Friday, October 16, 2015

16th October,2015 Daily Global,Regional & Local Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Rice News Headlines...
ü  India may achieve rice production target of 106 mt
ü  PHL trims Q3 rice production estimate, stocks shrink further
ü  Rice farmers worry glut will force down prices
ü  APEDA Commodity News from India
ü  Knowledge regarding climate change in Pakistan appalling
ü  Banks try to forcibly recover loans from rice millers
ü  Ban on inland importation is still in force – Ministry
ü  India’s poorest district Nabarangpur, MNC seed majors are growing deep roots
ü  One record we are not proud of
ü  More cane growers jump on board as Mackay's latest rice crop flourishes
ü  Rice retailers reluctant to cut prices
ü  Thai famers warned again not to grow off-season rice
ü  7th rice auction fetches 1.05 billion baht with 1.4 billion baht loss
ü  Nigeria To Stop Rice Importation In The Next 2 Years
ü  Muslim religious leaders called for agri dev't
ü  PhilRice Midsayap, DSWD forge partnership
ü  Rice off the menu: Asia's hunger for bread and pastries boosts wheat demand
ü  Purple bran rice defies convention
ü  Govt sells rice at B14,000 loss per tonne
ü  Anuga 2015:  Understanding Challenges Facing U.S. Rice in Europe      
ü  CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures  


News Detail...


India may achieve rice production target of 106 mt

By Prabhudatta Mishra Oct 15 2015 , New Delhi
Tags: Agriculture
Rice production in India, the world’s second largest producer after China, may achieve the target this year even as deficient monsoon is expected to lower output of other crops.The output may be between 106-108 million tonnes, KV Prabhu, joint director at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IGRI), said in New Delhi on Thursday. Despite an overall deficit in rainfall, rice yield has improved due to adoption of new technology, he said. As of now, he also foresaw no problem for rabi rice.
India received 14 per cent lower than normal rains during the June-September monsoon season as the emergence of El Nino in the second half of the year affected the weather pattern. The government has estimated kharif foodgrain output to fall to 124.05 million tonnes from 126.31 million tonnes a year earlier.The kharif rice output is pegged at 90.61 million tonnes in the first advance estimate by the agriculture ministry. The first estimates of crops are normally pegged at a conservative level and revised upwards in subsequent releases. The government has targeted 106.1 million tonnes of rice production this year from both kharif and rabi seasons.

As farmers make every effort to protect their crops and increase yield, the government should also help them when prices fall, Prabhu said. He also said that the government should set up a trading company exclusively for basmati rice.“Demand for basmati rice will not reduce. As traders control the system, the government should think of increasing the holding capacity of farmers so that they are not forced to sell on distress,” said Prabhu, one of the breeders who developed Pusa 1509 basmati rice that yields the highest quantity in little time. farmer gets 5.5 tonnes of paddy in Pusa 1509 in 120 days while the productivity drops to about 4 tonnes in another high yielding Pusa 1121 basmati variety.Currently, farmers of these two basmati varieties are not even realising their cost of production, he said, adding things would have been different had farmers heeded to the advice of finishing transplanting during the first week of August.As the duration of the crop is 120 days compared with 145 days or more in case of other varieties, farmers should plan in such a way that it can be harvested from end of October, Prabhu explained.

PHL trims Q3 rice production estimate, stocks shrink further

THE government said on Thursday that rice output in the third quarter was likely slightly lower than initially projected due to crop losses from a drought-inducing El Niño, pest attacks and typhoons, while stocks shrank for a fourth straight month.

Rice output in the third quarter was likely slightly lower than initially projected due to crop losses.
The government figures come ahead an evaluation by the country’s economic managers of a proposal to import an additional one million tons of rice for next year’s requirements.The country remains one of the world’s biggest buyers of rice, with imports approved for delivery this year reaching nearly 1.8 million tons. An additional 500,000 tons has been purchased and will be shipped in within the first quarter of next year.Unmilled rice production from July to September is now estimated at 2.579 million tons against a July forecast of 2.589 million tons, down nearly 15% from the same period last year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a report.

The PSA will announce the actual output figure next month, along with a new forecast for the fourth-quarter harvest.Total stocks of milled rice as of Sept. 1 stood at 1.96 million tons, falling further from this year’s peak of about 3.2 million tons as of May 1, despite recent imports from Vietnam and Thailand.Crop losses and food inflation worries have prompted the Philippines to boost its stocks with fresh imports. It is assuming a 25% drop in rice output due to the impact of the dry spell caused by El Niño, the same magnitude recorded in the 1997-1998 episode of the weather disturbance. –

Rice farmers worry glut will force down prices

Oct 15,2015
A bumper yield in rice is expected this year, government officials forecast, accelerating farmers’ worries of a plunge in prices. 

Data from Statistics Korea showed this year’s rice output is forecast to total 4.25 million tons, growing 0.4 percent, or about 17,000 tons, more than last year. The increase is nearly 7.5 percent higher than the average production.

“Last year, there was little damage by major insect pests, diseases and typhoons,” Park Sang-yeong, a Statistics Korea official, said on Wednesday at a briefing in the Sejong Government Complex. Production per 10 ares - an internationally-used gauge - is expected to reach 533 kilograms (1,175 pounds), expanding 2.5 percent from the previous year. It will be the second-largest crop ever, officials said, after 2009.

