by these pathogens in rice crops, which will help decrease poverty and malnutrition in developing countries. I plan to become a principal investigator in molecular plant pathology to achieve this goal.”
Unique RR2P course in its ninth year

Including these three ARFUSA scholars, the ninth annual RR2P course held during 10-28 August 2015 attracted 26 participants hailing from 12 countries (Afghanistan, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, and the U.S.). In addition to Dr. Leach, the course was coordinated by IRRI staff members Noel Magor, head of the Training Center; Dr. Leung; Jason Beebout, consultant; and Eugenio Castro, Jr., Training Center senior manager. Click here for more information about this course and other training opportunities at IRRI.
Gene Hettel is the executive director of ARFUSA and editor-in-chief of Rice Today. Click here for more information about ARFUSA and its Travel and Study Grants.

Rice Research To Production Short Course Helps Youthful Researchers Propel Their Vocations In Rice Science

“The hands-on experience of delivering rice has absolutely been important to my examination,” explained Jenna Reeger, at present seeking after a PhD in plant science at Penn State University. “Seeing how ranchers set up their fields and plant rice has surely been illuminating on account of going around the Philippines to see distinctive regions where rice is developed.”This appraisal of the International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI’s) 3-week short course on Rice examination to creation (RR2P) was the accord of three graduate understudies going to colleges in the United States and who additionally won late Travel and Study Awards from ARFUSA.
An extraordinary circumstance in which three ARFUSA researchers took an interest in the meantime in the RR2P, Ms. Reeger was joined in the ninth yearly release of the course, held at IRRI home office in the Philippines, by individual 2015 champ Hussain Sharifi, a PhD understudy in the Agro-Ecosystems Laboratory at the University of California at Davis, and 2014 victor Ana Bossa Castro, a PhD understudy in plant pathology at Colorado State University.

Plant breeding, digital science - meeting world food demand

Sep 30, 2015Rick Bogren and Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter | Delta Farm Press
LSU AgCenter plant breeder Adam Famoso, left, and Susan McCouch examine Famoso’s rice crosses in a greenhouse at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station. (Photo by Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter)
Researchers should be integrating information science with applied plant breeding to serve a growing world population, a leading plant geneticist said during a Sept. 24 plant biology symposium.It’s a “global grand challenge” that must address population and income increases, land and water concerns, changing climate, nutrition, health and biodiversity and overall sustainability, said Susan McCouch of Cornell University.A professor of plant breeding and genetics, plant biology, biological statistics and computational biology, McCouch said the process should include computer-based data gathering, model building and validation along with traditional plant breeding.McCouch’s talk followed a morning of short presentations by faculty members and graduate students in the LSU AgCenter and LSU sponsored by the Center of Research Excellence in Plant Biotechnology and Crop Development.

The center includes researchers from various departments in the LSU AgCenter, LSU A&M and other state universities, said Mike Stout, L.D. Newsom Professor in Integrated Pest Management in the AgCenter Department of Entomology.The symposium is part of the collaboration between AgCenter and A&M campus faculty members to produce solutions for the challenges to agriculture, Stout said.“We’re increasing cooperation in all biosciences across all Louisiana universities,” he said.McCouch called on the researchers to develop models that integrate digital information with physical information to predict performance in new plant lines.“Fundamental problems don’t change at all, but they can be addressed through new technology,” she said. “Nobody can do it alone. It takes a lot of collaboration.”McCouch visited the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station near Crowley and spoke to the station faculty.
Susan McCouch of Cornell University, left, examines work being done by LSU AgCenter researchers Herry Utomo, center, and Ida Wenefrida in a laboratory at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station. (Photo by Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter)

Adam Famoso, an AgCenter rice breeder who worked with McCouch at Cornell, said she developed the first genetic map of rice DNA. “She has really pioneered the marker technology.”McCouch said information technology capable of handling huge volumes of data is needed to process information in order to make predictions that can be used by breeders to make successful crosses.Technology exists that allows editing of a plant’s genetic structure to improve its agronomic traits, she said. It is not considered genetic engineering because it does not involve the introduction of foreign genetic material into a plant’s DNA.

“We’re anticipating in 15 years, this will be mainstream,” she said.Much of McCouch’s work at Cornell has been focused on rice in Southeast Asia and Africa, but she said she would like to develop relationships with U.S. public universities to pass along her work. “Much of what we have developed is ripe for the picking,” she said.The use of genetic marker technology by plant breeders will be needed to meet the increasing demand for more food and the limited arable acreage in developing countries, McCouch said. Abundant land and water in the U.S. will allow American farmers to produce more food for export to countries where agricultural systems do not produce enough for growing populations.Several of McCouch’s projects, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, address problems in third-world countries. For example, one project is aimed at developing drought-resistant rice in India, where water sources are often unreliable. Another project’s goal is overcoming iron toxicity of rice in Sub-Saharan Africa.

We Went Black And Never Went Back: The Origin And Spread Of 'Emperor's Rice'
By News Staff | October 1st 2015 07:00 AM
Black rice has a rich cultural history; called "Forbidden" or "Emperor's" rice, it was reserved for the Emperor in ancient China and used as a tribute food. In the time since, it remained popular in certain regions of China and recently has become prized worldwide for its high levels of antioxidants. Despite its long history, the origins of black rice have not been clear. Black rice cultivars are found in locations scattered throughout Asia. However, most cultivated rice (species Oryza sativa) produces white grains, and the wild relative Oryza rufipogon has red grains.
The color of rice grains is determined by which colored pigments they accumulate (or fail to accumulate, in the case of white rice). For instance, the pro-anthocyanidins that give wild rice grains their characteristic red color are not produced in white rice due to a mutation in a gene controlling pro-anthocyanidin biosynthesis. The color in black rice is known to be due to anthocyanin pigments, but how these came to be made in the grains was not known.
A paper to be published this week in The Plant Cell reveals the answer to the long-standing question of how black rice became black and, moreover, traces the history of the trait from its molecular origin to its spread into modern-day varieties of rice. Researchers from two institutions in Japan collaborated to meticulously examine the genetic basis for the black color in rice grains.

