Tuesday, December 15, 2015

15th December,2015 Daily Exclusive ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Oryza CBOT Rough Rice Futures Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Drop Back below $11.000/cwt as Market Lacks Fundamental Support
Dec 15, 2015

Chicago rough rice futures for Jan delivery settled 7 cents per cwt (about $2 per ton) lower at $10.985 per cwt (about $242 per ton). The other grains finished the day higher; Soybeans closed about 0.3% higher at $8.7600 per bushel; wheat finished about 0.6% higher at $4.9350 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 1% higher at $3.7900 per bushel.
U.S. stocks closed higher Monday, helped by a pause in the oil price slide amid continued concerns about the high-yield debt market. Investors also awaited the Federal Reserve's rates decision due this week. Both brent and WTI have declined more than 10% since OPEC on Dec. 4 abandoned its output ceiling. OPEC has been pumping near record levels since last year in an attempt to drive higher-cost producers such as U.S. shale firms out of the market. Markets are pricing in a roughly 80 percent chance of a hike on Wednesday, according to CME's FedWatch tool. On Friday, U.S. stocks closed out a volatile week with sharp losses, as oil hit near-seven-year lows and another corporate merger weighed ahead of the Fed's highly anticipated decision on rates next week. The S&P 500 had its worst week since the middle of August, while the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq composite had their worst week in a month. European stocks ended sharply lower as low oil prices weighed, with the German DAX off nearly 2%. In Asia, only the Shanghai composite ended higher, up about 2.5% after some encouraging reports on Chinese industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment. China's yuan continued to edge lower, hitting its lowest in more than four years against the U.S. dollar in onshore trading. In afternoon trade, the Dow Jones industrial average traded flat near 17,268. The S&P 500 traded 1 point lower, or 0.06%, at 2,011, with materials leading five sectors lower and telecommunications the greatest advancer. The Nasdaq composite declined 4 points, or 0.08%, at 4,929. Gold is seen trading about 1.1% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 1.7% higher, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.1% higher at about  3:15pm Chicago time.
Friday, there were 2,072 contracts traded, up from 658 contracts traded on Thursday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Friday increased by 44 contracts to 15,044.
Thai Commerce Ministry Forecasts Lower Rice Exports in 2016 Due to Drought
Dec 14, 2015

The Thai Commerce Ministry is expecting the country to export around 9 million tons of rice in 2016, down from an estimated 10 million tons in 2015, according to Reuters.
The Ministry sources told reported that the drought conditions, which impacted several rice-growing regions this year, are likely to lower the output next year.
"It is expected that output will fall due to the impact of drought," a Ministry statement was quoted.
The Ministry is reportedly estimating export earnings to decline to around $4.79 billion, down from an estimated $4.86 billion this year.
Thailand exported around 7.814 million tons of rice in the first ten months of 2015, down about 11% from around 8.77 million tons exported during the same period last year, according to data from Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA).

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Cash Prices Slip Slightly; Neither Buyers nor Sellers Impressed by Prices
Dec 15, 2015

The U.S. cash market was slightly weaker today although there was little trading to report as most buyers and sellers remain at odds on prices
Analysts note that sellers with crop left to market continue to wait for higher prices while buyers insist that greater export demand will be needed to justify the prices sellers are hoping to receive.
A firm dollar and softer crude oil prices will likely keep a lid on prices as Iraq and Venezuela, both key export markets, depend on oil revenue to support their purchases.
Philippines May Finalize Additional Rice Imports Before Year End, Says NFA Official
Dec 14, 2015

The Philippines National Food Authority (NFA) is planning to finalize the volume and timing of the additional rice imports, Reuters quoted the NFA Administrator.
"It will be finalised within the year and contracted in January,” the official was quoted.
Last week, Presidential Communications Secretary noted that the National Food Authority (NFA) Council and the Cabinet Task Force on El Nino have agreed for importing an additional 300,000 - 400,000 tons of rice in the second quarter of 2016. The additional imports are to ensure adequate stocks amid concerns of extending dry conditions, he said.
The new imports are above the already imported 500,000 tons from Vietnam and Thailand, which are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2016.
The Philippines imported around 1.8 million tons of rice in 2015.
Global Rice Quotes
December 14th, 2015
Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade 350-360
Vietnam 5% broken 370-380
India 5% broken 355-365
Pakistan 5% broken 330-340
Myanmar 5% broken 410-420
Cambodia 5% broken 425-435
U.S. 4% broken 480-490
Uruguay 5% broken 520-530
Argentina 5% broken 515-525
Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken 335-345
Vietnam 25% broken 355-365
Pakistan 25% broken 300-310
Cambodia 25% broken 400-410
India 25% broken 325-335
U.S. 15% broken 500-510
Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd 345-355
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd 405-415
India parboiled 5% broken stxd 350-360
U.S. parboiled 4% broken 500-510
Brazil parboiled 5% broken 545-555
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken NQ
Long grain fragrant rice
Thailand Hommali 92% 690-700
Vietnam Jasmine 450-460
India basmati 2% broken NQ
Pakistan basmati 2% broken NQ
Cambodia Phka Mails 830-840
Thailand A1 Super 320-330
Vietnam 100% broken 330-340
Pakistan 100% broken stxd 285-295
Cambodia A1 Super 355-365
India 100% broken stxd 280-290
Egypt medium grain brokens NQ
U.S. pet food 280-290
Brazil half grain NQ

All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel, oryza.com

USDA Estimates 2015 Global Rice Trade to Decline 2% y/y to 42.4 Million Tons
Dec 14, 2015

In its December Rice Outlook report, the USDA forecasts 2015 global rice trade at around 42.4 million tons, down about 900,000 tons from an estimated 43.3 million tons in 2014, and down about 100,000 tons from last month's forecast of around 42.5 million tons.
On the exports side, the USDA forecasts declines in exports of Uruguay, Australia and Peru. The USDA raised its forecasts of Vietnam. On the imports side, the USDA lowered prospects for Nigeria, Brazil and Madagascar based on the trade data.