The record yield is occurring despite Korea losing paddy fields. The total area for rice farming has gradually shrunk over the past years, from 892,000 hectares (2.2 million acres) in 2010 to 816 hectares in 2014. This year it was 799,000 hectares, a drop of 2 percent from last year.

A primary reason for the reduction in paddy fields is the expansion of other interests, such as construction and farming of other agricultural products.

The consumption of rice, however, is also declining. The total amount of rice consumed by an average Korean for an entire year has fallen to 65.1 tons in 2014, from 80.7 tons in 2005.

“Koreans’ appetite has changed into a Western way, preferring meat and bread or skipping breakfast,” an Agriculture Ministry official said. “The new trend in meals is contracting the consumption of rice.”

Despite rising speculation of a rice glut, the government will not raise the amount of this year’s reserved rice, another Agriculture Ministry official said. Rather, it will cut about 70,000 tons for reserved rice from last year to 124,000 tons for this year.

“We set up the amount of reserved rice based on the international standard, allocating 17 percent of consumption,” the official said. “Even if we want to raise it, we can’t do that due to shrinking consumption.”

Currently, an 80-kilogram pack of rice costs 170,000 won ($150) in Korea, below the government target of 188,000 won. Although the government pays 85 percent of the gap between the target and market price to rice farmers, they say the target price should be raised.

Farmers hope the government will purchase more from them as reserved rice, as the government pays more.

“Although farmers receive subsidies from the government if the rice market is in a glut, the subsidies are about 80 percent of market prices,” an official from the South Jeolla Provincial Office in Muan County, a key rice-producing region, said. “Some activists claim an increasing amount of imported rice is triggering a surplus.”


APEDA Commodity News from India

International Benchmark Price
Price on: 14-10-2015
Benchmark Indicators Name
Turkish No. 2 whole pitted, CIF UK (USD/t)
Turkish No. 4 whole pitted, CIF UK (USD/t)
Turkish size 8, CIF UK (USD/t)
Iranian natural sultanas (Gouchan), CIF UK (USD/t)
South African Orange River, CIF UK (USD/t)
Turkish No 9 standard, FOB Izmir (USD/t)
White Sugar
CZCE White Sugar Futures (USD/t)
Kenya Mumias white sugar, EXW (USD/t)
Pakistani refined sugar, EXW Akbari Mandi (USD/t)
For more info
Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 13-10-2015
Domestic Prices
Unit Price : Rs per Qty
Market Center
Min Price
Max Price
Haliyala (Karnataka)
Koraput (Orissa)
Divai (Uttar Pradesh)
Amloh (Punjab)
Dehgam (Gujarat)
Siyana (Uttar Pradesh)
Manjeri (Kerala)
Jagraon (Punjab)
Mechua (West Bengal)
Palayam (Kerala)
Shillong (Meghalaya)
Pune (Maharashtra)
For more info
Rs per 100 No
Price on 14-10-2015
Market Center
Other International Prices
Unit Price : US$ per package
Price on 13-10-2015
Market Center
Onions Dry
Package: 50 lb sacks
Package: 30 1-lb film bags
Baby Peeled
Baby Peeled
Baby Peeled
Package: cartons tray pack
Red Delicious
Red Delicious
Red Delicious


Knowledge regarding climate change in Pakistan appalling

Published: October 15, 2015

UAF VC stresses need for agronomic diversity. PHOTO: REUTERS
LAHORE: Experts, academics, government officials and civil society activists discussed Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change on the second day of Pakistan sey Paris. The two major areas of concern discussed were the impact of climate change on the agriculture sector and water scarcity.“Earlier, the optimal season for growing wheat used to be October. Now it has crossed mid-November,” University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Iqrar Ahmed Khan observed while discussing the impact of changing weather patterns. han said two major changes had impacted crops’ growth cycle.  He said these were a rise in temperature and the erratic behaviour of precipitation.He stressed the need for agronomic diversity, since Pakistan’s agriculture sector largely focused on growing wheat, rice, cotton and sugarcane. He said there was a need to look into new technology to conserve water. “We also need to grow crops that are more water efficient,” Khan said.
“Agriculture is amongst the first victims of rising carbon dioxide levels,” said, Food and Agriculture Organisation Country Director Patrick T Evans said. He said Pakistan’s efforts to address climate change could result in increased food insecurity. Evans linked the problem of climate change to growing population. “It is important to address the issue of population growth,” he said.World Food Programme Deputy Country Director Stephen Gulling spoke about the need to create nationally-owned safety nets and programmes to address those particularly vulnerable to climate change. “We can no longer have a few organisations working on these issues. This requires strong leadership and partnership,” he said. Gulling said it was also crucial to look at ways of producing food that were resilient to climate change.The impact of climate change on health was discussed by Nosheen Usman of the World Health Organisation and Heartlife president Sania Nishtar. Usman highlighted the relationship between rising temperatures and increasing outbreaks of diseases like malaria and dengue.