They discovered that the trait arose due to a rearrangement in a gene called Kala4, which activates the production of anthocyanins. They concluded that this rearrangement must have originally occurred in the tropical japonica subspecies of rice and that the black rice trait was then transferred into other varieties (including those found today) by crossbreeding.
According the study's lead scientist, Dr. Takeshi Izawa, "The birth and spread of novel agronomical traits during crop domestication are complex events in plant evolution." This new work on black rice helps explain the history of domestication of rice by ancient humans, during which they selected for desirable traits including grain color.

Low-cost hay displaces idea for feeding rice straw to cattle

File photo shows cows graze in spring 2014 on Table Mountain near Oroville, when there was still some green grass to eat. The question of how to feed them in summer is driving research on using rice straw as silage, but that didn’t pan out this year. Bill Husa — Mercury-Register File Photo
By Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise-Record
POSTED: 09/30/15, 5:20 PM PDT | UPDATED: 1 DAY AGO
Summertime doesn’t provide much for cattle to eat, like these near Orland, which is what is behind thus-far unsuccessful research to use rice straw as cattle feed.
 Jason Halley — Enterprise-Record File Photo
About this time last year, rice growers and cattle ranchers were looking at an interesting partnership: Could rice straw, if handled at the very green stage, be used as cattle feed? The term for this type of feed is “strawlage.”Fast forward one year and the idea has been sent to the back 40. However, strawlage will still be studied this year by the University of California.In theory, strawlage makes a lot of sense. Rice straw is a by-product of growing rice, cattle ranchers always want low-cost cattle feed.Yet, rice straw is generally a very poor option for cattle.For whatever reasons, once rice straw dries to a certain point, the fiber can sit in a cow’s stomach, undigested for up to three days.

That’s three days the animal could be eating something with more nutrients.
Researchers have tried to find out why this takes place, but haven’t pinpointed the cause.However, rice straw is still a decent feed if it is fed to cattle before it dries.Researchers still haven’t given up on the concept.One idea tested last year was to create larger rice straw bales, four feet long and three feet wide, that were handled in a way to keep them green and full of moisture. This included covering the straw with a tarp.Glen Nader, a recently retired University of California farm adviser, has been working on the strawlage project for several years.In experiments last year, it was learned that the large bales worked well when they were new. As time went on, they got mushy, Nader explained, and were difficult to manage on a cattle ranch.

The research project has been turned over to Josh Davy, who handles livestock and natural resource advising for the Cooperative Extension office in Tehama County.This year, Davy will keep the research going at University of California research facility in Browns Valley in Yuba County.
Ranchers weren’t interested in feeding cattle rice straw because the price of oat and other hay dropped by about half this year, Nader said.In a drought year, most would think the price of hay would be high. However, Nader said when many farmers faced lack of water they switched from irrigated crops to a winter cereal crop, which would rely on natural rainfall.There was just enough rain in the month of April to make those crops fairly successful, he explained. However, there were so many growers who were fairly successful, that ordinary hay is now plentiful and cheap.Cattle ranchers would prefer to have rain so that grass grew naturally on the hillsides and in pastures. Yet, inexpensive bales of hay is better than costly bales of hay.

Those April rains were not the only factors, Nader said. The American dollar is relatively high vs. other world currency, which has lessened the demand for American hay. Also, the Chinese market, where hay is exported, has dropped off. There also aren’t as many cattle in the United States due to years of drought in California, and before that years of drought in Texas and the Midwest.All of these factors have meant the landowner who took a chance and grew hay, did not make that much return on their effort.In most cases, Nader estimated California growers will break even after harvest and baling costs.This certainly doesn’t encourage landowners to grow dryland hay again next year. Nader predicted they won’t and the cost of cattle feed will rise again
More strawlage researchAs for the research on strawlage, Daly, of the Tehama County farm adviser’s office, said he’s moving forward.

This year he’ll try three different treatments for the rice straw:
• Applying a treatment for bacteria
• Adding molasses and a treatment for bacteria
• Treatment with ammonia (which raises the protein level).
Rice, cattle and drought are a combination that are sure to occur again in the future, Davy said.
This year he’ll focus on cattle in Browns Valley, evaluating the weight gain and how much animals eat of each of the strawlage combinations.
Contact reporter Heather Hacking at 896-7758.

Silicon 'plant stones' for strong rice: Fertilizing & recycling Si in Vietnamese fields


Recent research showed that silicon (Si) is an important nutrient enhancing the endurability of rice plants, however, what controls on Si availability in soils still remain poorly studied. Researchers of the LEGATO project tested the effects of Si fertilization on Si uptake and growth of rice and on decomposability of the produced straw in Northern Vietnam. The study was published in the journal Plant and Soil.Silicon quite literally pumps up the strength of a rice plant. Rice takes up Si with the soil solution and forms amorphous Si dioxide bodies within the plant tissue, the so-called phytoliths (literally translated "plant stones").

These phytoliths make the plant stem and leaves stronger and more rigid. Thus, a sufficient Si supply enhances the plants' resistance against heavy rain and wind and against attacks of pests and fungi.Undoubtedly, an indispensable element for sustainable rice production, the processes which control Si availability in the soil remain rather understudied. In their paper Anika Marxen from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and her team study rice soils in Vietnam in order to understand these processes, providing scientific base for future recommendations for sustainable rice production.Silicon is contained in most soil minerals and mineral weathering slowly releases the important element into the soil solution. In Vietnam, soils are strongly weathered due to high temperatures and precipitation which means that Si availability is very low.

The study shows that Si application to the soil increased Si uptake by rice and rice grain yield. When the produced rice straw (that is Si-rich) is left on the field after harvest, a large proportion of the Si is released during straw decomposition and is available for the upcoming rice crop. Thus, Si is recycled and Si supply for rice plants can be maintained on a high level with one single fertilizer application for many cropping seasons.

