Tuesday, November 17, 2015

16th November,2015 Daily Global,Regional & Local Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine-Latest Rice News Updates

Rice News Headlines...

·         Climate change: States must focus on risk management in agriculture

·         Better Rice initiative to help Mekong farmers

·         Buhari To Launch N20bn CBN Loan For Local Rice Farmers In Nigeria

·         PhilRice should help build farmers’ climate resilience’

·         Wrap Up With Rice Student Competition Nourishes Minds

·         CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures  

·         Rice prices may reach boiling point in coming months

·         Butte County rice farmers learn how it grows in Italy’s Po Valley

·         Kangaroo rogan josh

·         Deficient rains may push up rice prices

·         Basmati rice and sugar stocks up on favourable fundamentals

·         Amira Nature Foods Ltd Announces New Distribution Win in Northeast United States

·         APEDA Rice Commodity News

·         PH to miss 2015 rice output target, expects modest rise in Q1 2016

·         Farmers troubled by good rice harvest

·         El Niño, Lando to cut 2015 palay output by 3.54%


·         Govt strengthens prevention of commodity price fixing

·         Thailand to start sale of 2 mln T of spoiled rice this month

·         Annual rice imports of 1.1m tons required in Iran: official

·         Second-crop farmers given govt warnings

News Detail...

Climate change: States must focus on risk management in agriculture

Hindustan Times
Updated: Nov 16, 2015 22:55 IST

The farmers not only need access to climate-resistant varieties across agrarian products, but such interventions have to reach them before a natural disaster actually strikes. (Representative Photo: Arun Mondhe/ HT)

This year is turning out to be a milestone year for the world’s future: In September, 192 countries signed the Sustainable Development Goals and on November 30, delegates from 195 countries will converge in Paris for 12 days to hammer out a new global climate accord. There are several cross-cutting issues between the two mega meets, climate change and agriculture being the two big ones.
It is a no-brainer why the impact of climate change on agriculture is significant: While all economic activities experience hazards from nature, agriculture is one of the riskiest and climate change is becoming a source of significant additional risks for agriculture and food systems. In fact, in the last 40 years, the impact of climate change on agriculture has been significant and going forward, it will increasingly become tougher.

A World Bank paper says that each degree Celsius of global warming is projected to lead to an overall yield loss of about 5%. As climate change progresses, it is increasingly likely that current systems will no longer be viable in many locations. This is a serious warning for the world, particularly India, since figures show that the country will have 1.5 billion mouths to feed by 2030.
Description: http://www.hindustantimes.com/rf/image_size_640x362/HT/p2/2015/11/16/Pictures/neemuch-production-representative-wednesday-mondhe-agricultural-hindustan_cdff6e44-8c84-11e5-8626-d6ed0b59308e.jpg
The World Bank paper rightly advises focusing more on risk management in agriculture. There are already examples of such work: The International Rice Research Institute in collaboration with advanced US research labs, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, state agricultural universities, and the ministry of science and technology’s department of biotechnology have spearheaded plant breeding to develop strains of rice that are resistant to effects of climate change, like flash flood, stagnant flooding, salinity, and drought.Just think how much farmers in Bundelkhand and Maharashtra today would have benefited if they had access to drought-resistant crops. Investing in climate-resilient agriculture has several downstream effects: It can stem migration, improve rural demand and ensure food security. The farmers, however, not only need access to climate-resistant varieties across agrarian products, but such interventions have to reach them before a natural disaster actually strikes.

Better Rice initiative to help Mekong farmers

November, 16 2015 09:32:00

Farmers take care of rice field in the Mekong Delta Kien Giang Province. About 3,000 farmers from the region will benefit from a project called Better Rice Initiative Asia that has been launched in Can Tho City. — Photo VNA/VNS PhotoCAN THO (VNS) — About 3,000 farmers from three Mekong Delta provinces will benefit from a project called Better Rice Initiative Asia that has been launched in Can Tho City.Carried out as part of the Integrated Coastal Management Programme, the project aims to promote private-public partnerships along the rice value chain through adoption of a sustainable rice cultivation model harnessing the latest technologies.
Description: http://vietnamnews.vn/thumbnail/450/ttxvn_vudongxuan151109.jpg?url=Storage/Images/2015/11/16/ttxvn_vudongxuan151109.jpgIn the first phase, it will be carried out in the provinces of Dong Thap, Hau Giang, and Kien Giang. It will seek to improve farmers' knowledge of rice cultivation and promote the adoption of modern technologies in an environment-friendly and sustainable manner.Its focus is also to improve the rice value chain as a whole, from input to output, to strengthen the connection between rice production and market consumption to ensure rice quality and market satisfaction, enabling farmers to increase their incomes.
The project aims at increasing farmers' incomes by at least 30 per cent through increasing yields and/or reducing input costs by adopting innovative rice cultivation methods. Furthermore, it said, rice harvested from this project would meet EU quality standards."The focus of the project is innovative and synchronised technology solutions, including the use of good seeds, integrated crop management, water and nutrient management, integrated pest management … to utilize effectively rice input, increasing yields and quality, reducing losses and costs, and at the same time increasing labour productivity and farmers' incomes," Phan Huy Thong, Director of the Viet Nam National Agricultural Extension Centre, said.
"The project can contribute greatly to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change for sustainable rice production in Viet Nam."The project supports the stakeholders in the rice value chain in applying the large field model. This is a key measure to restructure Viet Nam's agriculture by increasing added value and farmers' incomes and boosting sustainable rice production."The other key stakeholders involved in the project are the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development of Dong Thap, Hau Giang and Kien Giang provinces, the International Rice Research Institute, and the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute. — VNS


Buhari To Launch N20bn CBN Loan For Local Rice Farmers In Nigeria

Description: Africa-Rice-Agriculture
President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) will on Tuesday officially launch N20billion ‘Anchor Borrowers’ Programme’ (ABP) which the Central Bank of Nigeria has set aside for rice farmers across the country.The programme which is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) aimed at creating an Ecosystem to link out-growers (Small Holder Farmers) to local processors will take place in Kebbi State.Under the ABP, the CBN in a statement Saturday said it has set aside the sum of N20 billion from the N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) for farmers at a single-digit interest rate of 9.0 per cent to address the challenges of poor funding.

The Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele who met with rice producers and millers recently, said that the developmental initiatives programme has been designed to create economic linkages between farmers and processors to not only ensure increased agricultural output of rice paddy, but also importantly close the gap between production and consumption by ramping up utilisation capacity of Nigeria’s integrated rice mills.Emefiele said if these noble objectives can be achieved, it is not unlikely that the country will require even more integrated milling capacity to meet the huge local production of rice paddy.

According to him, “The essence of the meeting was not to apportion blames to any party on the current prevailing situation but to identify ways for all stakeholders to work together in a creative synergy to mop up any excess unsold paddy and going forward key into the CBN’s ‘ABP.Emefiele who expressed optimism that the new initiative would work, urged millers and investors in the rice value chain who have been joined by representatives of the state governments of some key rice producing states to collaborate with the CBN to ensure that in the next few years Nigeria as a great country will no longer be one of the world’s highest importer of rice but a net exporter of the commodity.

He, however, said that the country can never fully attain its true potentials by simply importing everything into the country, stressing that such trend has resulted in the low operating capacities of the manufacturing industries and cannot be allowed to continue.He explained that policy document of the programme also indicated that the anchor borrowers’ programme will build capacity of banks in agricultural lending to farmers and entrepreneurs in the value chain, reduce commodity importation. It will also reduce the level of poverty among small holder farmers and create jobs while assisting rural small-holder farmers to grow from subsistence to commercial production levels.

He identified lack of mechanisation, low quality inputs and poor funding as major hindrances to rice production in Nigeria but stressed that the programme was aimed at solving the problem of finance.On the conditions for accessing the loan, the CBN boss said the farmers will be thoroughly trained on the global best agronomical practices.“The farmers must be a member of a validated cooperative before applying for the loan. We will find out how much it will take to produce one hectare of rice to determine the amount that will be given to each individual. The idea is to enhance efficient management of the resources” he said.Speaking further, he said Nigeria is a major rice producer with over 20 key rice producing states in the country with most cultivating under two seasons: wet and dry seasons.

“Rice is one crop in which the country has comparative advantage to easily become self-sufficient given the huge potentials that exists. Today, rice is no longer considered a luxury food to millions of Nigerians but has become a cereal that constitutes a major source of calories for both the rural and urban populations of the country.”“Indeed figures from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development indicate that in the period, 2012 to 2014 paddy rice production in the country grew from 4.5 million metric tones in 2012, to 7.89 million metric tones in 2013, peaking at 10.7 million MT in 2014.

”The Governor said that the capacity of the country to achieve even better production figures cannot be overemphasized, considering that only about 40 per cent of the available potential land area for rice production is currently being cultivated.He stated that the production figures above show that in recent history, the country had never witnessed such rapid growth of paddy rice production.Meanwhile, some dynamic features of this new agricultural initiative include the Identification and selection of Small Holder Farmers, grouping of out-growers into viable cooperatives/clusters, registration of the cooperatives, determination of the economics of selection and engagement of banks/ insurance companies, capacity Building of out-growers, banks’ staff and extension agents.Other salient features of the initiative also include opening of bank accounts by cooperatives/farmers, loan application and disbursement, commencement of agronomic practices and distribution of agro-inputs at recommended periods.


PhilRice should help build farmers’ climate resilience’

posted November 16, 2015 at 12:01 am by  Ferdie G. Domingo

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija—A former director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute said those in the agency must think out of the box as it pursues a climate-resilient agriculture for Filipino farmers.Calixto Protacio, former executive director, said this as the agency observed its 30th anniversary this weekend.The anniversary is marked by 70 rice varieties bred, 24 rice machines developed, 23 patents applied for, and several other achievements in rice research and development.
Protacio led the two-day celebration at PhilRice’s central experiment station here along with officials and various stakeholders, including farmers.“We are eager to do more so our research outputs will reach more farmers, particularly the resource-poor farmer,” Protacio said in his anniversary message.PhilRice, which has been leading rice R & D efforts since its founding in 1985, has provided cost-reducing and yield-enhancing technologies on rice.Muñoz Mayor Nestor Alvarez said with PhilRice, Muñoz is now heralded as among the major rice seeds hub in the country.“Muñoz is privileged to host PhilRice.

Along the national highway, one cannot help but notice the proliferation of rice seed centers, making the Science City a major rice seeds hub in the Philippines,” he said.This certainly creates a domino effect in terms of livelihood creation from people manning the rice fields, sales agents, to the many of input dealers in the city.Eduardo Jimmy P. Quilang, PhilRice deputy executive director for development, noted that the institute has become visible through the Be RICEponsible campaign, a nationwide initiative to convince local governments to issue ordinances on half-cup serving of rice on major food establishments to arrest the issue on rice wastage.Quilang said the campaign has yielded encouraging results. “We are all united to help reduce rice wastage in the Philippines,” he said.