The USDA estimates global rice trade in 2016 at around 41.3 million tons, down about 600,000 tons from last month's forecast of 41.9 million tons and about 1.1 million tons from around 42.4 million tons in 2015. It lowered 2016 export prospects for Australia, Myanmar, Cambodia the U.S., but increased forecasts for Thailand, Pakistan, South America and Egypt. But the USDA says the declines are not fully offset by increased exports from Egypt, Pakistan, South America, Thailand and Vietnam. It lowered 2016 import forecasts for Nigeria, Bangladesh and the U.S., but the decline is expected to be partially offset by increased forecasts for Madagascar and Laos.
USDA Forecasts 2015-16 Global Rice Production to Decline on Lower Acreage and Yields
Dec 14, 2015

In its December 2015 Rice Outlook report, the USDA forecasts 2015-16 global rice production (milled basis) at around 469.3 million tons, down about 2% from last year due to an expected decline in acreage as well as decline in average yields, which are likely to be affected by adverse weather conditions. The USDA's projection is down from last month's projection of around 473.5 million tons. South and Southeast Asia and North America account for most of the expected global rice production decline in 2015-16, according to USDA.
The USDA lowered 2015-16 production prospects for India, Australia, Madagascar and the Philippines. However, the USDA says the production declines in these countries will be partially offset by increases in Argentina and South Korea.
The USDA forecasts 2015-16 global rice acreage at 158.8  million hectares, down from an estimated 159.95 million hectares in 2014-15, and down from its previous month's estimate of about 159.2 million tons. Thailand is accounting for more than half of the decline, says USDA. While acreage in Australia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nigeria, Tanzania, the Philippines and the U.S. is expected to decline, that in Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia and Sri Lanka is expected to increase. The USDA forecasts the average global yield at 4.41 tons per hectare (on rough rice basis), slightly down from 4.46 tons per hectare in 2014-15.
The USDA estimates 2015-16 global rice consumption and residual use at around 484.6 million tons, up about 2.6 million tons from last year, and down about 1.6 million tons from last month's forecast of around 486.2 million tons. China is accounting for bulk of the projected increase in global rice consumption in 2015-16, according to the USDA. It forecasts consumption to increase in Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines. On the other hand, it forecasts consumption to decline in South Korea and the U.S.
Consumption is projected to exceed production for the third consecutive year, says the USDA. Accordingly, the U.S. agency estimates 2015-16 global rice ending stocks to decline by about 15% y/y to around 88.4 million tons, and down about 2.6 million tons from last month's forecast of around 91 million tons. India, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam and the U.S. account for the bulk of the projected decline in global ending stocks.  The USDA lowered its forecasts for India, Nigeria, Thailand, and the U.S. These are the lowest global ending stocks since 2007-08, says the USDA.
The USDA forecasts the stock-to-use ratio at 18.2%, down about 21.5% from last year.

Asian Rice Quotes Mixed Today
Dec 14, 2015

Thailand rice sellers have lowered their quotes for 100% B, 5% broken rice and A1 Super rice varieties by about $5 per ton each to around $350 - $360 per ton, $340 - $350 per ton and $320 - $330 per ton respectively today. Vietnam rice sellers increased their quotes for jasmine rice variety by about $10 per ton to around $450 - $460 per ton. India rice sellers increased their quotes for 5% broken rice, 25% rice and parboiled rice varieties by about $5 per ton to around $355 - $365 per ton, $325 - $335 per ton and $350 - $360 per ton respectively. Cambodia rice sellers increased their quotes for 5% rice variety by $10 per ton to around $425 - $435 per ton. Other Asian rice sellers have kept their quotes unchanged today from Friday.

5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is indicated at around $340 - $350 per ton about $30 per ton discount on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $370 - $380 per ton. India 5% rice is indicated at around $355 - $365 per ton, about $25 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice shown at around $330 - $340 per ton.
25% Broken Rice
Thailand 25% rice is indicated at around $335 - $345 per ton, about $20 per ton discount on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $355- $365 per ton. India 25% rice is indicated at around $325 - $335 per ton, about $25 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice shown at around $300 - $310 per ton.
Parboiled Rice            
Thailand parboiled rice is indicated at around $345 - $355 per ton. India parboiled rice is indicated at around $350 - $360 per ton, about $55 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice last shown at around $405 - $415 per ton.                        
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super is indicated at around $320 - $330 per ton, about $10 per ton discount to Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $330 - $340 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $280 - $290 per ton, about $5 per ton discount to Pakistan broken sortexed rice shown at around $285 - $295 per ton.
EU Rice Imports Increase Sharply in September 1 - December 8, 2015
Dec 14, 2015

According to the latest data issued by the European Union (EU), rice imports, basis milled, by the EU increased sharply since the beginning of the crop year 2015-16 (September 1, 2015 - August 31, 2016).
The EU imported about 302,125 tons, basis milled, of rice during the period September 1 - December 8, 2015, up about 21% from around 248,995 tons imported during the same period last year.
Japonica rice imports increased about 14.5% to around 22,113 tons in September 1 - December 8, 2015 period from around 19,312 tons during the same period last year. Indica rice imports increased about 22% to around 280,012 tons during the said period from around 228,683 tons last year.
The UK remained the largest importer during the three-month period with around 80,545 tons followed by France (55,718 tons), Netherlands (33,172 tons), Germany (21,888 tons), Poland (20,405 tons), Italy (16,645 tons) and Portugal (14,362 tons). Other EU countries imported 59,390 tons.
During the week ended December 8, 2015, the EU imported around 21,275 tons of rice, up about 29% from around 16,443 tons imported during the week ended December 1, 2015.
The EU imported around 1.143 million tons of rice in the crop year 2014-15, up about 12.7% from around 1.013 million tons imported in the crop year 2013-14.
News have been shared with permission of ORYZA.com

14th December 2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine-Latest Rice News Updates

Today Rice News Headlines...
·         Rice basmati slides on muted demand
·         Rice Exporters Face Greater Scrutiny from China
·         Single-digit falls seen in 2015 palay, corn output
·         Philippines May Import 400,000 Tons of Rice in First Half of 2016WS
·         Palay production to fall 3.5% in ’15
·         The heavy burden of farm life after pledging scheme
·         PH to import more rice in ’16
·         Bulog to Import More Rice Early Next Year
·         PHL to import rice in January – NFA
·         Thailand expects to export 9 mln tonnes of rice in 2016 - Commerce Ministry
·         Agri Buzz : Thailand Rice Exports Down 18% This Year
·         Rice industry at a turning point, minister says
·         Biosafety Agency approves new GM rice – D-G
·         Rice farmers ‘thankful’ they enrolled in PLC program
·         Ghost rice’ in Vietnam – P3: Descendants of the Vietnamese grain
·         As Liberia's Annual Rice Importation Hits US$200 Million: US$30M Failed Project Hunts ...Did VP Boakai, Lawmakers Exert “Nationalistic Policy”?
·         Arkansas Farm Bureau Daily Commodity Report
·         USA Rice Announces Conservation Achievement Award
·         Rice Scholarship Winner Promotes Health, Budget Benefits of Rice
·         CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures  
·         Commodity Report-Dec. 14
·         Senators divided on sales to Cuba
·         2015 Rice Outlook Conference draws record attendance in New Orleans
·         H1 rice imports may hit 900,000 MT – NFA
·         New Rice Could Help Reduce Global Greenhouse Gasses
·         SunRice lifts first-half profit
·         Rice Market & Technology Convention