Speakers also pointed out that Pakistan’s response to climate change had been lacklustre. “Our strategies and plans are the best prototypes but they only exist on paper,” International Union for Conservation of Nature country representative Mahmood Akhter Cheema said. He said the rate of deforestation in the country was also high.“The level of existing knowledge about climate change in Pakistan is appalling,” United Nations Development Programme Country Director Marc-Andre Franche said. Franche said while the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the Northern Areas was a great initiative, it would also increase truck movement that would lead to environmental degradation. He stressed the need to maintain a balance between development and the environment saying, “When it comes to developmental choices, Pakistan is still making choices of the ’50s and ’60s while the world happens to be in 2015,” Franche said.

He stressed the need to promote climate literacy saying it was not restricted to having more experts on the issue but also about enlightening government officials across the board. He said it was important to have officials who could think green when making decisions irrespective of their area of expertise.World Meteorological Society Vice President Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry who also authored the National Climate Change Policy discussed its chief aims. He said it took into account the need to adapt and introduce smart climate solutions. Chaudhry also spoke about the forthcoming conference in Paris sounding hopeful of reaching a final deal. “The US-China and the US-India deals in this regard are very important,” he said

Banks try to forcibly recover loans from rice millers

Published: October 15, 2015
Industry says relief package allows it to delay repayments for a year. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: The difficult days of people associated with the agriculture industry, particularly rice growers, millers and exporters, seem to be not ending as many banks are heaping pressure on mill owners to return their debt, the payment of which was deferred for a year under the prime minister’s relief package.

“Nearly all banks have stepped up pressure on us; in fact few of them have deployed staff in our warehouses and are not allowing owners to enter the premises until the clearance of debt,” said Faisal Cheema, Chairman of the Rice Mills Association, while talking to The Express Tribune.Under the Rs341-billion relief package, the repayment of outstanding loans of rice millers has been delayed until June 2016. Moreover, the millers have also been exempted from the minimum turnover tax for the tax year 2015 on the recommendation of a standing committee.
The decision was taken in a meeting arranged by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on September 4 this year. The huddle was a follow-up to a meeting held in the Prime Minister’s Office on September 2 where issues faced by the entire agriculture sector were discussed.Representatives of the SBP and other banks agreed in the meeting, where rice millers, growers and exporters were present, to facilitate the borrowers through loan rollovers and release the commodity pledged with them as its quality was deteriorating rapidly.However, Cheema argued that only one bank was following the instructions whereas others were pressurising the mill owners to repay the borrowed money.

“A fresh paddy crop has also arrived in the market, but no one is ready to purchase it because of the stock pile-up, estimated at more than 500,000 tons,” he said.Outstanding loans of basmati rice millers stood at Rs21.65 billion for 2014-15, whereas the loans taken for processing non-basmati rice stood at Rs8.9 billion.Responding to the criticism from opposition parties, the Election Commission of Pakistan later suspended application of three features of the relief package, but it did not touch the incentive given to the rice industry.The weakening international commodity markets have pushed down prices of commodities in Pakistan as well and the fresh paddy crop is available at much cheaper rates than the prices prevailed a year ago.“We were not at all impressed with the PM’s package; our per-acre loss has already exceeded Rs50,000,” claimed Haji Ramazan, Information Secretary of the Kissan Board Pakistan.

“We still demand announcement of support prices for paddy and cotton crops as the government did in the case of wheat; this may help stabilise paddy and cotton prices,” he said. “We know that the Rs5,000 per-acre subsidy given in the package is not enough and we also know how difficult it will be for poor farmers to get this facility.”“Growers of every crop are enduring losses due to the international price pressure; in Punjab it is a real debacle as farmers are uncertain what to do with the next crop in the face of liquidity crunch in the market,” said Hamid Malhi, Director of Farmers Associate Pakistan.“If we wait for the market to stabilise on its own, then it will turn into a nightmare for the farmers; the government should take action to save the rural economy,” Malhi added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.

Ban on inland importation is still in force – Ministry
The Ministry of Trade and Industry says it has not lifted the ban on inland importation of rice.
Government in 2013 imposed the ban to among other things ensure that government revenues are not lost to the smuggling of rice into the country following concerns the product was being smuggled into the country through the borders.The importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has however, expressed worry about the 2yr-old ban saying rice is still finding its way onto markets through unapproved routes.Executive Director of the association Sampson Asaki Awingobit is unhappy members of the association, are paying close to 42 percent in taxes including the 17.5 percent VAT and other import duties, while “others are easily smuggling the product into the country and competing with us on the market. This is simply unacceptable.
 You cannot say you have placed a ban on the importation of a product and after several months the products are still found on the market.”Mr. Awingobit accused the ministry of either “failing to deliver on its promise to ensure the law is adhered to or is simply playing games with us. We want the ministry to constitute a taskforce to clamp down on perpetrators.”Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Murtala Mohammed however said the ministry is not aware of any rice smuggling activities on the borders of Ghana.He emphasized that the ban is still in force saying there might be the need to strengthen an existing task force to ensure compliance.Bringing rice into this country illegally, he stressed, “is a crime because you evade tax and deprive the country and its people of much needed development, but we will investigate it to find out whether there is some truth in the allegations that have been made by the rice importers.
”A taskforce the minister added is already in place to check illegal importation and have already done some work on the matter.“I have even signed another document for them to go and do some more work but if the importers have any evidence on the issue, they should just report it to the ministry and we will ensure the taskforce clamps down on the perpetrators,” he noted.