Eden Gagelonia of the PhilRice’s rice engineering and mechanization division said the institute is also leading efforts to mechanize the rice industry. “A number of machines has been developed to help reduce work load in farming and make them useful even for women farmers.’’Meanwhile, former executive director Leocadio S. Sebastian advised PhilRice to “properly position itself” amid climate change and other threats to rice food production.“PhilRice should focus its programs, harness its networks and partners, and think outside the box in developing, together with our farmers and concerned stakeholders, options for a competitive, sustainable, and climate-smart agriculture,” said Sebastian, who headed PhilRice from 2000-2008.

Aside from its central experiment station here, PhilRice also has branch stations in Batac City, Ilocos Norte; San Mateo, Isabela; Los Baños, Laguna; Ligao City, Albay; Murcia, Negros Occidental; Romualdez, Agusan del Norte; Central Mindanao State University, Bukidon; and Midsayap, North Cotabato.In 2015, Philrice received the Anak ni Juan Award from the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPhl). It recognizes PhilRice as the agency with the most number of patents applied.Jerry Serapion, Philrice intellectual property management chief, said the award is a testament to the intensive knowledge production going on in the institute.As a research institute, PhilRice is tasked to advance the various frontiers of rice science. Protacio said that this year, more than 25 scientific publications have been produced by the institute’s researchers and scientists.

Some of these were even published in some of the most reputable journals in the world such as the Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment, International Journal of Ecology and Conservation, Philippine Journal of Crop Science, and the Philippine Agricultural Scientist.


Wrap Up With Rice Student Competition Nourishes Minds

TORONTO, CANADA -- U.S. brown rice was on the minds and in the hands of Toronto high school students during the 2015 Wrap Up With Rice culinary competition that took place last month at the Loblaws® Cooking School at Maple Leaf Gardens. USA Rice Director for International Promotion Sarah Moran said, "USA Rice participates in this event as a means to put rice into the hands of culinary educators to familiarize students with U.S.-grown rice, its health benefits, and applicability as a versatile and affordable cooking ingredient.  Inspiring the students and teachers to participate in the competition was r-icing on the cake!
"Three teams of four students each created a brown rice recipe in front of a seven-member judging panel, including media influencers, two of Canada's top chefs, and key members from both the Toronto District School Board and the Breakfast for Learning charity.
Moran said, "The students worked well under pressure even as judges and television cameras invaded their work stations.  Selecting a winning team was tough with the first and second place teams' only two points apart."The Grand Prize was awarded to the team from Central Tech Institute for their Fiesta Tomato, Corn, and Rice Soup.
 Second place was a Mexican Chicken and Rice Fiesta recipe created by Thistletown Collegiate Institute, and the team from Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute took third with their Cilantro and Lime Brown Rice Steak Wrap.The Wrap Up With Rice event was part of feed tomorrow, a week-long program dedicated to raising awareness and money to help feed Toronto school children and nourish hungry minds.
 First place winners -- $600 buys a lot of rice
Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444
CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   

CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for November 16  
Net Change

January 2016
- $0.305
March 2016
- $0.305
May 2016
- $0.300
July 2016
- $0.310
September 2016
- $0.310
November 2016
- $0.310
January 2017
- $0.310


Rice prices may reach boiling point in coming months

As per the government estimates, kharif rice production is estimated at 90.61 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year.NEW DELHI: After pulses, rice prices may also shoot up and reach a "boiling point" in the coming months due to depletingstocks and likely fall in its kharif output, according to industry body Assocham. The report, however, contradicts the current price trend in the market, where wholesale prices of non-basmati prices are ruling down at Rs 25 per kg as against Rs 30 per kg last year. Similarly, wholesale rates of premium basmati rice have declined sharply by about 30 per cent to Rs 44-45 per kg at present from Rs 62-65 per kg last season, as per traders. 
Description: RiceWhereas industry body Assocham in its study said after pulses, onion and mustard oil, rice prices may trouble consumers if timely adequate safeguards are not taken. "...prices of rice may shoot up and reach a boiling point in the coming months as the stock of the key staple cereal is depleting fast owing to deficient rains and fall in output," the study said. As per the government estimates, kharif rice production is estimated at 90.61 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year. "...this is unlikely to be achieved due to severe deficit rains in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh,
Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka and the best that could be achieved is 89 million tonnes," it said adding that overall rice output may be around 103 million tonnes during 2015-16. That apart, the study said rice stocks have declined in last three years from 24.59 million tonnes in 2012 to 13.89 million tonnes (plus unlimited paddy 3.61 tonnes) in stocks at present. "Increasing export outgo on account of PDS (Public Distribution System) and other welfare schemes will continue to weigh on availability in the open market. Unless government is able to handle the situation prudently, depleting stocks will soon reflect on the open market prices", adds the study.