Rice basmati slides on muted demand

By PTI | 12 Dec, 2015, 04.04PM IST
NEW DELHI: Prices of basmati rice drifted by Rs 100 per quintal at the wholesale market today following sluggish demand coupled with adequate stocks position. However, other grains moved in a narrow range in scattered buying or selling and settled around previous levels. Marketmen said easing demand from retailers against sufficient stocks on higher supplies from producing belts kept pressure on rice basmati prices. In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa 1,121 variety fell by Rs 100 each to Rs 6,000-6,100 and Rs 4,500-5,300 per quintal respectively.

Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):

Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,000-2,600, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,670-1,700, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,700-1,715, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 230, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 230, Roller flour mill Rs 880-885 (50 kg), Maida Rs 935-940 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,040-1,045 (50 kg).
By Victor V. Saulon


Rice Exporters Face Greater Scrutiny from China

Khmer Times/Sok Chan
 Sunday, 13 December 2015
 China has set a yearend deadline for Cambodia to submit a list of all Cambodian rice exporters so that Chinese inspectors can evaluate whether they can fully meet food safety laws in a market Cambodian exporters are hoping to increase exports to, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Agriculture.It called on domestic rice exporters to cooperate with ministry officials by providing contact information by December 18. Ministry officials will then inspect and evaluate each rice miller to determine whether they have the capacity to process, mill and store rice so that it can meet standards required to ship it to the Chinese market. Hean Vanhan, a deputy general director at the ministry, said China had asked Cambodia to evaluate rice exporters to determine whether they adhered to hygiene laws in China because officials in the world’s second largest economy did not trust all of the 71 rice exporters registered with the Ministry of Commerce. 
“China is strengthening hygiene and food safety standards so they have some conditions for Cambodia to implement for Cambodian rice exporters,” Mr. Vanhan said. “They asked the Cambodian government to recheck whether rice exporters are fully complying with their standards.”
“It is a rush to work on this, but we are trying our best to send them the list of our rice exporting companies by the deadline. Our officials will go onsite to evaluate the technical production, processing and storage facilities in each rice exporter and then send the information to China,” Mr. Vanhan said. Agriculture officials say not all of the 71 rice exporters registered in the Ministry of Commerce are active. Some have reserved licenses with the intention to export in the future, they said. Only 23 companies exported rice – to China and other countries – this year, officials said. Of these, just 10 account for most rice exports, they said.  

Exporters that lack rice milling, warehouse and storage facilities are not permitted to export rice to China, officials said. “China imported about 91,883 tons of rice in the first 11 months this year, so if Cambodia cannot meet requirements set by China it will have a bit effect of rice exporters in Cambodia,” Mr. Vanhan said.Song Saran, president of Amru Rice (Cambodia), welcomed the move, saying that it will be good for Cambodia as a rice exporting country. Cambodia has the ability to supply a large amount of high-quality, hygienic rice to China and Cambodia can meet food-safety standards set by China. 

“If China is aiming to strengthen food safety, it is not a big concern as we also want to show them our production process, from producing to processing and storage,” Mr. Saran said.
“We are ready to work with the government to ensure that it has all the information related to rice millers so that it is easy for them to check in case a problem occurs,” he added.
Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation, told Khmer Times recently that the federation has worked with experts on rice promotion, logistics, energy issues, export documentation and to conduct field visits to rice millers in various provinces to assess concerns.
“They are working with the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture to smooth out the production process,” Mr. Lak said. 

Cambodia exported 450,000 tons of rice over the first 11 months of the year, according to a recent report from the Agriculture Ministry. Though only around half of the government’s goal for the year, rice exports did rise 36 percent over the same period last year, despite some 242,416 hectares of rice fields in 16 provinces being severely affected by drought as of November, the report said.A farmer harvests rice. Exports of the grain are facing food-safety scrutiny in China.Supplied


Single-digit falls seen in 2015 palay, corn output

Posted on December 13, 2015 06:09:00 PM

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture expects palay and corn production this year to decline by single-digit levels because of the adverse effects of El Niño and the three typhoons that hit the country in the second half.
For 2015, palay output is expected to decrease by 3.54% to 18.30 million metric tons (MT) from actual 2014 levels. Corn production is also projected to drop by 2.8% to 7.55 million MT.Edilberto M. De Luna, Agriculture assistant secretary for field operations, said in a briefing on Friday that the department expects “substantial losses” because of the calamities.He said that were it not for the calamities, palay production could have reached 19.5-19.8 million MT during the year, or near the target of about 20.06 million MT.
The farm sector accounts for about 12% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Palay and corn output are among the sector’s biggest contributors apart from being important to the food supply.Rolando T. Dy, professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), in an e-mailed response said he expects agricultural output this year to be at “low negative.” Factoring farm production into the prediction, he said full year GDP would not reach 6%. Mr. Dy, who is also executive director of the university’s center for food and agri business, said the World Bank forecast of 5.8% “looks more like it.
”“We expect first quarter [2016] agri growth to be at low negative (levels),” he said.On a positive note, the Agriculture department expressed optimism about early prospects next year. It sees palay and corn production to increase during the first quarter of 2016, the period when the full intensity of the El Niño phenomenon is forecast to be felt.In a statement yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said that based on farmers’ planting intentions, palay production might reach 4.38 million MT in the coming quarter, up 0.31% from P4.37 million MT in the first quarter of 2015.He said the increase for rice could come from the expansion in the harvest area by 1.15% even as yield per hectare might decrease to 3.77 MT from 3.8 MT in anticipation of the adverse effects of El Niño, which is seen causing extreme dry spells in many parts of the country’s farming areas.
Corn production in the first-quarter of 2016 is expected to increase by 0.48% year on year to 2.38 million MT.Mr. Alcala said almost all regions expect increases in corn production, noting probable higher output in the Ilocos, Davao and Northern Mindanao regions as well as the region representing South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City (Soccsksargen).During the briefing, Mr. De Luna said that funding of about P2.1 billion would be released within the year to counter the adverse effect of the weather event. The funds will be used for mitigating activities, including water management, repair of small-scale water impounding facilities, procurement of seeds and cloud-seeding operations, he said.A separate P900 million that was meant for recovery activities after typhoon Lando in October could augment the awaited funding, he said.