Lignin, a hardly degradable carbon compound in plant cells, has the same function than phytoliths have, which is to give the plant stability. The formation of lignin is energetically much more expensive for the plant than the formation of phytoliths. Therefore, increased Si availability and uptake by rice probably lowers lignin formation and thus fastens decomposition and nutrient release of the produced straw. Hence, Si fertilization might also exert effects on the cycling of other important nutrients, with yet unknown consequences for rice plant growth."Our study showed positive effects of Si fertilization on rice growth and decomposability of the produced straw, however Si cycling must be understood in more detail before applying Si fertilizer at a large scale. More research is certainly needed, but these first steps seem to take us in the right direction," comments Anika Marxen.
Original Source:
Marxen A, et al. (2015) Interaction between silicon cycling and straw decomposition in a silicon deficient rice production system. Plant and Soil. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-015-2645-8

Cambodian Rice Millers Begin Cracking US Market

Khmer Times/May Kunmakara
 Wednesday, 30 September 2015
 PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – Domestic rice millers are preparing to compete against their Thai rivals for a share of the US market as the European Union market becomes increasingly competitive, they say.The move, which will see the Kingdom’s premium rice competing with Thai jasmine rice, which dominates rice imports by the US, is part of an overall strategy to diversify export markets, rice exporters say.Song Saran, president of Amru Rice (Cambodia), a leading milled rice exporter, told Khmer Times that exports to the EU and other markets were not increasing fast enough due to intense competition and the fact that these markets are not growing.“The EU market has already reached its peak and there is little room to expand there. But we see plenty of room for growth in the US market.

We need to increase our competitiveness to expand fast,” Mr. Saran said. Mr. Saran said Amru will export 1,000 tons of rice to the US this year and plans to double this amount next year. Although the US places no import tax on Cambodian rice, its price is similar to that of Thai jasmine rice due to the lack of competitiveness in the value chain here. “We have to compete on brand, price and quality,” he said. Thailand has been exporting rice to the US for more than 25 years and has established a strong brand there, he added. Khan Khunthy, CEO of BriCo – a domestic rice miller that exports fragrant and jasmine rice to the EU and US – is also planning to expand exports to the US. BriCo began exporting to the US about one year ago, he said.  Mr. Khunthy said his company has exported about 6,000 tons of rice in the first nine months of this year to the EU and the US. The amount is three times what it exported in the same period last year, he added.  “My company has been in the [US] market for nearly a year. The market is really big, but Thai rice dominates the market,” he said. “If you talk about jasmine everyone there knows Thai rice because they have been marketing and branding it for nearly 20 years.”  

Mr. Khunthy also noted that Thailand’s government has had a budget for marketing its rice globally, but Cambodia does not. “The US market has great potential and is huge, but to get a share of this premium market requires us to have clear branding and marketing,” he added. Economist Srey Chanthy agreed that domestic rice millers will face immense challenges competing with Thai rice in the US market. It is “very difficult to compete with Thailand,” he said. “Maybe Cambodian [exporters] should capture a niche market, like organic rice, or conduct aggressive marketing campaigns and target Cambodian communities as a start,” he said.

Cambodia’s Jasmine rice has been named “The World’s Best Rice” for three years in a row, since 2013, but Mr. Khunthy said this has not appeared to benefit domestic exporters. “We don’t have any branding yet,” he said. “We were named ‘World's Best Rice’ for three straight years. We should do branding based on that, but we don’t have a national strategy to do this,” he said. “We [companies] do a lot of branding, but it is not synchronized. We need better [industry] leadership.” Over the first nine months of the year Brico exported about 500 tons of rice to the US and will export another 500 tons by the end of this year, said Mr. Khunthy.

Data from the Agriculture Ministry shows Cambodia exported 342,136 tons of milled rice over the first eight months of this year, up 40 per cent over the same period last year. The export price of Cambodian rice is estimated to be about $800 a ton. About 70 per cent of the total went to the EU. Just 1,197 tons were exported to the US. Cambodia’s share of the global rice export market was just 1.1 percent last year, compared to 22 percent for Thailand, according to export tracking website World’s Top Exports. Although Cambodia’s exports were small, they rose at the fastest pace of any exporter last year, the website said
Image:Baskets of rice at a wholesaler in Phnom Penh. Cambodian rice exporters say they are beginning to target the US market, where the potential for growth is massive. KT/ Fabien Mouret

Haryana rice millers end strike

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Karnal
Updated: Oct 01, 2015 17:38 IST

A farmer with his unsold paddy produce at the new grain market in Karnal during the rice millers’ strike. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Sensing unrelenting mood of the state government, the Haryana Rice Millers and Dealers Association (HRMDA) on Wednesday announced to end its four-day-old strike with immediate effect.Association office-bearers said that no pre-condition was laid by them for withdrawing the strike.“Our delegations met the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators in Ambala and Kurukshetra districts where it was assured that the Haryana government would consider our demands patiently. We are convinced by the assurance and decided to start paddy purchase for the government,” HRMDA general secretary Jitender Kumar told HT on Wednesday evening.

Millers were on the war path to press for their demands, including revocation of central sales tax (CST) and recovery by the excise and taxation department. Relaxation in moisture norms during purchase of paddy was among their other demands.After a meeting with the additional chief secretary, food and civil supplies, SS Prasad here on Monday, the association had refused to accept the official assurance of finding appropriate ways to look into their demands.HRMDA had then categorically announced to boycott paddy purchase for the government till their demands were accepted.Government buys non-basmati varieties for distribution to the poor families under the public distribution system (PDS).Refusing to accepts terms and conditions of the association, Prasad had said on Monday that the government would rope in rice exporters for custom rice milling.

“Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had a meeting lasting more than four hours where it was agreed that the state government would agree to work on the fair demands and suggestions. Later, a meeting with the food and supply minister and secretary-level talks were held to find a solution, but only a small section of the millers were opposed to the deliberations,” Prasad had told reporters on Monday.However, as the state government did not show any signs of holding further talks, the millers met the BJP legislators at various places and offered to withdraw agitation.