The times of India

Butte County rice farmers learn how it grows in Italy’s Po Valley

By Mary Wurlitzer, Special to the Enterprise-Record
POSTED: 11/13/15, 10:01 PM PST | UPDATED: 3 DAYS AGO

Left to right, Brad and Mary Wurlitzer tour the farm of Italian rice grower Ambrogio Giovanni, during a recent visit to the Po Valley in Northern Italy.My interest in rice lead me to the 2015 World Expo in Milan, where the theme was “Feeding the Plant, Energy for Life.” Milan is in the Po Valley which is the largest and most important economic region in Italy. Countries who did not have their own pavilion formed clusters bringing specific foods to the masses.Rice was the No. 1 cluster because it is the staple food and source of energy for 3 billion people.After attending the Expo, I decide to find Italian rice farmers to visit and learn how they grow their non-sticky rice varieties such as Arborio, Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, which are the historical varieties.
The Vercelli area, west of Milan, is similar to the Sacramento valley in that it is flat with an extensive irrigation system (some designed by Leonardo da Vinci) obtaining water from the nearby mountains. It also has warm temperatures. The first records of rice growing in the Po Valley are from 1427 which yielded more than other grains could in the area. Two families were generous with their time and gave us a thorough tour of their farms. Lunch was a major part of this union, including various dishes of the rice they grew.One dish consisted of a wild boar with rice and another lunch provided various risotto rice dishes.
Description: Left to right, Brad and Mary Wurlitzer tour the farm of Italian rice grower Ambrogio Giovanni, during a recent visit to the Po Valley in northern Italy.
The Italians used to plant their rice one plant at a time by hand as late as the 1950s. Today Italians seed by machine with an adaptor that air drills the seed into the ground. Long black hoses are attached to a machine and easily positioned depending on where plants are desired. The plots are too small for aerial application of seed, as is done in California. Other crops — such as tomatoes, soybeans and corn — are rotated to help eliminate weeds in the rice fields. Italians do not have army worms in their fields, which is the case in California. Yet, they put up with nutria, which is a large, dark-colored, semiaquatic rodent originally found in South America.

 Burrowing is the most commonly reported damage caused by nutria, which diverts water from the rice fields. However, they also eat the part of the structural support of the plants.Water was an interesting topic considering California’s current condition. We visited one rice field south of Milan that had reconditioned water from Milan available any time. However, to the west of Milan, the area of Vercelli, water was restricted. Rice growers could only obtain water in their canals two days a week. The farmer had to figure out how to make that last for the rest of the week, even during flooding of the rice.
Old farm brick structures are used for their equipment storage, drying facilities and packaging distribution during the growing season. Most of these structures were built at the turn of the 19th century and are very picturesque, surrounded by rice and the other crops.Ambrogio Giovanni (www.risoandreone.it/en) showed us his drying facility, which took up huge corner of one of his farm structures. During harvest he would cut the rice after the dew lifted until 6 p.m. every day. Each day’s harvest fits into the dryer for 24 hours.By the time there was more rice to dry, the harvest from the day before would be processed and out of the dryer. Drying and packaging his own rice allowed him to label and distribute the rice to individual purchasers, farmers markets or restaurants in the area, keeping his cost down and profit high.

Giovanni also had the option to sell in quantity to wholesale companies to reach bigger markets if he desired.Birds were plentiful in the rice fields with storks, a black-faced ibis, great blue herons and white egrets. Our time in Italy was highlighted in our encounters with our new friends, the Italian rice growers. Hopefully, our new friends will one day take a tour of our rice fields in the Sacramento Valley.Mary Wurlitzer farms rice with her husband Brad in the Chico area. When traveling to various countries, the couple finds out if rice is grown and if so, they make it a point to visit that area. This year it was Italy in the Po Valley.

Image:Left to right, Brad and Mary Wurlitzer tour the farm of Italian rice grower Ambrogio Giovanni, during a recent visit to the Po Valley in northern Italy.

Kangaroo rogan josh

The classic Indian curry, rogan josh, gets an Australian feel with the addition of kangaroo. But don't think it's purely a meaty affair! Chickpeas, tomato and spinach add a wholesome quality to the hearty dish. If you're running short on time, the rogan josh curry mix can be substitued with a good-quality supermarket paste. 


Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add kangaroo in small batches and brown on both sides, set aside for later.To make the curry paste, heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over a low heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, stirring until well coated. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until onion is very soft. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes. Return browned kangaroo to the pan and pour over 1 cup water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 1½ hours. Add the yoghurt, stirring until well combined, cook for a further 30 minutes.To finish, stir in chopped tomatoes, spinach, chickpeas, lemon juice and coriander, stirring until heated through.Serve the curry garnished with coriander leaves with basmati rice, papadums and naan bread.

• If short on time, substitute the rogan josh curry mix with ¼ cup ready-made paste, available from supermarkets.

Recipe and photograhy from Gourmet Game.


Description: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/sites/sbs.com.au.food/files/styles/full/public/kangaroo-curry.jpg?itok=cRr05uqa&mtime=1446791080Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add kangaroo in small batches and brown on both sides, set aside for later.To make the curry paste, heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over a low heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, stirring until well coated. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until onion is very soft. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes. Return browned kangaroo to the pan and pour over 1 cup water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 1½ hours. Add the yoghurt, stirring until well combined, cook for a further 30 minutes.To finish, stir in chopped tomatoes, spinach, chickpeas, lemon juice and coriander, stirring until heated through.Serve the curry garnished with coriander leaves with basmati rice, papadums and naan bread.

• If short on time, substitute the rogan josh curry mix with ¼ cup ready-made paste, available from supermarkets.

Recipe and photograhy from Gourmet Game.