Mr. De Luna also said the department had advanced P400 million as production support funds. This is apart from at least P200 million as cost of a buffer stock for seeds after the typhoon.He said the forecast for the first quarter of 2016 is higher because farmers had anticipated that El Niño would intensify. He also said the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) had released water to enable planting a month ahead of the usual Dec. 15 schedule.“That’s a good development for the NIA-service area especially Central Luzon,” he said, adding that the move enabled farmers to plant earlier.
Planting in November means palay will mature in February, the month when El Niño is expected to be at its worst. Crops would not need a big volume of water by then.UA&P’s Mr. Dy said he was not as bullish. “Water supply from rains and irrigation in the next few months will be key factors for palay, and rainfall for corn to attain good yields. It also depends on what areas,” he said.“Cagayan Valley (Isabela), Central Luzon, West Visayas (Iloilo), and Central Mindanao are major rice areas. Cagayan Valley (Isabela), Pangasinan and parts of Mindanao (Bukidnon, South Cotabato) are main yellow corn areas,” he said.Mr. De Luna also downplayed the possible impact on production of a Supreme Court decision that called for a ban on the testing of genetically modified eggplant.
The ruling also declared null and void a Agriculture department order in 2002 that approved the use of a similar technology for corn.He said there are other technologies that can be used instead of biotechnology. “We have many remedies. We have biological control agents against corn borer,” he said.On Friday, Roger V. Navarro, president of the Philippine Maize Federation, Inc., said the ruling could result in losses amounting to P1 trillion. This includes foregone revenue in the corn industry at P90 billion, and livestock and poultry at P700  billion, as well as the economic impact of farm closures, opportunity losses, logistics and livelihood.

Philippines May Import 400,000 Tons of Rice in First Half of 2016

December 14, 2015, 12:45:00 AM EDT By Dow Jones Business News
Shutterstock photo
By Cris Larano
MANILA--The Philippines may import 400,000 metric tons of rice in the first half of next year, the administrator of the state grains agency said Monday.Renan Dalisay, head of the National Food Authority, told reporters that the additional rice import will be on top of the 500,000 tons the country has already imported from Thailand and Vietnam during the September bidding.The Philippines's rice harvest this year is projected to reach up to 18.5 million tons, around 1.5 million short of the target production due to expected damages caused by typhoons and El Nino. Of the more than 2 million tons of rice the NFA has decided to import this year, around 1.7 million tons have been delivered.Mr. Dalisay said a final assessment will be made in January on how much rice will be imported for 2016.
El Nino is expected to intensify in the first half of 2016.
Write to Cris Larano at cris.larano@wsj.com
Palay production to fall 3.5% in ’15
posted December 13, 2015 at 11:55 pm by Anna Leah E. Gonzales
            Palay or unmilled rice production may fall 3.5 percent this year due to the contraction of harvest areas and a drop in yield caused by El Niño, the Philippine Statistics Authority said over the weekend.The PSA said in said palay production in 2015 was forecast to hit 18.30 million metric tons, down from 18.97 million tons last year. The harvest area may decrease 1.58 percent from 4.74 million hectares in 2014 to 4.66 million hectares this year, while yield per hectare may also drop by 1.99 percent to 3.92 million mt this year from 4 million mt in 2014.
The PSA said production in the fourth quarter of the year might be lower by 1.84 percent to 7.42 million tons from 7.56 million last year. “Probable reductions in production are expected in Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Bicol Region and Caraga,” the PSA said. The agency said production in the first quarter of 2016 might increase 0.31 percent from 4.37 million tons to 4.38 million tons due to the expansion of harvest area. The PSA said corn production this year might fall 2.8 percent to 7.55 million tons from 7.77 million tons in 2014.Harvest area may contract to 2.57 million hectares, down 1.73 percent from last year’s 2.61 million hectares. Yield may also decline by 1.09 percent to  2.94 metric tons per hectare from 2.98 metric tons per hectare.
The PSA said corn production in the fourth quarter might decrease to 1.76 million tons from 1.84 million tons last year due to lower production in Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Calabarzon and Davao Region. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said based on farmers’ planting intentions, corn production in the first quarter of the coming year might  increase by 0.48 percent.Alcala said from 2.37 million metric tons in the first quarter of 2015, production of corn might grow to 2.38 million tons in the first three months of 2016.
“Almost all regions expect increases in production with probable higher outputs noted in SOCCSKSARGEN, Ilocos Region, Davao Region and Northern Mindanao,” Alcala said. He added more farmers in SOCCSKSARGEN had plans to plant earlier due to the pronouncement of a stronger El Niño in the succeeding quarter.In the Ilocos Region, shifting from palay to corn, utilization of infallow areas due to availability of seeds, movement of cropping from the fourth  quarter and usage of high quality seeds might contribute to increased production.Shifting from banana and rain-fed palay to corn in the Davao Region and availability of seed assistance from local government units may boost this quarter’s production.

The heavy burden of farm life after pledging scheme
Piyaporn Wongruang
The Nation