APEDA Commodity News

International Benchmark Price
Price on: 30-09-2015
Benchmark Indicators Name
Chinese first grade granules, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
Chinese Grade A dehydrated flakes, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
Chinese powdered, CFR NW Europe (USD/t)
Chinese sliced, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
Chinese whole, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
Indian Cochin, CIF NW Europe (USD/t)
Guar Gum Powder
Indian 100 mesh 3500 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
Indian 200 mesh 3500 cps basis, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
Indian 200 mesh 5000 cps, FOB Kandla (USD/t)
For more info
Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 30-09-2015
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs per Qty
Market Center
Min Price
Max Price
Jambusar (Gujarat)
Thiruppur (Tamil Nadu)
Khargone (Madhya Pradesh)
Sangli (Maharashtra)
Segaon (Madhya Pradesh)
Kasganj (Uttar Pradesh)
Pine Apple
Chala (Kerala)
Mumbai (Maharashtra)
Jagraon (Punjab)
Sarankul (Orissa)
Shillong (Meghalaya)
Pune (Maharashtra)
For more info
Rs per 100 No
Price on 30-09-2015
Market Center
Other International Prices
Unit Price : US$ per package
Price on 29-09-2015
Market Center
Onions Dry
Package: 40 lb cartons
Package: 50 lb cartons
Round Green Type
Round Green Type
Round Green Type
Package: cartons tray pack
Red Delicious
Red Delicious
Red Delicious

Vietnam expects higher prices for rice after Philippines bid
VietNamNet Bridge - The sale of 450,000 tons of rice to the Philippines under a government-to-government contract is expected to increase Vietnam’s rice price in domestic and world markets.
Vietnam won the bid to provide 450,000 tons of 25 percent broken rice to the Philippines on September 17, but it has not influenced the domestic price. Experts believe, however, that it will help increase domestic consumption and maintain export prices.Lam Anh Tuan, director of Thinh Phat Company, a member company of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), said that Vietnam received a contract to sell rice to the Philippines at $426.6 per ton with deliveries at Philippine National Food Agency (NFA) storehouses. This means the FOB price at Vietnam’s ports is over $350 per ton.Tuan believes this is a good price compared with the price of $315-325 per ton offered by Vietnamese businesses to foreign importers under commercial contracts.

He said the bidding price is even higher than the price of 5 percent broken rice exports, at $325-335 per ton. However, the domestic price remains low.Nguyen Dinh Bich a renowned rice expert, believes the rice price in Mekong River Delta will move up but only very slightly, because Vietnam would have to deliver only 125,000 tons from now to the end of the year.IR 50404 rice, which is used to process rice exports to the Philippines, is being sold at VND6,100 per kilo at the Ba Dac wholesale Market in Tien Giang province. The price has stayed unchanged since September 17.Merchants are buying fresh IR 50404 from farmers in Tien Giang province at VND4,100 per kilo.
The price has been stable since September 17.However, Tuan of Thinh Phat is optimistic about what the bid with the Philippines can bring, saying this would help export prices stay firm. This would also help farmers sell the summer-spring inventory rice.“As we have got the contract with the Philippines, foreign importers will have no reason to force the prices down,” Tuan said.An analyst also noted that, with the contract with the Philippines, big stocks may have been lifted. Vietnamese farmers are preparing for the third crop of the year, but the output will not be large and it will be sold domestically. “I believe China will come back and buy Vietnam’s rice,” he said. “Chinese went away just to try to press the prices down. But as they have heard Vietnam can now sell rice, they will rush to come back.”VFA member companies have sold 67,000 tons of rice this month.

Kharif acerage up despite poorest monsoon in 6 years


Bleak picture With the deficit rainfall, kharif crop yields could get affected. KR Deepak
The driest monsoon in six years ended this week but the sowing of kharif crops has continued to edge ahead of last year’s figures.According to the latest estimates released by the Agriculture Ministry, as of Thursday, crops such as rice, soyabean, sugarcane and a variety of pulses have been sown over 1,031.37 lakh hectares (lha), 1.3 per cent higher than during the corresponding period last year.The strongest El Nino in two decades adversely impacted the four-month-long monsoon which accounts for almost 80 per cent of India’s rainfall. It has left vast tracts of cropland water-stressed and despite the few spells of rain last month, could affect the Rabi season sowing as well.

The Ministry has already estimated that the first consecutive monsoon shortfall since 1987-88 will take a toll on foodgrain output.The first advance estimates released last month expect a 2 per cent slide to 124.05 million tonnes (mt) from 126.3 mt the year before.As per India Meteorology Department (IMD) data, the monsoon ended with a 14 per cent deficit with rainfall pegged at 76.06 centimetres.Out of 36 sub-divisions, 17 reported deficient rainfall between June 1 and September 30.Among mainly rain-fed areas, east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, east Madhya Pradesh, Marathwada, central Maharashtra, north interior and coastal Karnataka, Telangana, and Goa and the Konkan coast were the hardest hit.

The Central Water Commission estimates that storage levels in 91 major reservoirs tracked by it are at 95.69 billion cubic metres (bcm), about 61 per cent of total capacity. The figure is 77 per cent of the average over the last decade.“The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 157.799 bcm which is about 62 per cent of the total storage capacity of 253.388 bcm which is estimated to have been created in the country,” said a statement released by it this week.The storage situation is particularly worrisome in the southern States where the Commission estimates levels at 34 per cent of total capacity.

Crop outlook

The higher sowing figures have been led mainly by increased area under pulses like arhar (tur), urad and moong. Acreage is 12 per cent higher than at the same time last year.Area under rice, the main Kharif foodgrain, is marginally higher with more coverage in Punjab and Tamil Nadu.Cotton coverage is about 8 per cent lower, and the Cotton Association of India (CAI) lowered its 2015-16 production estimate this week to 377 lakh bales (of 170 kg each), around 1.5 per cent lower than last year.“Acreage under cotton is expected to be lower in the 2015-16 season due to the lower realisation of prices by farmers for their produce in 2014-15,” said Dhiren Sheth, President, CAI.Sugar production will also decline this year by almost 5 per cent to 27 mt with the cane crop likely to be affected by the poor monsoon in Maharashtra and UP, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association.