Deficient rains may push up rice prices: Assocham

Deccan Chronicle | November 16, 2015, 06.50 am IST

Description: Representational image
New Delhi: After pulses, rice prices may also shoot up and reach a “boiling point” in the coming months as stocks deplete due to deficient rains and fall in output, said industry body Assocham on Sunday. After pulses, onion and some edible oils like mustard oil, rice may cause pain if timely adequate safeguards are not taken, said the industry chamber.“Though the government estimates kharif rice production at 90.61 MMT, this  is  unlikely to be achieved due to severe deficit rains in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka and the best that could be achieved is 89 MMT,” it said. The study said that rice stocks have declined in last three years from 24.59 million tonnes in 2012 to 13.89 million tonnes (plus unlimited paddy 3.61 tonnes) in stocks at present.

“Increasing export outgo on account of PDS (Public Distribution System) and other welfare schemes will continue to weigh on availability in the open market.   Unless the government is able to handle the situation prudently, depleting stocks will soon reflect on the open market prices,” said Assocham. It said that given the huge domestic demand for rice, the government needs to closely monitor both prices and stock situation. Already a section of global exporting community is evaluating possibility of India entering international market for import of these commodities from 2017, if urgent steps are not taken to augment supplies, it said.“The consequences of deficient 2015 monsoon are likely to be far-reaching. Besides, slowing down the economy considerably and accentuating inflationary pressure coupled with shortages of essential food items across the country, it could also lead to dependence on import of essential food items.
 Already India is heavily short on vegetable oils and pulses and a recurring monsoon failure might push the country into a tight corner in respect of rice and sugar among others,” said Assocham.However, the report contradicts the current price trend in the market, where wholesale prices of non-basmati prices are ruling down at Rs 25 per kg as against Rs 30 per kg last year. Similarly, wholesale rates of premium basmati rice have declined sharply by about 30 per cent to Rs 44-45 per kg at present from Rs 62-65 per kg last season, as per traders.

Basmati rice and sugar stocks up on favourable fundamentals

Price moves up in physical markets, Iran to issue rice import licence; lower production estimates help sugar stocks
Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai November 16, 2015 Last Updated at 22:41 IST
Description: Basmati rice and sugar stocks up on favourable fundamentals 
Lifting of Iran sanctions boon for basmatiRice exporting companies rally as Iran opens up market for IndiaExporters expect Iran to issue fresh Basmati rice permits by DecBasmati rice exports to Iran via Dubai soar.Share prices of companies engaged in sugar production and basmati rice export rose sharply on Monday, on an increase in consumer demand.Basmati exporters are hoping for better days ahead on expectations that Iran, this country's largest importer, will soon start issuing licences in this regard. Sugar mills think their realisation will go up on lower domestic production.Among basmati shares, that of 'Dawat' brand producer LT Foods had the highest gain, of 14.7 per cent. Kohinoor Foods and KRBL reported a 13.9 per cent and 7.2 per cent surge in their shares, respectively.Shares of sugar mills rose up to 20 per cent, on expectation of less production this year, after a deficient monsoon. Mills' federation in Maharashtra, the country's largest producer, has forecast total output in the state at 8.6 million tonnes this year as against 10.5 mt last year.“Iran, which consumes over half of India’s annual basmati rice export, had halted issuing new import licences, resulting in a sharp decline in our export last year. It is expected that Iran would start issuing new licences in a week to 10 days,” said Satnam Arora, joint managing director of Kohinoor Foods.After a record 1.44 mt in 2013-14, around 38 per cent of India’s overall shipment, basmati export to Iran was 0.94 mt in 2014-15. Arora said basmati prices had risen at least 20 per cent in the past week on festival demand in India and a sharp jump abroad.As for sugar, rating agency ICRA has forecast a five per cent decline in output to 26.8 mt this year versus 28.2 mt last year. Indian Sugar Mills Association had lowered its forecast to 27 mt, due to the estimated fall in Maharashtra.

If the four mt of export approved by the central government comes through, the total closing stock is estimated at 7.6 mt in sugar year 2016 (ending September 2016), from nearly 10.1 mt in SY15. Prices have started moving up gradually in home markets.The industry is awaiting finalisation of the export subsidy to achieve the four mt target. Prices are falling in global markets and ICRA expects the losses through export to be nullified when the domestic sugar realisation rises an estimated three to five per cent during SY16, from the Rs 26,000 a tonne average for SY15.

Surplus domestic production, coupled with limited export, resulted in a steep decline in prices to a three-year low in July this year to Rs 23,000 a tonne, from Rs 29,000 a tonne in November 2014. With the government notifying export, domestic prices picked up to Rs 25,500 a tonne in September and to Rs 27,500 a tonne last month.

image: http://pixel.adsafeprotected.com/rfw/st/43236/6327988/skeleton.gif
Description: http://pixel.adsafeprotected.com/rfw/st/43236/6327988/skeleton.gif 
Press Release | Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:56am EST

Amira Nature Foods Ltd Announces New Distribution Win in Northeast United States

Amira Nature Foods Ltd Announces New Distribution Win in Northeast United States
Amira Branded Products Available in Price Chopper, Inc., a Leading Supermarket with More Than 130 Locations

Description: Basmati rice and sugar stocks up on favourable fundamentalsAmira Nature Foods Ltd (NYSE: ANFI), a leading global provider of branded packaged Indian specialty rice, announced today that its Amira branded products are available in Price Chopper stores.Headquartered in Schenectady, New York, Price Chopper operates more than 130 stores in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. The Golub Corporation, parent company of Price Chopper, dates back to the 1900s and is one of the largest privately held corporations in the United States that is predominantly employee owned.