India’s poorest district Nabarangpur, MNC seed majors are growing deep roots

Adivasi, Dalit farmers in Nabarangpur choose hybrids over traditional varieties.

Written by Harish Damodaran | Nabarangpur (odisha) | Updated: October 15, 2015 10:27 am
Hybrid seed brands at a store in Nabarangpur. (Source: Express photo by I Kameswar Rao)

It is India’s poorest district with over 70 per cent Adivasi and Dalit population — and yet a booming market for multinational and large domestic seed companies.The likes of Bayer CropScience, Syngenta, DuPont-Pioneer, Tata-Metahelix, US Agriseeds, Shriram Bioseed, JK Seeds and Advanta are reckoned to have sold 600-650 tonnes of hybrid paddy seeds in Nabarangpur district this kharif season. At an average of six kg planted per acre, these would have covered more than one lakh acres, or 40 per cent of Nabarangpur’s estimated paddy area of 100,684 hectares (2.5 lakh acres) this kharif season. This is way above the 5 per cent share of hybrids in the country’s cultivated rice area.

“Traditional/local varieties account for barely a tenth of the district’s total paddy area today. The balance 90 per cent is under open-pollinated high-yielding varieties (HYV) developed by public sector institutions and privately-bred hybrids. Within the 90 per cent, there could be a roughly 60:40 split between HYVs and hybrids,” says Sushil Haldar, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Nabarangpur.Such high levels of hybrid penetration may seem counterintuitive in a poor and backward district, dominated by Adivasi tribal communities such as Bhatra, Gond and Kandha.It is even more pronounced in maize, where hybrid seeds coverage for Nabarangpur is 100 per cent, as against the national average of 60 per cent. In 2013, when acreages peaked, multinationals led by Monsanto, DuPont-Pioneer, Limagrain and Syngenta — besides Shriram Bioseed, Kaveri Seeds and the Thailand-based Charoen Popkhand — reportedly sold 1,300-1,400 tonnes of hybrid maize seeds in the district. At 8 kg per acre, these would have got planted in 160,000-175,000 acres.The widespread adoption of hybrid technology may owe partly to aggressive marketing by firms — clearly noticeable from the posters of various hybrid seed brands plastered across walls and roadside trees across the district.
But that isn’t the sole reason.

“With Sopori (an indigenous rice variety), I get only 10-12 quintals of paddy per acre, whereas it is 18-20 quintals from Pooja (an HYV bred by the Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack) and 25 quintals from Dhaanya (the hybrid brand of Tata-Metahelix),” says Prabhunath Pujari, who has a five-acre farm near the Kosagumuda block headquarters. This Adivasi grower has, in the current season, planted Pooja paddy in three acres and the Dhaanya DRH-748 hybrid in the remaining two acres.Higher yield apart, farmers also cite lower labour requirement as a major advantage with hybrid paddy.“Since the seed rate is six kg per acre, you can have a plant-to-plant distance of 10 inches and it takes only 10 labourers to transplant one acre in a day. In the case of varieties, you need to plant 20 kg, which means a spacing of just four inches between plants which requires four times the labour,” says Praful Kumar Nayak, who has a 25 acre farm in Badambada village of Kosagumuda block.

Nayak, who belongs to the Mirgan Dalit caste, grows Bayer CropScience’s Arize-6444 Gold hybrid and a publicly-bred HYV, MTU-1001, on 10 acres each. On the five remaining acres, he cultivates Haldigoti, a traditional paddy purely for his family’s consumption. “It costs Rs 1,600 to plant six kg of hybrid paddy seeds, compared to Rs 320 for 20 kg of MTU-1001. But this is compensated by higher yields and lower labour requirement. I plant MTU-1001 only because it is more disease-resistant,” he says.Whatever might be the driving factors, one thing is clear: Nabarangpur’s farmers have taken to hybrid technology as much, if not more, than their counterparts in ostensibly richer and less backward parts of India.

One record we are not proud of

THERE is one record we are not proud of: We are the biggest importer of rice in the world.
In 2014, according to the International Rice Research Institute, the Philippines imported 1.7 million metric tons of rice. This year, 2015, 937,000 tons of rice have already entered the country, the National Food Authority (NFA) said. Before the year ends, 250,000 more tons of rice will be coming due to the expected shortage resulting from the worsening El Niño drought.This record of being the world’s biggest rice importer is specially grating to us in view of the fact that only two years ago, the administration was claiming we are about to achieve self-sufficiency in our rice production. The Department of Agriculture (DA) had succeeded in developing high-yielding rice varieties, some resistant to floods, some to drought, some to various plant diseases.