Son’s daugther Walisa Sukcharoen makes maximum use of the 3-rai plot of farmland her father has given to her, growing high-priced riceberry variety.This is the first part in a series of articles on the rice-pledging scheme
BANGKOK: — A cool wind blew over Tao Poon village in Ratchaburi’s Photharam district, bringing with it light rain that fell on rice fields. Seeing the rain, 66-year-old Son Sukcharoen rushed to spread a plastic sheet over his harvested rice so it didn’t get soaked with water. It was the last time Son would dry the rice in the sun before selling it in the market. If it got drenched and damaged, Son would have lost the investment he had put in this harvest, and that would have added to his debt.
“I have borrowed a new sum of money to invest in chemical fertilisers and pesticides for this harvest and bet that the yield this time would bring me a little better price, as I have tried joining the Good Agricultural Practices [GAP] programme,” Son said.Farmers like Son were among millions who took part in the grand rice-pledging scheme. A few years ago, the Yingluck government re-introduced the scheme, which offered farmers unprecedented price guarantees up to Bt20,000 per tonne of rice.Critics questioned the scheme from the beginning, as it would involve almost every grain of rice in the country, a practice deemed unreasonable by many.
But farmers like Son revelled in the high prices offered, without realising that along with the high prices, their investment costs also increased, leaving them with a narrow profit margin.However, farmers did not feel much pain until the scheme was axed.Last year, the military government decided to scrap the scheme, following allegations of large scale corruption and losses to the state estimated at about Bt500 billion baht so far (see box).The government gave farmers Bt1,000 baht per rai (up to 15 rai). While farmers pocketed a maximum of Bt15,000, the market price for rice is now hovering between Bt6,000 to Bt7,000 per tonne – less than half the maximum subsidy offered by the government. That means farmers are shouldering increased investment costs.
The economic position of many farmers has become more fragile due to external factors, including deep indebtedness and losing their farmland.Local Action Links, a non-profit research think tank on the plight of Thai farmers, conducted a study on farmer debt in several areas in the Central Plains last year.In Chai Nat’s Sankhaburi district, its case study of 64 farmers under the Chai Nat Agricultural Promotions group showed just how severe the debt burden had become for farmers.The farmers generally owned around six rai, meaning almost half of them had to rent additional farmland to grow rice. The Local Action Links says the cost of renting land is generally about a quarter of the total yield per rai, about Bt1,500. So this has added to their costs.All 64 farmers had their land mortgaged with financial institutions. On average, they were around Bt314,000 in debt.
Son’s situation is not much different. He has given the eight rai of farmland he inherited from his parents to his daughter and son, and he now has to rent 20 rai of farmland. It means a quarter of his yield goes to the landlord.Pongtip Samranjit, the director of Local Action Links, said farmers had shouldered heavy indebtedness and farmland losses over the past 10 years. The trend has been for farmers to own less land while those losing land or renting land is on the rise, the director said.Pontip said that after the rice-pledging scheme ceased, countless farmers had been exposed to this bitter truth more clearly, and it had become clear to the public now how much of a burden farmers were under.Pontip said the more worrying trend was farmers deep in debt turning to loan sharks, which increased the chance of them losing their land, and even their homes.
“We have interviewed four cases who engaged in loans provided by loan sharks, and all of them have experienced attempts to kill themselves,” he said.Along with increased debt, the rice-pledging scheme has apparently also impaired many farmers’ ability to learn and be self-reliant.Krissnana Kaudlim – a 43-year-old farmer in Ratchaburi’s Photharam district who formed a village farm group so farmers had more bargaining power at the market – has experienced this.Krissana, a leader of the Photharam Agri-Nature Learning Group, said he was an indebted farmer before it was rehabilitated under the Farmers’ Rehabilitation and Development Fund. It was then that he was able to redeem his family’s land.
But Krissana realised that the mass production of rice was not for him, and he decided to go for training at Agri-Nature Foundation. After finishing the training, Krissana went back to his village and tried to form the farm group, applying self-reliant farming as its principle.Shortly before the rice-pledging scheme was introduced, a group of around 10 farmers in the village joined the initiative. Through the self-reliant principle, they tried to process their rice and sell it in the local market. All the farmers collapsed because of the introduction of the scheme, he said.He said that instead of selling the rice at the market, the farmers sold it to silos.That resulted in the group having no rice to process, but they had to buy high-priced rice from the silos. The group collapsed.
But what hurt Krissana more was the realisation was that the group’s learning process was disrupted.With high rice prices now a thing of the past, some farmers have come back to him as he is offering a little higher price – around Bt7,800 per tonne.“Farmers’ learning and establishing groups is very important as that is a strength that farmers can have when dealing with others. And this closely connects to the economy at a fundamental level, which is community-based economic development. All have gone in the name of the scheme,” said Krissana, who now is trying to rebuild his group.Pontip said the scheme had shown once again that government farm policies did not get to fundamental or structural problems in the farm sector, which was debt, loss of land, low levels of education and a lack of self-reliance.
Pongtip said structural problems were political and she could understand why policy-makers avoided them. But as a farm advocate who had witnessed farmers endure painful experiences, Pongtip said the government could not leave the problems untouched or they would grow and become a heavy burden the country could not bear.“The more they grow rice, the less quality of life they have,” he said.
Timeline of controversy
The rice-pledging scheme was one of the Yingluck government’s principal farm policies aimed at assisting farmers.But the government, which first reintroduced the scheme for the 2011-12 farm production year, was unprecedented in terms of its scale and the price-guarantee rates.The scheme involved 25 million tonnes in the first year, almost every gain of rice in the country, and prices as high as Bt20,000 per tonne.When it was introduced, the government said it aimed to lift farmers’ incomes and reduce the gaps in farmers’ incomes, increase market access for farmers, and promote economic growth and stability via domestic consumption and self-reliance.The National Anti-Corruption Commission launched an investigation and alleged that government-to-government deals with China were bogus and no rice was shipped to China. Relevant ministers were charged, and former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was left facing three legal actions.
She has already been impeached, while she is still facing a criminal charge for alleged negligence for failing to act when the scheme incurred heavy losses and allegation of corruption swirled around it. At the time, she was chairwoman of the National Rice Policy Committee.Yingluck is also facing a civil liability after the military government claimed the scheme cost the state around Bt500 billion. The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders has set the first round of evidence and witness deliberation in this case for January 15.

PH to import more rice in ’16
By Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 15, 2015 at 12:04 am
The Philippines may import almost one million metric tons of rice next year to keep prices stable as estimates point to lower domestic production of the staple crop, mainly due to dry field conditions.National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Renan Dalisay told reporters that the government might consider buying an additional 400,000 tons of rice imports on top of the 500,000 tons already programmed for the first quarter of 2016.“We need to ensure that we have enough rice inventories at government depositories as El Nino peaks in the first quarter of next year,” he said.
The Philippines is seen to produce slightly less rice this year compared to 2014 due to dry field conditions, but there may be an improvement next year.Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Edilberto De Luna of the Department of Agriculture told reporters that the Philippines would likely produce 18.3 million to 18.5 million metric tons (MT) of palay (rough rice), or about 3.54-percent below the 2014 output of 18.97 million tons.

The 2015 target was higher but primarily due to El Niño and other adverse weather events, several rice-planting areas have reported lower production. Among the conditions affecting production was delayed or little rainfall and inadequate irrigation.De Luna said that when compared to the last time El Niño hit in 2010, when rice output was at 15.7 million tons, the Philippines has shown improved production.The outlook seems better for 2016 with the first quarter (January-March 2016) seen to yield 4.38 million tons or 0.31-percent more than the 4.37 million tons in the first quarter of 2015.