“We are excited to expand our distribution in the United States with the addition of Price Chopper supermarkets,” said Karan A Chanana, Chairman of Amira Nature Foods Ltd. “We are working to expand the Amira brand across the country, and the addition of Price Chopper with its focus on customer engagement, health and wellness and environmental sustainability is a perfect fit for our Amira branded 'better-for-you' rice products.”

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

For more information, please visit www.amira.net

Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements

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

We would like to caution you not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and you should read these statements in conjunction with the risk factors disclosed in “Risk Factors” appearing in our Annual Report on Form 20-F as well as our other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those risks are not exhaustive and reflect our expectations as of the date of this press release.

 We operate in a rapidly evolving environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time, and it is impossible for our management to predict all risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statement. We do not undertake any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements except as required under applicable law.

APEDA Rice Commodity News

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PH to miss 2015 rice output target, expects modest rise in Q1 2016

Posted at 11/16/15 3:24 PM
MANILA - The Philippines said it expects its unmilled rice output in the first quarter of 2016 to grow a modest 0.31 percent from a year earlier to 4.38 million tonnes, while anticipating this year's production to be below forecast due to bad weather.Paddy harvest this year is forecast to reach 18.3 million tonnes, 3.54 percent lower versus last year's record high output and below a target of 20 million tonnes, hurt by the El Nino dry weather and a series of typhoons, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in a report released on Monday.The Southeast Asian nation, one of the world's biggest importers of the grain, is looking to buy another 1.3 million tonnes of rice to boost buffer stock, on top of the 500,000 tonnes already purchased and scheduled for delivery between January and March.



Farmers troubled by good rice harvest

By Yoon Ja-young
A good harvest is the dream of every farmer, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way with farmers in Korea. Concern is increasing among farmers as rice production hits a six-year high thanks to good weather.According to Statistics Korea, rice production totaled 4.33 million tons this year, which is up 2 percent compared with last year and the biggest since 2009.However, farmers aren't happy. Rice is currently trading at around 140,000 won per 80 kilograms at paddies, dropping 10 percent down from the last year.The country's rice paddies have been decreasing as more paddies are redeveloped for housing or farmers switch to other crops.
 The country's rice paddies totaled 799,000 hectares this year, down 2 percent from last year and dropping more than 10 percent compared with a decade ago.Rice consumption, however, contracted even further. Koreans consumed on average 65.1 kilograms of rice last year, down 19.3 percent from 2005. More people are turning to other crops as well as increasing bread, noodles and meat in their diet.As a result, the rick stock is piling up, incurring huge costs. The country is expected to have 1.35 million tons of rice in stock this year. According to the Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI), it costs 31.6 billion won a year to keep 100,000 tons of rice in stock. This includes storage and financial costs as well as the fall in the value of rice.
The government has been focusing on promoting rice consumption, developing diverse processed food products using rice.

Some suggest giving rice to North Korea or other underdeveloped countries as a solution.In 2003, for instance, Seoul sent 400,000 tons of rice to North Korea. Rice stock fell from 1.45 million tons to 924,000 tons the following year. The country could maintain the rice in stock at between 600,000 and 800,000 tons for the next few years by continuing the donation.Kim Tae-hun, a KREI researcher, said the government could consider this as an option. "The offering of rice to North Korea has been determined by the political situation," he said. "As relations improve between the two countries, there is the possibility that North Korea may demand support anytime when the time is ripe."He said the government should set a fundamental solution to deal with the rice surplus. "On the supply side, the government should reconsider policies that trigger production of rice," he said. "The policies to promote rice consumption, on the other hand, should continue from a mid- to long-term perspective."


El Niño, Lando to cut 2015 palay output by 3.54%

by BusinessMirror - November 16, 2015
Paddy-rice output for 2015 could settle at 18.3 million metric tons (MMT), 3.54 percent lower than the 18.97 MMT produced last year, according to the latest report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).The PSA attributed this to the drought caused by El Niño and the damage caused by Typhoon Lando (international code name Koppu) in top rice-producing provinces in the country.“Harvest area may contract by 1.58 percent to 4.66 million hectares this year, from 4.74 million hectares last year. Yield per hectare may drop by 1.99 percent to 3.92 metric tons (MT) this year, from 4 MT,” the report read.

Aside from El Niño, the PSA said the typhoons Egay (international code name Linfa) and Ineng (international code name Goni) had also made it difficult for farmers to increase palay output. The two typhoons hit the country in the third quarter of the year.“Furthermore, the damages brought by Lando on standing palay and corn crops may reduce the expected output for the fourth quarter,” the report read.The PSA said palay production in the second half of the year could go down by 5.81 percent to 9.97 MMT, from 10.59 MMT recorded last year. Harvest area may contract to 2.6 million hectares from 2.64 million hectares, or by 1.51 percent, while yield per hectare may decline by 4.37 percent to 3.83 MT from 4.01 MT.“All other regions, aside from the Bicol region, reported reductions in production and harvest area.

These were attributed to unrealized plantings as a result of delayed release and inadequate irrigation water, late occurrence of rains and some areas left in-fallow,” the report read.In the fourth quarter alone, the PSA said palay output could decline by 1.84 percent to 7.42 MMT, from 7.56 MMT last year. The PSA attributed this to the prolonged dry spell and the damages caused by the typhoons.In the first quarter of 2016, the PSA said output would recover based on farmers’ planting intentions. Paddy-rice production is expected to go up by 0.31 percent to 4.38 MMT, from 4.37 MMT recorded in January to March 2015.Meanwhile, the PSA said corn production for 2015 could go down by 2.8 percent to 7.55 MMT, from 7.77 MMT last year. In the second half of the year alone, corn output is projected to decline by 2.76 percent to 4.17 MMT, from 4.29 MMT recorded in July to December 2014.Corn production in January to March 2016 is projected to increase by 0.48 percent to 2.38 MMT, from 2.37 MMT posted in the first quarter of this year.