(This article was published on October 1, 2015)

More imports of rice expected as El Nino looms

THE PHILIPPINE government may import more rice in the second quarter of next year in anticipation of an intensified El Nino which could affect farm output and prices, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan yesterday said.Mr. Balisacan yesterday said in a news conference on the sidelines of the Philippine Economic Briefing that the government has already factored in more import volume for the first two quarters next year to mitigate upward pressure on rice prices after official projections were altered to reflect a longer dry spell."We don't know the exact number yet but we have some provisions already because the areas that will be adversely affected and the intention of the farmers to plant will come in the next couple of months," Mr. Balisacan said.

"What I'm trying to say is that at the very least, we know there is going to be a shortfall and we are making the minimum buffer that we need to ensure no sharp price increases but that would not preclude us from ordering more (foreign rice) if necessary," he added."We are already prepositioning our level of imports. We have already decided to import more for this year and already provisioned more import volumes for the first two quarters of next year. We are putting a system that would allow us to monitor closely the movement of prices as well as a system to assist our framers, particularly for those who will be adversely affected."National Food Authority bid out the supply of 250,000 MT of well-milled 25% broken rice for this year; and 500,000 MT of the same variety next year, with Vietnam and Thailand bagging the contract to supply the staple.Delivery of the procured grains will be staggered, with the first 125,000 MT due by the end of November and another 125,000 MT by the end of December. Next year's shipments will involve 175,000 MT each by the end of January and February, and the 150,000 MT balance by the end of March.

Stocks procured in September brought the total volume of rice contracted for this year to 1.787 million MT. This includes the 500,000 MT imported in February and 250,000 MT in June, both via the government-to-government procurement scheme. It also covers private sector importation under the minimum access volume (MAV) commitment for this year. The government in July contracted 187,000 MT under the MAV-omnibus origin scheme and 600,000 MT under the MAV-country specific quota.Mr. Balisacan said the additional provision was meant to ensure the supply of rice is adequate."What we want to do is to err on the oversupply side because we have learned that when the supply is compromised, prices can shoot up as they did in 2014 and 2013. We don't want that thing to happen again," Mr. Balisacan said.

Vietnam Becomes Cuba’s Second Most Important Asian Partner

October 1, 2015 | 
By Pilar Montes

The president of Vietnam at the conclusion of his visit to Cuba.  Foto:

HAVANA TIMES — The Vietnamese, traditionally regarded as the poor brothers-in-arms who fought against the French and the United States and won, will surely be seen in a different light by Cubans after the Vietnamese President’s visit to the island, which came to a close this October 1.This outdated image of Vietnam is in part owed to the distance between the two nations and, to a great extent, the lack of precise information regarding the country’s political and economic achievements – about how, with a stoic discipline worthy of imitation, they have managed to reconstruct a ruined country in only three decades.
Vast areas of the country were incinerated (along with thousands of their inhabitants, particularly the most vulnerable) by Agent Orange. Cuba sent medical and agricultural aid, helping the country restore its poultry and coffee industries.I still remember how Vietnamese students in East European boarding schools, humbly seeking to earn a degree, lived in groups of two on a single stipend, sharing articles of clothing to save money and return home with the electrical appliances one could not find in their impoverished nation.

Today, however, they are paying Cuba back for its solidarity with experts on rice, soy and maize. Vietnam has become the world’s second largest exporter of rice and the first exporter of coffee, while the Cuban economy still struggles to become more efficient (blaming everything on the US blockade).Vietnam is making investments abroad and comes to Cuba in search of knowledge and medications, the only two areas where the island has achieved greater development.



Vietnamese firms and banks signed six agreements with Cuba in Havana as a result of the 1st Bilateral Business Forum, before Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, Cuban Vice-President Ricardo Cabrisas and officials from both governments.Around fifty businesspeople accompanied the Vietnamese leader on his visit to Cuba, scheduled to end today. They met with their counterparts on the island for the 55th anniversary of relations between the two countries.President Truing Tan Sang addressed forum participants and acknowledged that the reform of Cuba’s economic model (begun in 2009) has created favorable conditions for foreign investors, such that more Vietnamese entrepreneurs are sure to become interested in investing in Cuba.

Tan Sang added that Vietnam will continue to offer Cuba technical support to improve its rice production, and that he will visit the plantations where Vietnamese experts are working. In this connection, he said that 400,000 tons of rice had been produced in the country and that an additional 300,000 were still to be imported. “To continue broadening cooperation, we will also work together in soy and maize plantations,” he added.The Vietnamese leader said that trade with Cuba was still beneath its full potential and explained that Vietnam exports some 200 million dollars in products per year and imports a mere 10 million. “We have to do more in terms of cooperation and investment,” he stated.Vice-Chair of the Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas underscored the benefits of Vietnam’s support for Cuba’s food program, particularly rice production.

Cuba’s bio-pharmaceutical sector stands out for exporting to Vietnam medications that contribute to the development of the country’s public health sector. In this connection, Cabrisas reported that BioCubaFarma is now working together with Vietnamese companies.With these new agreements, Vietnam has become Cuba’s second most important economic partner in Asia (behind China). According to the Chair of Cuba’s Chamber of Commerce Orlando Hernandez Guillen, in the first half of 2015 alone, trade with the land of Ho Chi Minh has grown by nine percent.Vietnam’s Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development signed separate agreements with the Cuban National Bank and the Cuban International Financial Bank to broaden relations in the agricultural sector.

Another agreement provides for the creation of a joint venture company that is to build a 5-star hotel in Havana, under the management of Cubanacan.Similarly, agreements for the creation of a joint venture in the Mariel Special Development Zone were also signed. The company will produce and market detergent by the Cuban company Suchel-Int. Cuba’s oil company CUPET and PetroVietnam also signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at increasing oil production on the island.