While the El Niño drought, which is now spreading in the country’s rice producing areas, has necessitated the big importations to avert a potential spiking of rice prices, this should not stop the government from proceeding with long-term plans to develop Philippine agriculture, the rice industry in particular.Sen. Chiz Escudero noted the other day that in the proposed national budget for 2016, the Department of Agriculture has a budget of only P93.4 billion. It should be two to three times that figure, he said. In particular, he cited a huge backload in farm-to-market roads for which P200 billion would be needed. More funds would also be needed to restore neglected irrigation systems and build new ones.A comprehensive and long-term program for Philippine agriculture is needed. The Bureau of Plant Industry is said to have already developed drought-resistant rice varieties that farmers can plant during the dry months of El Niño. It must be similarly ready to reach out to farmers with flood-resistant rice varieties, for Philippine weather is a succession of wet and dry periods. An over-all agricultural development program must also include post-harvest facilities, marketing assistance, cooperative organizations, and ways to meet many other needs of farmers.

Poverty remains the single biggest problem of our country today, and most of the nation’s poor live in the rural areas. Agricultural progress should, therefore, be a big part of any systematic poverty alleviation program. An increase in the funds for agriculture in the national budget for 2016 could be a first step in this direction.



More cane growers jump on board as Mackay's latest rice crop flourishes

Posted Wed at 8:56pm
Just three months after the Mackay region's first commercial rice crop was harvested, a new crop is flourishing with a much bigger set of numbers.
Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.
Agronomy business Farmacist now has eight cane growers hosting a rice crop totalling 64 hectares.Agronomist Natalie Fiocco said the success of the first harvest in July had convinced other cane growers to consider rice as a supplementary crop, especially with extremely low sugar prices this year."A lot of them had shown interest in the last crop and we've got a lot more interest in the [upcoming] summer crop as well," she said"This crop's growing quite well and we haven't had any issues."It's all come up with really good strike [rate] and we've got good weed control."There are several firsts about this crop, which was planted in August and is now 10-15 centimetres tall.

We wanted to check how much water you would require for the winter crop, because obviously we don't get a lot of rainfall at this time of year.

Natalie Fiocco, Agronomist
While the previous crop was the region's first commercial crop, it was planted in the summer.
This is the region's first winter-spring crop, so Farmacist is testing it under drier conditions, venturing into a whole new set of unknowns.Then there is the scale of this crop, which is six times as big as the first crop.Showing the rapid growth in interest among cane growers, only one grower hosted the first crop, whereas there are now eight growers on board.The crop will be harvested in December, and apart from the goal of making money by selling the rice, Farmacist hopes it will teach growers more about rice in Mackay at this time of year."We wanted to check how much water you would require for the winter crop, because obviously we don't get a lot of rainfall at this time of year," Ms Fiocco said."They say you use about 10 megalitres to the hectare for a good crop of rice, and we are still looking at how many megs we are going to need.
The variety of rice is called doongara and unlike most rice crops, such as those in Asia, this variety does not need to grow in flooded paddies, and it requires much less water.

Rice retailers reluctant to cut prices

KARACHI: Wholesale prices of rice have been on the slide since 2013-14, but retailers are reluctant to pass on the benefit to consumers.

Prices of various varieties of rice are falling mainly because of good crop and surplus stocks in the market, said Malik Zulfiqar Ali, senior vice chairman of the Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association (KWGA).Rates fell by Rs10-15 per kg of all the varieties in 2014-15 and Rs20-25 per kg in 2013-14. The wholesale price of Super Basmati rice has fallen to Rs80 per kg now from Rs120-130 in 2013-14, while Kainat Basmati is now available at Rs100 per kg compared to Rs150 per kg.Basmati-386 price fell to Rs40 from Rs60-65 per kg. Its new crop is now quoted at Rs32-35 per kg. Another variety of high quality basmati is now selling at Rs80 per kg in Dandia Bazaar as compared to Rs120 earlier this year. The wholesale price of Irri-6 is Rs28-30 per kg against Rs38-40 in 2013-14.Ali said huge quantity of basmati is finding its way into markets because of a slowdown in its exports since 2013-14.

“The government should do something for rice growers and provide incentives to them,” he said. “It should also help exporters by giving some subsidy or rebate.” He said India is selling its rice at lower price which is also affecting Pakistan’s exports.Retailers, on the other hand, are capitalising on the lack of consumers’ awareness about wholesale prices. They have kept the rate of Super Basmati in the range of Rs160-170 per kg while for No.2 quality they charge Rs140-150.Moreover, consumers usually do not have an eye for detecting the mixing of rice qualities by retailers.In July-August 2015-16, basmati exports fell to $70 million (57,540 tonnes) from $86m (66,833 tonnes) a year ago. In 2014-15, basmati exports fell to 490,831 tonnes ($587m) from 667,523 tonnes ($770m) in 2013-14.In other rice varieties, exporters shipped lower quantities in July-August 2014-15 but fetched good price. By contrast in the first two months of this fiscal year, exporters earned low price despite sending higher quantities.According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, exports of other varieties rose to 338,659 tonnes ($143m) in July-August 2015-16 from 281,251 ($144m).However, exports of other varieties rose to 3.29m tonnes ($1.44 billion) in 2014-15 from 3.04m ($1.4bn) in 2013-14.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2015