Bulog to Import More Rice Early Next Year
SUNDAY, 13 DECEMBER, 2015 | 16:58 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - State Logistics Agency (Bulog) president director Djarot Kusumayakti said that the government planned to import additional rice stocks early next year.“800,000 tons of rice imports have not yet received, but demands in January-March must be well-managed,” Djarot told Tempo on Sunday, December 13, 2015.
Djarot explained that farmers would likely plant rice on non-irrigation fields in December and expect harvest in April next year. Therefore, Djarot said rice distributions in January-March must be managed.According to Djarot, Bulog currently has 1.2 million tons of rice, which would meet the domestic demands on rice and leave 500,000 tons in Bulog’s storage. The stock would be added by 700,000 tons of imported rice to be sent by the end of this year.Djarot admitted that production data in regions had caused difficulties for Bulog to manage the stocks. Therefore, Bulog would conduct a supervision based on market prices. Djarot added that he had seen an increasing trend in rice prices across Indonesia. Therfore, Bulog conducted market interventions to anticipate the increasing rice prices.

PHL to import rice in January – NFA

by Reuters
December 14, 2015 (updated)
MANILA, Dec 14 (Reuters) – The Philippines’ state grains procurement agency, National Food Authority (NFA), said it expects to sign new rice import deals in January to ensure adequate domestic supply of the grain amid worries of drier weather in the first quarter.
“It will be finalised within the year and contracted in January,” NFA Administrator Renan Dalisay told reporters on Monday, when asked about the country’s rice import plans.Dalisay said the NFA was yet to decide the final import volume. Last week, Communications Secretary Coloma said the government was looking to import an additional volume of between 300,000 and 400,000 tonnes for delivery in the second quarter.A worker stands on a pile of rice sacks at the National Food Authority’s warehouse in Quezon City. (MB file photo)


Thailand expects to export 9 mln tonnes of rice in 2016 - Commerce Ministry

Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:53am GMT
 BANGKOK Dec 14 (Reuters) - Thailand's Ministry of Commerce said on Monday it expects the country to export 9 million tonnes of rice in 2016, lower than the 10 million tonnes forecast for 2015.The ministry said dry weather, which hit several rice-growing provinces this year, would impact rice output next year."It is expected that output will fall due to the impact of drought," the ministry said in a statement.The ministry valued rice exports in 2016 at $4.79 billion versus $4.86 billion expected in 2015. (Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Ed Davies)

Agri Buzz : Thailand Rice Exports Down 18% This Year

capital market | Mumbai | July 20, 2015 16:20 IST
As per the latest data compiled by USDA, the unofficial preliminary rice exports (excluding premium white and fragrant rice) for July 6-12, 2015 totaled 87,844 metric tons, up 5,521 metric tons from the previous week and up 4,306 metric tons from the four-week moving average of 83,539 metric tons. Rice exports (excluding premium white and fragrant rice) from January 1 - July 12, 2015, totaled 2,056,761 metric tons, down 18 percent from the same period last year

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Rice industry at a turning point, minister says

THE NATION December 15, 2015 1:00 am
THE RICE industry must negotiate several risk factors that are pressuring farmers to speed up the development of rice breeds to strengthen the sector in the face of intense competition, especially from other Asian countries, the government says.Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister General Chatchai Sarikalya said the industry was at a turning-point moment in terms of growing firmly and sustainably.Speaking at a rice conference in Bangkok, he said the industry was facing rapid changes and tougher competition, especially as a result of the economic integration of Asian and non-Asian countries as well as the diversity of consumer tastes.
He added that value-added innovation and climate changes were also factors that would help push for solidity and opportunity for the sector.Chatchai said a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) analysis of the industry found that it was still strong, as the country had a variety of rice breeds. He said this created flexibility for the country to improve breeds in line with changed farming areas and to serve market needs.However, he warned that the country might have difficulty maintaining quality and keeping costs competitive. "If one or the other happens, there might be a crisis."He noted that competitors Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos had climates and geographies similar to Thailand.
They also produced rice that exceeded domestic demand, resulting in them exporting to the world, even to Thailand. From 1997 to 2011, Thailand exported 220,000 tonnes of rice a year on average, showing the skill of Thai rice farmers, he said. He added that Thai rice had been considered of high quality for a long time, which had led to the development of other good products. The general cited as an example parboiled rice, which he said was a sought-after product in numerous countries, including those in the Middle East and Africa, with Thailand exporting 3 million tonnes of parboiled rice a year worth Bt50 billion. Chatchai said that an area the rice industry needed to improve was production - ensuring that it operated with efficient consistency by focusing on a policy to help boost production instead of a pricing policy."The strategic development of Thai rice will have to take the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats into the account for the entire production chain from the farm to the table," he said.

Cooperation with Vietnam Increases Rice Yield

Havana, Cuba, Dec. 12.- The Cuba-Vietnam cooperation project for rice production, implemented since 2010 to date, has allowed increasing yields to up to 4.58 tons per hectare.Lazaro Diaz, general director of Agribusiness Group for Grains of the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG), while summarizing on Friday its fourth stage, said that in that period 56,000 hectares were planted in 12 provinces and the special municipality of Isle of Youth, which produced 257,108 tons of rice. The fifth stage (2016-2020), will concentrate on the efficient use of water, among other issues, he specified.


Le Quoc Doanh, deputy minister of agriculture of Vietnam, informed that as part of training tasks 18,000 people were trained in courses and workshops in Cuba.  We are assessing the experiences and results obtained in each of the territories to eliminate the shortcomings or limitations that prevent to increase yields, said the Vietnamese executive, who is traveling with a group of experts in this field who will stay in Cuba for several days to work on strategies for the fifth stage.Idael Perez, vice minister of MINAG, told the Cuban News Agency that in the coming years the extension method, the search for new varieties, and the efficient use of resources to increase yields will be strengthened, because there are limitations with land and water.Experts in the field said that the annual plan of rice production in Cuba will not be met this year due to the impact of drought.(acn)



Biosafety Agency approves new GM rice – D-G

The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has approved the trial of the first genetically modified rice in Nigeria at the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger.Mr Rufus Ebegba, the Director-General of the agency, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.Ebegba said that the new genetically modified rice has efficiency in nitrogen and water when compared with the conventional rice.According to him, the agency has also accredited and certified five institutes to engage in the practice of modern biotechnology.