November 16, 2015
Palay production dropped 16 percent during the third quarter of the year, stalling agriculture growth to minimal 0.04 percent. Agricultural production rose by only 0.65 percent for the first nine months of the year.Lower output resulted from the intense heat brought about by the El Nino weather phenomenon and the damage wrought by two typhoons. Data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that country’s agriculture sector in the third quarter only grossed P336 billion at current prices, 3.23 percent lower than last year’s P347  billion.

The crops subsector which contributed 44.54 percent to the total agricultural production declined by 4.86 percent during the period mainly because of palay output at 2.6 million metric tons (MT) which is 15.71 percent lower and corn output at 2.4 million MT, a 1.70 percent drop in the third quarter. At current prices, the subsector reached P172.4 billion decreasing by 8.09 percent from last year’s record and a 1.69 percent drop for the first nine months of the year. The livestock subsector which shared 18.45 percent in total agricultural production meanwhile  grew by 3.25 percent as all its components posted increases with hog as the major contributor growing at 3.76 percent. Gross value of production amounted to P58.5 billion at current prices or 0.74 percent higher from last year and a 3.92 percent growth in three quarters of the year. Production in the poultry subsector also expanded by 8.76 percent which contributed 17.23 percent to the agricultural gross output.

Production of chicken meat grew by 8.77 percent and chicken eggs by 9.91 percent. Gross value amounted to P47.4 billion at current prices, up by 2.59 percent this year and a 6.32 percent increase for the first nine months of the year. Fisheries also managed to grow by 1.80 percent in the third quarter as it contributed 19.78 percent to total agricultural production. Growth were recorded for milkfish, tilapia, tiger prawn, skipjack, yellowfin tuna and seaweed which propelled the subsector to gross P57.7 billion at current prices, a 4.18 percent improvement from last year’s performance. Gross value of production of fisheries for January to September 2015 however is still down by 0.36 percent. Average farmgate prices went down by 3.27 percent during the third quarter and 4.27 percent lower for the first nine months. Prices were lower for crops at 3.39 percent, livestock at 2.43 percent and poultry at 5.67 percent. Fisheries was the only subsector to realize an improvement in the quarter as it went up by 2.33 percent.

Govt strengthens prevention of commodity price fixing 


The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Mon, November 16 2015, 5:31 PM
The government has reiterated its commitment to increasing market monitoring to manage prices of staple commodities, including beef and rice, by eradicating price-fixing practices.Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) head Syarkawi Rauf said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had asked the commission to focus on the monitoring of beef and rice.Syarkawi said the commission had identified five to seven major players in national rice production in 11 provinces, including Central Java and North Sumatra, as the players could possibly dictate the price of rice in the market.“We will continue to monitor them. If they do anything that indicates anti-competitive practices, we will take necessary action,” Syarkawi told reporters late last week.

He further explained that with the limited number of players, it would be easy for price fixing to occur. He said the commission would impose sanctions on unlawful players, if found guilty, ranging from administrative punishment to recommending that their permits be revoked.The price and scarcity of rice as Indonesia’s main staple food has been a major concern this year following decreasing rice stocks owing to the prolonged season as a result of the El Niño weather phenomenon.The government has been struggling to secure the country’s stocks, which continue to run low, partially through imports, as Vice President Jusuf Kalla confirmed that more than 1 million tons of rice from Thailand and Vietnam had begun entering Indonesian ports.Kalla expressed concern for the possibility of inflated prices with the late harvest, and that the country needed to secure enough stocks to survive, with a vacuum to fill around 2.5 million tons.Rice prices rose by more than 30 percent in February this year.

The government attributed the abnormal price movement partially to the “rice mafia”.The government has appointed independent firm PT Sucofindo to audit at least 14,000 warehouses nationwide amid suspicion of illegal stockpiling and reselling.Warehouse owners found guilty of illegal stockpiling could face up to five years’ imprisonment and fines of Rp 50 billion (US$3.70 million).Jokowi previously insisted that stocks, though running low, remained adequate, as he aimed for the country to be self-sufficient in key commodities such as rice, corn, soybeans and sugar.Meanwhile, Syarkawi also said that the commission had tried 32 feedlotters allegedly involved in cartel-like practices last month that contributed to soaring beef prices, which at one point rose to Rp 130,000 per kilogram from the usual Rp 90,000 after Idul Fitri.

 He said the feedlotters were found to have reduced the supply of cattle to be slaughtered from 30 head of cattle daily to eight head of cattle, leading to scarcity.“This is where KPPU steps in to investigate the cartel-like practice on beef,” Syarkawi said.Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Friday with the local governments of six provinces, including Jakarta, West Nusa Tenggara, East Java and South Sulawesi, through which the leaders agreed to cooperate in securing and monitoring the supply of staple commodities, including rice, beef and corn.