Thai famers warned again not to grow off-season rice

Famers warned again not to grow off-season rice

BANGKOK: — The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry has warned farmers again not to plant off-season rice as there is still insufficient water for rice farming in the upcoming dry season although there would be rains during the past weeks.
The ministry’s permanent secretary Teerapat Prayoonsit said yesterday that there are several large areas in the country that did not receive rain in the past few weeks.
In addition, it was apparent that water levels at four major Irrigation dams namely Bhumibol, Sirikit, Pasak Jolasid and Khwae Noi Bamrungdaen, and reservoirs and Kam Ling (monkey cheek) retention areas remained insufficient for the upcoming off-season rice farming next month. Accelerating artificial rain-making operations to help increase water levels at dams in the north and the northeastern regions will start by the end of this month when farmers will begin their off-season rice cultivation.He said the ministry is also working with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to dig more groundwater wells for farming purpose, adding the operations should begin today.
In another development, the Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation’s director-general Lersak Rewtarkulpaiboon said recent rain-making missions have achieved the target of increasing water levels at the four major dams to 3,700 million cubic metres.He said in the next two weeks, rain-making missions should help raise water levels the dams to 4,400 million cubic metres.But despite increased rainmaking missions, he said there will still be not enough water for off-season rice farming.He then urged farmers and the public to strictly heed the government’s recommendation on water conservation.The government has earlier said that it will give priority to households’ water consumption and warn farmers of planting off-season rice as water will be insufficient.

7th rice auction fetches 1.05 billion baht with 1.4 billion baht loss

7th rice auction fetches 1.05 billion baht with 1.4 billion baht loss
BANGKOK: — The Foreign Trade Department managed to sell only 112,000 tonnes out of 445,000 tonnes of milled rice put on auction worth about 1.05 billion baht in its seventh auction of the leftover rice bought under the rice pledging scheme of Ms Yingluck government.Commerce permanent secretary Ms Chutima Bunyaprapat said that 12 bidders offered high bids but only four of them were acceptable and the sale amounted to just 25.36 percent of the rice put on auction.She explained that the Foreign Trade Department did not announce the floor value for this auction but set a floor bidding price.
 However, she said that the auction this time fetched higher price than previous biddings after it was reported that Indonesia and Vietnam had placed purchasing orders for 500,000 tonnes and one million tonnes respectively.An informed Commerce Ministry source disclosed that the government would lose about 14,000 baht per tonne for the 112,000 tonnes of rice sold by auction this time or 1.4 billion baht loss based on the cost of 24,000 baht per tonne.11 auctions have so far been staged to offload the old rice stock bought under the rice pledging scheme. Altogether 4.66 million tonnes of rice were sold for 50.6 billion baht at a combined loss of 65.2 billion baht.Source:

Nigeria To Stop Rice Importation In The Next 2 Years

The Federal government has said it plans to stop the importation of rice in the next two years. However, it said that the policy would not be enforced until local industries have been developed to produce maximally for local consumption. The plan was communicated to State House Correspondents by Zamfara State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari after a joint meeting with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and permanent secretaries of federal ministries at the presidential villa, Abuja.According to Yari, with the emerging political will power of the present government and the availability of arable land, Nigeria can sustain itself with rice production.
“The meeting was on the new policy on agriculture and food sustainability. We discussed how we can boost rice production in Nigeria and start thinking about how we are going to put policy in place on how rice importation will be banned in the country.“We have the potential. We have the human resources. We have the arable land to grow rice. In the next two years, we will not need to bring rice from outside Nigeria. We are going to ban it.“It is only in Nigeria, a country of millions of people, that there is no food security. We discussed the policy with the relevant permanent secretaries and CBN governor.“The policy is going to be in place and we gave our commitment that we are ready to support the government policy in ensuring that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in food production in the next two years.“Nigeria is currently a major importer of rice. Now, the political will is in place to stop it. We in about nine states are going to be seriously engaged in massive rice production.“We are hoping that in the next two years, rice importation into Nigeria will be banned. We are committed and the political will is in place,” Governor Yari said.

Muslim religious leaders called for agri dev't
Researchers from PhilRice Midsayap in North Cotabato are tapping Muslim religious leaders in disseminating rice information and technologies and integrating the Islamic faith in agricultural development. Six Muslim religious leaders from the pilot test site in Bgy. Bugawas, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao were trained for two weeks on the Palaycheck system and other rice farming technologies to serve the community and capacitate their fellow farmers after the training.“Community organizing skills of Muslim religious leaders is commendable. They have good track record and are influential in their respective communities. Hence, the chance is high that locals will follow the technologies they will advocate,” said Dr. Sailila E. Abdula, PhilRice Midsayap acting branch director.The religious leaders chose six farmers from their community to whome they will pass on learnings from the training program using the farmer-to-farmer approach.“I feel more confident now in capacitating local farmers on new rice farming technologies.
This will come a long way considering that they are diligent and have high interest to try out what they have learned,” Abdulmumin Abdulkarim, one of the religious leaders trained, said.Salik Guilaludin, another religious leader, shared that he, too, has been teaching his fellow farmers on water management, fertilizer application, pest and nutrient management, and the importance of synchronous planting. Asynchronous planting is common in the area.We hope that the religious leaders we trained will continue to be champions of new rice farming technologies. This way, sustainability is guaranteed,” Abdula said.The project is in collaboration with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