He identified institutes and companies currently engaging in biotechnology activities as the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Abia and Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria.Others are Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Abuja, and the National Cereal Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger.Ebegba said the agency gave approval for confined field trials of bio-cassava plus with pro-Vitamin A.He said that the agency also approved the development of genetically modified cassava resistance to attack by Cassava Mosaic Virus Disease (CMVD) in Umudike, Abia.The director-general urged all other companies and institutions involved in biotechnology activities to register with the agency, adding that it would begin the prosecution of unregistered companies by January 2016.

“The National Biosafety Agency Act is the only safety net and valve in the adoption of modern biotechnology and the use of GMOs for national development.“The agency has the capacity to give Nigeria the desired holistic biosafety in a transparent manner, so that the nation can benefit maximally from modern biotechnology without compromising the environment and human health.’’Ebegba, however, called for the inclusion of biosafety courses universities’ curriculum up to Master’s degree, for better awareness and understanding. (NAN



Rice farmers ‘thankful’ they enrolled in PLC program

Dec 14, 2015Forrest Laws  | Delta Farm Press
Joe Outlaw says that toward the end of the 2014 farm bill process he got a “little more blunt than normal” when it came to talking to farmers about their decision-making.For those who know Dr. Outlaw, co-director of Texas A&M University’s Agricultural and Food Policy Center in College Station, blunt might seem to be more the norm. But those farmers also know he has their best interest at heart.“I kept telling people that I wasn’t going to argue with them about what to sign up for on rice; though I might debate with them on the pros and cons for the other crops,” said Outlaw. “On rice I wanted them to sign up for PLC (Price Loss Coverage) and go home.”

On Thanksgiving Day, not long after USDA began making payments under the Price Loss Coverage and Agricultural Risk Coverage or ARC programs, one farmer sent Outlaw an email: “You told us during the meetings to sign up for PLC and thank you later. This is my official thank you. I signed up for the program.”Outlaw told that story while delivering the Outlook Report for Texas during the Rice Research and Outlook Reports segment of the 2015 USA Rice Federation’s Rice Outlook Conference in New Orleans Thursday, Dec. 10.Outlaw presented slides showing the 2014 dollars-per-base-acre payment rates for each of the counties in the Texas Rice Belt east and west of Houston. The PLC payments ranged from $102 per base acre in Calhoun County to $156 an acre in Waller County west of Houston and similar amounts for the six rice-producing counties east of Houston.


$61 million in payments

The PLC payments for rice in Texas, which ranged from $117,000 in Jackson County to $12,542,000 in Wharton County west of Houston and from $867,000 in Galveston County to $6,163,000 in Liberty County east of Houston reached a total of $61,381,000.“Did this make people whole? Not even close,” said Outlaw, a professor and Extension economist with Texas A&M. “But it does put a pretty big bandaid over the losses that otherwise would have occurred.” (Under PLC, the payment is the difference between the national marketing year average price and the effective price multiplied by the payment yield and 85 percent of a grower’s base acres.)

Similar numbers could also be presented for other rice growing states where PLC program payments were made this fall on the 2014 crop. Payments for the 2015 crop will not be made until 2016 under the new law.Dr. Outlaw and James Richardson, the other co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, spent more than three years helping develop the farm bill decision-making tool, which they provided to producers when USDA released the first regulations implementing the new farm bill.Texas A&M University and the University of Illinois received funding from USDA to build decision-making tools aimed at helping farmers analyze their options under the new programs provided in the Agricultural Act of 2014.Texas’ rice acres have been on the decline since the severe drought conditions in 2011 led to curtailment of irrigation water deliveries, which come from reservoirs around Austin to the rice-growing areas along the Texas Gulf Coast west of Houston.


Significant decline in acres

USDA estimates Texas farmers planted about 133,000 acres of rice in 2014, a significant decline from the 193,000 acres at the most recent peak of Texas rice plantings that occurred in 2010. More water could be available in 2016 due to the rains that have occurred across Texas in recent months.
“The question is whether that 60,000 acres will come right back?” says Outlaw. “With these prices you wouldn’t expect everyone to just jump back in, but it has the potential to lead to more rice acres.”Except for fuel, production costs are continuing to go up, “but the rate of increase has not been as dramatic as it has been in the past,” he said. “The most dramatic increase has been the price of seed.”Outlaw told farmers and other industry members attending the Outlook Conference that he had spent the two or three days prior to the USA Rice event providing analyses of the cotton industry’s proposal to have cottonseed declared to be “another oilseed.” The designation would make cottonseed eligible for the programs now available to soybean producers.

“You might ask why talk about cotton at a rice meeting?” said Outlaw. “But, as Larry talked about, the more people move from cotton to rice the lower your price will be.” (Larry Falconer, Extension economist with Mississippi State University, gave the outlook report for Mississippi rice producers.)
“I know some of you do both, and that’s great. The more we can keep cotton people planting cotton and corn people planting corn, the sooner we’re going to get the rice price to move back up.
To learn more about the USA Rice Outlook Conference, visit http://usarice.com/.



Ghost rice’ in Vietnam – P3: Descendants of the Vietnamese grain
UPDATED : 12/15/2015 16:12 GMT + 7
Many rice species producing both fragrant and nutritious grains well known around the world are descendants of the wild rice varieties in Vietnam.
They have been cross-bred with ‘ghost rice’ – a wild rice species in the country – as the ‘father’ and fragrant rice species as the ‘mother.’The cross-breeding is acknowledged as the work of Professor and Doctor Bui Chi Buu, who is now head of the Southern Agricultural Sciences Institute; his wife, Professor and Doctor Nguyen Thi Lang from the Mekong Delta Rice Institute (MDRI); and Indian Doctor Darshan Brar.In 1998-99, Dr. Buu came to work for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in the Philippines and worked with Brar there.Dr. Brar followed Dr. Buu to Vietnam to study ‘ghost rice.