In its first phase, the MoU will focus on securing the supply of beef in Jakarta, which needed 60,000 head of cattle per month, according to Amran, from the other five provinces. The ministry would use the new livestock vessel recently officiated by the President to transport as many as 500 head of cattle to Jakarta, said Amran. (fsu)


Thailand to start sale of 2 mln T of spoiled rice this month

Nov 16 Thailand's military government will begin auctioning 2 million tonnes of rotten rice by the end of this month, looking to offload stockpiles of the staple grain built up under a previous support scheme for farmers.Thailand, the world's second biggest rice exporter after India, is holding about 13 million tonnes of rice bought at higher-than-market prices to help farmers, a scheme that cost the previous government billions of dollars.Some 2 million tonnes of the stored rice that has been judged unfit for human or animal consumption is to be auctioned away for such industrial uses as producing ethanol.

"Within this week the foreign trade department at the ministry will announce the terms for selling the ruined rice," said Chutima Bunyapraphasara, the commerce ministry's permanent secretary.It will be the first time rotten rice has been sold from Thailand's stockpiles strictly for industrial uses.Of the 13 million tonnes of rice Thailand still holds in its state warehouses, around half, or 6 million tonnes, is "below-standard or rotten", said a commerce ministry statement.The commerce ministry plans to start this month's auction in lots of between 1,000 and 6,000 tonnes, Chutima told reporters, with interested buyers able to inspect the stocks and submit their bids by the end of the month.

Analysts have said the rotten rice would be sold for far less than edible stocks.Since Thailand's military government took power in 2014, it has auctioned off 5 million tonnes of rice through several tenders, with sales worth about 5.2 billion baht ($145 million), the commerce ministry said.Thailand accounts for about a quarter of the global rice trade and so far this year has exported around 8 million tonnes, earning the country around 127 billion baht ($3.5 billion).Thailand's goal to export 10 million tonnes of rice this year to regain its crown as top exporter will likely not be met, said the commerce ministry.India was the top rice exporter in 2014, eclipsing Thailand after its multi-billion dollar subsidy scheme led to a massive build-up of rice in storage.

($1 = 35.98 baht) (Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Tom Hogue)

Annual rice imports of 1.1m tons required in Iran: official
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Tehran Times Economic Desk
TEHRAN- Iran needs to imports 1.1 million tons of rice per annum, according to Iranian Deputy Agriculture Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs Abdolmahdi Bakhshandeh. Over three million tons of rice is consumed in Iran per year, of which about two million tons is produced inside the country and the rest is imported, the Mehr News Agency quoted Bakhshandeh as saying on Saturday. Also, near 300,000 tons of rice is annually imported by Government Trading Corporation of Iran (G.T.C) in order to maintain the country’s strategic reserves of the product, the official added. Iran’s annual cereal production is estimated to rise to 19.8 million tons in 2015 from 19.1 million tons in 2014, according to a report released by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in May.   
The report forecasts Iran’s annual wheat production will increase to 13.5 million tons this year from 13 million tons the year before.   On April 18, Bakhshandeh said Iran’s agricultural exports in the previous Iranian calendar year (which ended on March 20) rose by 27 percent compared to its preceding year.   Meanwhile, agricultural imports amounted to $12 billion, a 9 percent fall compared to its preceding year.    Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati has said that by producing over 90 million tons of agricultural products per year, Iran is among ten top countries in the world.


Second-crop farmers given govt warnings

Chularat Saengpassa
The Nation November 16, 2015 1:00 am
2'No dam water for rice grown out of season'

Description: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/new/2015/11/16/national/images/30272999-02_big.jpgTHE Royal Irrigation Department has issued written warnings to farmers who illegally pump water from public waterways into their paddy fields - a move that reflects the severity of imminent water shortage. "Their action is against the law. They may face legal penalties. But for now, we have decided to warn them first," the department's director-general Suthep Noipairoj said a few days ago.He was referring to the 190,000 rai of paddy fields now engaged in a second round of rice planting this year."We have limited water supply," Suthep emphasised.
As of November 1, four major dams for the Chao Phraya River basin had just 4.247 billion cubic metres of disposable water. The amount was far below the over 6 billion cubic metres at the start of the dry season last year. In Thailand, the dry season officially runs from November 1 to April 30.The country usually relies on rainfall during the wet season in storing water for use in the dry months. However, water shortages have seriously affected the Chao Phraya River basin during the rainy season this year.That is why authorities are now being strict about water-allocation.Suthep said all sides must comply with the water-allocation plan for the Chao Phraya River basin, otherwise the imminent drought could pose a serious threat."All sectors must collaborate in saving water in a serious manner," Suthep said.His department has been closely monitoring the water situation. Inflows into the four major dams have reached about 15.6 million cubic metres a day, while usage totals 15.55 million cubic metres."When it comes to the agricultural sector, our focus is now on irrigating water for the fields of rice farmers who are working on their farmland for the first time this year," he said.
The Irrigation Department head said there were now about 1.33 million rai of such paddy fields in the Central region. These fields belong to farmers who agreed to the government's plea to delay work on their fields. They are expected to collect their harvest later this month.Suthep said the limited water supply meant his department would not be able to ensure adequate water for paddy fields growing rice outside the farming season.As soon as the department found that some rice farmers in areas north of the Chao Phraya Dam had pumped water into second-season paddy fields, it issued written warnings."Farmers should not forget that we need to allocate water for consumption and ecological systems too," Suthep explained.He complained that even though officials had warned about the imminent water shortage for months, many farmers had begun work on paddy fields outside the farming season."They in fact should be cautious about water sources in their areas, and determine if there will be enough for their paddy fields," he said.Suthep said very few farmers had opted for alternative crops lately, despite recommendations from various bodies, including the Agriculture Ministry that sent its officials to local fields.