PhilRice Midsayap, DSWD forge partnership

The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Midsayap, North Cotabato has partnered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to conduct skills training and enhancement on rice production for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries. Over 600 4Ps beneficiaries from Libungan, Aleosan, and Pigcawayan in North Cotabato will be trained on rice production specifically on pests and diseases management, chemical handling, and sustainable farming.The P7M project funded through DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program aims to assist and provide farmers with technology and farm inputs for rice production. It will also empower communities to be food-sufficient and improve their access to basic needs.“PhilRice and DSWD will work together to help 4Ps beneficiaries become self-reliant by venturing in various entrepreneurial farming activities,” said Gina D. Balleras, PhilRice Midsayap supervising science research specialist.
“We will conduct activities on the recent updates and advances in rice science and technologies such as on high-yielding varieties, improved crop management practices (PalayCheck System), Palayamanan Plus, ecological engineering-based pest management, pesticide management, and agroentrepreneurship.  At the end of the training, communities are expected to be equipped with the skills necessary to be successful in rice farming,” she added.Representatives from both implementing agencies were present during the project launch on 29 Sept during the station’s Farmers’ Field Day and Forum.The Field Day also served as an avenue for information dissemination on coping strategies on El Niño.

Rice off the menu: Asia's hunger for bread and pastries boosts wheat demand


Asia is losing some of its appetite for rice in favor of wheat, a trend that is nowhere more pronounced than South Korea where bread and pastries have become a new staple.From working mothers, who find toast more convenient to prepare for breakfast, to city dwellers flocking to new eateries for baguettes, South Koreans are at the forefront of an Asia-wide trend that has seen wheat demand climb at nearly twice the rate of rice consumption since 2008.And while Asia is largely self sufficient in rice, demand for bread and noodles from Mumbai to Manila has made Asia the largest and fastest growing market for wheat imports, shipping in more than 40 million tonnes annually for the past five years or 25 percent of world imports.

"I eat bread with coffee almost every morning," said Lee Seung-Hee, a 47-year-old working mother of two, who often gives her children bread as a snack between meals."My husband likes to have rice meals, so I try to cook rice for him. But when I'm too busy, I just give him bread."South Koreans spent an estimated 6.36 trillion won ($5.37 billion) last year on bread, sandwiches, bagels and pastries, according to SPC Group, owner of the Paris Croissant and Paris Baguette chains, which has even opened two stores in the French capital Paris as part of global expansion.Meanwhile, South Korea's rice consumption hit a record low of 65.1 kg per person last year, while flour consumption was the highest since 2006 at 33.6 kg, according to industry and official data.

"Housewives are increasingly having bread and coffee for brunch late morning instead of rice and kimchi," said Kang Byung-Oh, a business professor at Chung-Ang University, referring to the spicy local side dish.SPC Group, which runs Asia's biggest bread making plant and has about 5,000 bakeries in South Korea, said the local bread market has grown at an average of 15 percent per year since 2005."You can find this trend across Asia, as Asian countries become westernized...Food products from wheat flour are quick, convenient," said Koh Hee-Jong, an agriculture and life science professor at Seoul National University.

Rising wheat consumption has been focused on large cities where an emerging middle class is exposed to a proliferation of convenience foods from pizzas to sandwiches.In Indonesia, noodle consumption has helped increase wheat demand in the world's second-biggest importer by more than 60 percent since 2005 to nearly 8 million tonnes annually.Even in India, the world's second-largest wheat grower, consumption is projected to surpass output by more than 5 million tonnes this year, sparking the largest imports in eight years.
Indian wheat demand is especially strong in the Northern Plains where it is grown, but is rising in the south where naan bread and chapattis vie with traditional rice consumption.Bangladesh is expected to import around 3 million tonnes of wheat a year to help meet 4 million tonnes of local demand."We used to take rice three times a day. Now we are taking rice only once a day," said Humayra Ahmed, a bank employee and mother of two children in Dhaka. China has also seen wheat demand soar and consumed a record 118 million tonnes in 2014.Along with record pizza sales and noodle consumption, demand for cakes and pastries is also increasing."It's a symbol of lifestyle, consumers pair them (cakes and pastries) with coffee and chatting, and hanging out with friends," said Linda Li, senior research analyst at Mintel China.

With wheat production relatively low in some countries in Asia - South Korea only produces about 1-2 percent of its consumption - there is little alternative but to import more.
Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Canada, the United States and Europe have been the chief beneficiaries of Asian wheat demand, seeing collective exports swell by over 40 percent since 2005.But the relentless climb in wheat consumption does place a strain on exporters in places such as Australia to keep up."When you look at wheat consumption, it is to a very large degree driven by general increase in consumption as well as swap out of rice and other staples," said Ole Houe, an analyst at brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. "We need to produce a record crop every year just to meet the demand."
($1 = 1,183.7000 won)
(Additional reporting by Yuka Obayashi in TOKYO, Colin Packham in Sydney, Naveen Thukral in SINGAPORE, Ruma Paul in DHAKA and Dominique Patton in BEIJING; Editing by Gavin Maguire and Ed Davies)

An employee serves sandwiches during lunchtime at a bakery in central Seoul, South Korea, October 13, 2015.