Gov’t exporter sits out rice deal

Employees at a rice warehouse in Phnom Penh stack bags of rice earlier this year for processing. The Cambodia Rice Federation is seeking a part of Indonesia’s 1.5 million tonne rice tender. Heng Chivoan
Thu, 1 October 2015
ndonesia, the world’s third-biggest rice consumer, is looking to place a mammoth government-to-government order to import 1.5 million tonnes of rice, but state-owned rice exporter Green Trade said yesterday that it has no plan to enter a bid.Heang Vutha, director-general of Green Trade, said he was not contacted by the Indonesian government and had been unaware of the prospective rice deal. However, the volume requested and the November-through-January delivery date ruled out any Cambodian participation.“We will not have enough rice for them, and the timeframe they have set is too short,” he said, adding that Green Trade only has the capacity to deliver 2,000 tonnes of milled rice per month.Indonesia’s vice president last week said his country plans to import 1.5 million tonnes of rice to avert a spike in prices as the effect of the El Nino weather phenomenon cut into domestic supply.“We are forced to import because of the drought,” Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla told local media.
“We’re taking rice issues very seriously. We could delay imports of chilies or shallots, but when it comes to rice, we’re not playing around.”Bulog, Indonesia’s state rice procurement agency, was reportedly looking to Thailand and Vietnam to fill the order.But Thailand’s rice exporter association told the Bangkok Post this week that Indonesia might have to import from other countries as well, as neither Thailand nor Vietnam had the capacity to deliver 1.5 million tonnes within the given timeframe.Kim Savuth, vice president of the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF), said the Cambodian government should give the private sector a chance to participate.He said the CRF, which represents nearly 100 rice millers and exporters, has surplus stock and could help fill the order on its behalf.“If the government can negotiate a contract with Indonesia, we have plenty of rice to supply to them,” he said.
However, the private sector is not waiting for an introduction. Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice and a CRF member, said the federation plans to send a letter to Bulog expressing its intent to supply a portion of the rice contract.“We have the right to negotiate with them directly, without Green Trade,” he said.“Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol has granted approval to the CRF to work directly with Bulog, and our members met already to discuss exporting rice to Indonesia.”Saran said CRF members had a combined total of 100,000 tonnes of rice in storehouses, though much of this was already earmarked for other export contracts.He estimated that 60,000 tonnes of rice could be exported by the Indonesian government’s deadline.Indonesia has not said whether it would be willing to divide the supply contract into smaller orders.In September, Green Trade declined to participate in a tender by the Philippine government to import 750,000 tonnes of rice, saying it could not compete on price with neighboring Thailand and Vietnam.

It sat out the government auction having already lost two consecutive bids to its rivals.Higher transport and milling costs cancel out the comparative advantage in milled rice that Cambodia enjoys due to its low farm-gate prices of paddy rice. But beyond cost is a question of supply.“The most important is whether we have enough rice to export or not?” said Ly May, manager of Meng Hong Leap Logistics Co.She said her cargo transport firm has the resources to ship about 40,000 tonnes of rice a month by sea, but questions whether rice millers can supply even that amount to fill the Indonesian order.
Cambodia exported 369,000 tonnes of milled rice during the first nine months of 2015, a 37 per cent increase over the same period a year earlier, according to data released yesterday by the Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Exports.Exports rose despite a 31.7 per cent drop in September shipments, compared to one year earlier.While the European Union continues to be the largest export destination for Cambodian rice, accounting for 64 per cent of shipments, China is the single largest importing country, receiving 78,000 tonnes last year.

Thai rice illegally imported into Myanmar

By Khin Wyne Phyu Phyu   |   Thursday, 01 October 201
As domestic rice prices increase, cheaper and higher quality rice is now being illegally imported from Thailand, Myanmar rice traders say.

Speculation over rice shortages since nationwide flooding in July and August increased transportation costs in some areas, and high production costs for farmers have driven up rice prices around the country. To still the hunger for cheaper grains, an illegal trade in rice from Thailand has sprung up in September.“Rice trade from Thailand to Myanmar started this year with good-quality rice for lower prices than domestic rice,” said U Than Oo, secretary of Bayinnaung market in Yangon and a rice trader.Myanmar rice prices are now between K28,000 and K30,000 per 50-kilogram bag, while the same sized bag from Thailand costs about K25,000 to K26,000, he said.The type of rice imported from Thailand is the same quality as Sin Thwe Lat rice from Myanmar. It is not as soft as domestic rice and has a stronger taste, which is more popular with Myanmar consumers.“Their price is lower than that of Yangon-produced rice and is pure, of good quality and contains no broken rice,” said U Chan Thar Oo, a rice trader from Muse.Thai rice enters the Myanmar market illegally through the Myawaddy border gate but Myanmar rice traders hope that the trade will die out during the harvest season.

“Thai rice is sold here now that our rice has become expensive, but the sellers will disappear when our new rice is harvested. They have no permit so this is only for the short term,” said U Min Thein, chair of the Muse Rice wholesale centre.The domestic rice price fluctuates depending on the amount of grains stored by millers during the harvesting season. In the aftermath of floodingthat damaged about 700,000 acres of farmland since July, the Myanmar Rice Federation opened shops across the country to ease speculation about rice shortages and stabilise prices, in addition to a temporary ban on exports until October 15.“We can get a good price for our rice if we store more, but we need to store it properly,” said the owner of Zwel Rice Shop from Shwe Pyi Thar township.