Purple bran rice defies convention

By Crop Science Society of America October 14, 2015 | 4:15 pm EDT
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,” says 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, Arkansas, 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,” says 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,” says 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.McClung is hoping that purple rice will infiltrate the market on a small scale. It’s rich color, aromatic nutty flavor, and high levels of antioxidants make this rice special. Small farmers are already experimenting with it. Encouraging chefs to add purple rice to menus will also help promote its value to timid shoppers.Exploring historical and interesting types of rice can expand our palates and improve our health, says McClung, “We’re trying to open the door to new varieties.
AG Professional

Govt sells rice at B14,000 loss per tonne

15 Oct 2015 at 12:27
The Foreign Trade Department approved the sale of 112,000 tonnes of rice to four buyers in the latest auction, for a return of 1 billion baht -- an estimated loss to the state of 14,000 baht a tonne.Commerce permanent secretary Chutima Bunyapraphasara said the department offered 445,000 tonnes of rice for sale at its seventh auction this year. There were 12 bidders, but the department approved the sale of only a quarter of the grain as the offering prices were below the floor value.The sale will need further approval by the Rice Policy and Management Committee.The department did not announce the floor value to avoid leading the market price. The rate was set for internal consideration, Ms Chutima said. 
She said the offering prices were close to or higher than the previous round, but the market prices have already risen on news of Indonesia's purchase of 500,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand. “Therefore, the selling prices for this round were higher than previous rounds,” said Ms Chutima.A ministry source said the average selling price of this lot was about 10,000 baht, meaning that the government lost about 14,000 baht a tonne from the pledging cost of around 24,000 baht a tonne, according to a report in Post Today.With the sale of over 100,000 tonnes of rice, the government could face a loss of at least 1.4 billion baht. The latest sale takes total sales of rice approved by this government to 4.66 million tonnes, for a return of 50.6 billion baht. This means the country has incurred a loss of 65.2 billion baht, said the source.
A source in the rice trading community questioned the price criteria for approving the sales, as most bidders offered prices equal to or higher than previous auctions.The government is still in the process of quantifying the deteriorated rice, or grade C rice, and will later decide how to release the stock to the industrial sector, probably to be used for production of ethanol.
Bangkok Post
Anuga 2015:  Understanding Challenges Facing U.S. Rice in Europe    
  Jean-Paul Schepens (right) and USA Rice's Hartwig Schmidt working the rice ties 
COLOGNE, GERMANY -- Participating in Anuga 2015, the world's largest food show wrapping up here, brings many questions to mind.  "Is the gluten free trend continuing to grow in Europe and will this create opportunities for U.S. rice?"  "Why are we now adding aloe to drinks, is this a thing?" and "What will it take for U.S. grown long grain rice to return to the European market?"
In the end, the answer to the last question seems to be all about risk management. While the trade accepts and understands U.S. rice is free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), U.S. rice is still seen as a risky proposition because of the EU's zero tolerance with regard to GMOs. And as unrealistic as this policy is, it is still the law of the continent."We need to get another number besides zero, but there's been no political progress on this," said Jean-Paul Schepens, owner of Schepens & Company, one of the oldest and largest rice brokerage firms in the world and chair of the Rice Section at COCEREAL, the European Association of cereals, rice, and more.And until the GMO issue is resolved, the threat of expensive recalls linger.  But the GMO issue, while huge, is only part of the puzzle.The EU Commission is reporting that over the last several years, japonica production in Europe is rising, while indica (long grain) is falling.
"Europe is traditionally a place where japonica rices were grown.  It is only artificially that they have promoted long grain production in Europe, highly subsidized," said Schepens.  "I would say Europe is going to continue specializing in japonica rice.  We have already seen big increases this year, and eventually indica production will come down in Europe."Schepens said that for the marketing year just ended, the EU has seen record high imports of long grain rice and record high exports of European japonica, mainly to Turkey. "The forecast for next year is that we will see an increase for total EU rice production mostly in japonica," he said.But one variety's opportunity could present a threat to another.
"The substantial increase in production of high quality japonica rice in Europe is something we'll need to keep an eye on as it is creating additional challenges for us in Europe and the Middle East," said Chris Crutchfield, president of American Commodity Company who was here at Anuga."The European market used to be focused on quality, but unfortunately over the last 10 or 15 years there have been shifts and now it is only a matter of a price," Schepens said.  "The consequence has been that the quality of the rice you find in the supermarket has been going down."There doesn't seem to be any question about the quality of U.S. rice, but having been out of the market for years, reentering will be a matter of trust and price.
"We were forced to look for other origins and now we're quite happy with the quality we found," said Lionel Tissuet, Export Director for Soufflet Alimentaire, a huge food importing, manufacturing, retail company based in France.  "The U.S. is going to need to become more competitive on the world market."While that gets worked out, USA Rice participates in trade shows like Anuga to help spread the word and set the stage for the U.S.'s return."We are the ambassadors for U.S.-grown rice here working to improve and enhance the image for all varieties," said Hartwig Schmidt, USA Rice regional director.  "We also develop dozens of good trade leads for our members and when the time is right, we will be ready."
 Contact:  Michael Klein (703) 236-1458
CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for October 15
Net Change

November 2015
+ $0.135
January 2016
+ $0.140
March 2016
+ $0.135
May 2016
+ $0.105
July 2016
+ $0.075
September 2016
+ $0.015
November 2016
+ $0.015