Myanmar’s rice exports are largely dependent on Chinese demand. Farmers can sell their rice directly across the border to China, even if the quality of the rice is not high.“Thai traders can’t threaten our export market – we are a bigger supplier to the Chinese market. While they have good-quality rice, it is expensive. Myanmar rice is cheap and is purified after the rice arrives [in China],” said U Than Oo.Although most rice traders don’t seem to be concerned about the imports of Thai rice, U Chan Thar Oo, the rice trader from Muse, is worried that Myanmar’s rice trade will fall behind.
“Farmers use insecticide and fertilizer without thinking of the consequences and lands are destroyed because of floods. If we can’t change that situation, it will be difficult to yield hundreds of baskets from an acre of paddy field,” U Chan Thar Oo said.Thai farmers are able to keep their prices lower because of the use of advanced farming technologies, compared to the methods used by Myanmar farmers.“Their agricultural technology is better than ours. They get 200 baskets out of 1 acre, whereas here, the harvest is about 80 baskets per acre,” said U Chan Thar Oo.
FCI starts paddy procurement today
 Posted at: Oct 1 2015 12:55AM
Paddy stocks at the grain market in Thanesar on Wednesday.
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 30

State Food and Supplies Minister Karan Dev Kamboj has said for the convenience of farmers, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) would start paddy procurement from tomorrow.He said the state government was aware all the grievances of rice millers and solution had also been found to their problems. In this regard, two meetings under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had already been held with rice millers. They were satisfied with the decisions taken by the state government, he maintained.
Kamboj said more than 12 demands of rice millers were fulfilled at their meeting. These included reducing their security fee, installation of cameras and tarpaulin etc. “Apart from this, the state government has also written to the Centre to consider the tax being levied on the dispatched goods.”In the current procurement season, 56,350 metric tonnes (MT) of paddy arrived in the state mandis till yesterday.As on September 29, Ambala had received the maximum amount of paddy at 25,572 MT. Of the total arrival, 426 MT have arrived in Jind, 13,308 MT in Karnal, 2,279 MT in Kurukshetra, 8,295 MT in Panchkula and 6,650 MT in Yamunanagar.He added that out of the total arrival, government procurement agencies had purchased 43,831 MT. The rice millers and dealers had purchased 12,699 MT.
Rice millers call off strike, claims govt
Chandigarh: A delegation led by Jaipal Jain, Executive President, Haryana Rice Millers and Dealers Association, met CM Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday and decided to call off their strike with immediate effect. Also, the association assured to procure paddy in mandis of the state on government rates. Jain said the govt heard all their demands and assured them of positive action. The state has made some amendments in 2013-14 policy according to which millers would pay only Rs 6 lakh as security instead of Rs 10 lakh. — TNS

Grains Q3 Review And Q4 Outlook

Oct. 1, 2015 6:21 AM
Grain prices move lower in Q3.
A third straight year of bumper crops weighs on price.Rice is the superstar.Wheat is the weakest grain.El Nino could affect prices going forward.After rallying on the final day of trading in the second quarter of 2015, grain gave up most gains throughout the third quarter as excellent growing conditions led to a third straight year of bumper crops. The September U.S. Department of Agriculture World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report validated big supplies in corn, soybeans and wheat. The only positive thing about the report for price was that the USDA lowered estimates for ending stocks in corn.

A composite of the grain sector fell by 5.74% in Q3. There are some years when weather affects crop production. We saw that during the drought of 2012, which sent the price of corn, soybeans and wheat to dizzying heights. In 2014, the weather cooperated and the crops were enormous. It appears that the 2015 crop in the U.S. for corn, wheat and soybeans is a repeat of 2014 and that ample supplies will be available to the market after the harvest, which is beginning now.

U.S. Rice Responds as El Niño Takes Its Toll in Central and South America   
ARLINGTON, VA -- This is the second year in a row the Southern Hemisphere's cereal harvest has been negatively affected by severe dry weather related to El Niño and some are saying it's the worst in the past 18 years.  El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua have begun distributing agricultural aid packages to hundreds of thousands of farmers to support them in the second planting season. 

Countries throughout South America have also been hit hard by El Niño.  Venezuela, which has suffered major crop shortages, has turned to the U.S. to fulfill its consumption needs. Total rough rice sales to Venezuela are at nearly 150,000 MT within just the past two months.  At the same time, Panamanian farmers had to reduce rice planting by 50 percent because of water shortages and U.S. sales rose to 60,000 MT.  Guatemala and Honduras have imported nearly 20,000 MT each this year.  As noted earlier this month (seeUSA Rice Daily, September 9, 2015), Honduran drought conditions led to a rice shortage and an allowance for imports of 25,000 MT of U.S. rice above the tariff rate quota amount.                                                                
"The substantial reduction in local production in the region has led to a surge of U.S. rice exports in a short time period," said Brian King, chairman of the USA Rice Western Hemisphere Promotion Subcommittee.  "Our sympathies go to the farmers in these countries as we know all too well how unpredictable Mother Nature can be."

U.S. rice exports surge
Hy-Vee Dietitians Urge Shoppers to Think Rice    
ARLINGTON, VA -- This September, USA Rice partnered with supermarket registered dietitians (SRDs) at Hy-Vee, a chain with 236 supermarkets located throughout Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  All month long, Hy-Vee SRDs spread the word about U.S.-grown rice and National Rice Month (NRM) online, in stores, and through local media outlets

In the September issue of Hy-Vee's Healthy Bites e-newsletter, USA Rice's Cranberry Pecan Rice Pilaf was featured as a 'Dietitian Recipe of the Month.'  The newsletter promoted NRM as well as the health benefits and culinary versatility of rice to more than 90,000 subscribers and was also published on the Hy-Vee website that receives more than 800,000 unique visitors per month.

"Since Hy-Vee has an in-store dietitian at each of their locations, we made sure they received USA Rice's recipe cards and SRD toolkits to use while interacting with shoppers," said Paul Galvani, chairman of the USA Rice Retail Subcommittee.  "One dietitian even created a short Facebook video right from the rice aisle - she called out NRM and discussed the health and affordability of U.S. rice."

As part of the NRM promotion, the Hy-Vee corporate dietitian team provided all in-store dietitians with a 'Think Rice for Family Meals and Sides' media pitch to use with local media outlets.  Several news article placements and one local TV segment called attention to NRM and featured content from USA Rice's SRD toolkit.  All together, these placements exposed more than one million consumers to the health, economic, and culinary benefits of U.S.-grown rice.

"Hy-Vee is a food retailer known for its health and wellness initiatives, so partnering with their dietitians to promote U.S. rice was quite valuable," said Galvani.  "This is just one example of how USA Rice partners with retail grocers to communicate our message.  Hy-Vee dietitians are trusted champions of U.S.-grown rice and we thank them for their support and promotion of National Rice Month."
Weekly Rice Sales, Exports Reported  
WASHINGTON, DC -- Net rice sales of 70,500 MT for 2015/2016, up 19 percent from the previous week and 5 percent from the prior four-week average, were reported for Japan (24,100 MT), Mexico (23,200 MT), Haiti (11,500 MT), unknown destinations (5,900 MT), and Canada (2,100 MT), according to today's Export Sales Highlights report. Decreases were reported for Taiwan (400 MT). 

Exports of 42,200 MT, down 55 percent from the previous week and 60 percent from the prior four-week average, were reported to Haiti (15,200 MT), Japan (12,000 MT), Mexico (3,100 MT), South Korea (2,900 MT), and Canada (2,400 MT). 

This summary is based on reports from exporters from the period September 18-24, 2015.
CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for October 1
Net Change

November 2015
+ $0.100
January 2016
+ $0.090
March 2016
+ $0.100
May 2016
+ $0.095
July 2016
+ $0.085
September 2016
+ $0.035
November 2016
+ $0.035

Purple bran rice defies convention: healthy, tasty

September 30, 2015 8:35 am
If I presented you with a bowl of steaming purple rice, would you eat it?
Most of us are accustomed to white or brown rice as a staple in our diet. But according to plant breeder Anna McClung, we are missing out. “It’s all about what we’re used to,” said McClung. “If what we’ve known is white, uniform rice, that’s what we will want.”
McClung knows her rice. She’s director of the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Stuttgart, Ark., whose mission is to maintain and improve national rice varieties.
The Research Center curates a rice bank of over 18,0000 varieties of this globally important crop. McClung and her colleagues are caretakers of the rice collection, and explorers of natural genetic diversity. They identify useful traits like disease resistance, high yields, and pest resistance. They mix and match up rice varieties using traditional plant breeding to maximize these characteristics. Just as heirloom tomatoes pass through generations of farmers, rice varieties are carefully preserved or crossed with other varieties to capture favorable genes.
Rice comes in a brilliant array of colors: red, brown, and yes, purple. The common white rice ubiquitous in stores and restaurants has been stripped of its bran layer. Bran is the hard outer layer of rice. Removing the bran means losing the rice’s color, nutrients, fiber, and protein. What remains is mostly starch, which quickly breaks down into sugar in the gut.
“There’s been a shift in the U.S. away from white rice because of health concerns,” said McClung. “We’re looking at rice varieties that can deliver nutrition.” This is a challenge for rice breeders, especially if these healthier rice varieties aren’t quite as tasty as conventional rices, or take longer to cook.
The quest for a perfect balance of health and taste led McClung to purple rice. Specifically a variety dubbed “IAC 600” gifted from a Brazilian collaborator. This rice originated in China, where purple rice has been venerated for centuries as a healthful variety, brought out for special occasions and for the sick. Like many highly pigmented foods (think blueberries and grapes), purple rice is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemicals that fight off the free radicals that damage cells and can lead to cancer and other health problems. Purple rice is chock full of antioxidants, comparable to broccoli and other highly acclaimed disease-fighting foods.
The rice also happens to be delicious. “Not only is IAC 600 a deep, gorgeous purple, it’s some of the best tasting rice I’ve ever had,” said McClung, “Its aromatic like basmati rice, and has a nutty flavor.”
One of the biggest impediments to getting purple rice to commercial markets is that it’s incredibly high maintenance. It has to be isolated from other rice at every step of production — planting, harvesting, processing, packaging. If mixed with other varieties, the rice’s identity is compromised. Producers don’t necessarily want to take on the risk and hassle of keeping the rice isolated. And as rice is a globally traded commodity, the established rice stakeholders aren’t interested in promoting unique rice varieties.

Trade analysts to discuss U.S. competitiveness in rice export markets

Oct 1, 2015Delta Farm Press
 “Major factors affecting competitiveness, such as cost structures, level of product quality, and status as reliable suppliers will be discussed for the United States and other major rice producing and trading countries,” says Dr. Bobby Coats, professor of economics and agribusiness at the university and moderator of the webinar series.

Marin Weaver
U.S. rice producers face a number of challenges in the global market, not the least of which come from tariffs and other import restrictions imposed by foreign governments, according to a report compiled by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The next in the series of University of Arkansas Food and Agribusiness Webinars will present a discussion of the USITC’s investigation of the “Global Competitiveness of the U.S. Rice Industry” by three of the report’s authors.To register for the webinar, which will begin at 11 a.m. on Oct. 7, visit
“Major factors affecting competitiveness, such as cost structures, level of product quality, and status as reliable suppliers will be discussed for the United States and other major rice producing and trading countries,” says Dr. Bobby Coats, professor of economics and agribusiness at the university and moderator of the webinar series.
Presenters will be John Giamalva, Marin Weaver, and Lesley Ahmed, international trade analysts at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington.John Giamalva was a project leader for the Commission report on the global competitive of U.S. rice. Previously, he worked in the Applied Economics Division at the Commission as an economist assigned to various antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and was detailed as an aide to Commissioner Koplan for three years.
Before coming to work at the Commission, John was employed as a research Associate at the University of Arkansas conducting research on consumer willingness to pay for food safety. John is a graduate of Louisiana State University and the University of Arkansas.Marin Weaver was a project leader for the Commission report on global competitiveness of the rice industry and has also worked at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as the director for the Generalized System of Preferences program and at the U.S. Department of Commerce as an international trade analyst conducting antidumping duty investigations.She is a graduate of the University of Richmond and the London School of Economics and Political Science. 
Lesley Ahmed covers the USITC’s grain and cereal product portfolio, contributing to trade analysis on these and other agricultural commodities. Lesley has also worked for the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service as an agricultural economist and as the International Trade Program manager for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. She received her M.S. and B.S. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University.
To read the USITC’s report on Rice: Global Competitive of the U.S. Industry, visit

Download/View On-Line the above News in pdf format,just click the following link