’After that, Dr. Lang came to IRRI to work with Dr. Brar to cross-breed Vietnam’s ‘ghost rice’ as the ‘father’ and the famous rice seed IR64 as the ‘mother.’The next year, Dr. Lang brought home 1,000 races known as ‘children’ of the above couple, test-planted them, and selected the most elite variety in the year 2000.She named it AS996, which is strongly resistant to acid sulphate and salt water in water and soil and produces an average output of 7-8 metric tons of rice per hectare.
The AS996 is the only variety cross-bred by MDRI and named ‘AS’. All others are named using the initial letters OM, which stands for O Mon District in Can Tho City, where the agency is based.AS996 was later acknowledged as an international rice species by IRRI and seeded on rice fields in many Asian nations such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam.It has since been used as the ‘father’ to cross breed with other high-yield and fragrant rice species to create strong and nutritious grains.As the ‘son’ of ‘ghost rice’ in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, AS996 created ‘grandchildren’ including OM8108 and OM6677 after cross-breeding with Japanese rice species, along with MNR4 and MNR5 after cross-breeding with the U.S. fragrant rice species Jasmine 85.
All of these cross-bred species are strongly resistant to acid sulphate, salt water, and hot weather to give an output of 7-9 metric tons per hectare.Both OM8108 and OM6677 have been submitted for recognition as the national rice species of Vietnam.Agricultural engineer, Le Hung Lan from Ho Chi Minh City Seeds Company, also created two new species by cross-breeding between AS996 and Jasmine 85. They are Nang Hoa 9 and Nang Tien 2016, whose quality can compete with Khao Dawk Mali of Thailand and Basmati of India.
The fifth house at the Mekong Delta Rice Institute is often called by Japanese scientists the museum of ‘ghost rice’ because it has dozens of ‘ghost rice’ varieties from around the world.The area has 360 pots to cultivate different species of ‘ghost rice’ and acts as a gene bank of ‘ghost rice,’ including strains from Africa, Australia, the U.S., Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines.They were all brought to Vietnam by Dr. Lang during her overseas trips.Dr. Lang said that she is on the way to creating a super rice species by cross-breeding a race of ‘ghost rice’ in Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta with OM7347 – a strain previously created by MDRI.It is considered a super species because it produces high yield.



As Liberia's Annual Rice Importation Hits US$200 Million: US$30M Failed Project Hunts ...Did VP Boakai, Lawmakers Exert “Nationalistic Policy”?

Dec 14, 2015  |  Written by mulbah 
By T. Michael Johnny 0886571899/0775820581
“Liberians will squarely evaluate all presidential candidates during the 2017 general and presidential elections; especially those who served in government and those who are still serving in government because several failed projects including the ADA rice project in Foya Lofa County and bogus concession agreements that have failed the post-war economy.”Debates continue to proffer over the abrupt collapse of US$30 million commercial rice farming in Foya, Lofa County, under the tutelage of a non-governmental organization known as the Foundation for African Development Aid (ADA) headed by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Wendell McIntosh.
The ambitious, but collapsed rice project was an enviable initiative of slain Libyan leader Colonel Ghaddafi under his economic expansion for Africa especially in agriculture food production to ease the millions spent by governments in Africa, including Liberia on the importation of rice and other agriculture produce.However, the CEO of ADA, McIntosh has repeatedly told the media that the US$30 million was his private loan agreement he sourced from the late Libyan leader Ghaddaffi and not government's intervention as widely speculated by individuals who had vested interest in promoting commercial agriculture in Liberia and Africa.

In contrast, in a privileged conversation with an informed official at the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) who strictly requested anonymity, the agreement was initiated by the government, but entrusted with the ADA due to the late Ghaddaffi's policy on investment at the time.“The entire agreement was initiated by government, but because it was Ghaddaffi's own initiative, the government could not implement the US$30 million project; that was how ADA screwed the opportunity to get the contract; how can he say he sourced the money through his own lobby,” the MOA official argued.Although, the US$ 30million commercial rice project has collapsed as verified by the Unity Party (UP) led government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, however, the ADA CEO during a recent media interaction pointed accusing fingers at government officials who allegedly requested fabulous kickbacks and leverages to implement the project.

McIntosh, who declined to disclose the identities of government officials who requested kickbacks to implement the project openly accused government officials of accelerating the untimely collapse of the project, which according to discussants, speaks volumes of the unpatriotic nature of leaders.As the ADA rice project hurts economically deprived Liberians, a group under the banner of “Liberians for Positive Change” over the weekend debated what its members perceived as institutions and individuals responsible for the US$30 rice project collapse.“Some members of the Executive, Legislature especially members of the Lofa County Legislative Caucus and Vice President Joseph Boakai should share some of the blame for the collapse of rice project because they failed to adequately monitor its implementation,” said Douglas Freemen, a University of Liberia (UL) student majoring in Agriculture.

He clarified that Vice President Boakai's blame in the collapse of the rice project is not being misconstrued to mean that he received kickbacks; however, he stated that the UP second in command could have exerted enormous pressure especially when the project was located at his home town of Foya, Lofa County.“I think the US$30 million rice project debate is getting interesting as we head to the 2017 general and presidential election; In my opinion, the Vice President who hails from Foya, Lofa County should have ensured that the project in his home town is successful, and that could have given him a serious political leverage especially to champion food production,” said George Kollie, a student at the United Methodist University majoring in administration said.Kollie, a proponent of the UP- led government said he was disappointed that Vice President Boakai and other Lofa County officials allowed the project to collapse without protecting the investment, noting that the success of the project could have reduced the rising cost of rice importation.

Vice President Boakai, who declared his presidential ambition in the same Foya where the US$30 million rice project collapsed hopes to become the successor to aging Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to retain the UP hegemony.As the debate ensued, discussants also pointed at the Legislature headed by House Speaker Alex Tyler, who according to reports, is seriously aligning with a newly established political party known as the Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP) where it has been rumoured that he could become the Standard Bearer in 2017.“Look at the Legislature headed by Speaker Tyler, there are reports that some of their members received kickbacks before the project could be initiated.

What was the Legislature's role in ensuring that the project works? But we will evaluate each candidate in 2017,” said Sampson Doe.Doe continued: “Liberians will squarely evaluate all presidential candidates during the 2017 general and presidential elections; especially those who served in government and those who are still serving in government because several failed projects including ADA rice project in Foya Lofa County and bogus concession agreements that has failed post-war economy.”Like the collapsed ADA rice project, a 2014 report released by Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI) with research and publication fund from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) revealed details of how post-war iron ore mining is failing to meet expectations in post-war Liberia.The sustained SDI report, which is now being evidently manifested by the laying off of hundreds of employees at iron ore giant ArcelorMittal and other concession multinational companies reflects the “unpatriotic and bogus” agreements signed by government.

In SDI's introductory publication “Poverty in the midst of plenty” the group narrates the regressive concept of practical self- interest approach by government's negotiators to bargain the country's natural resources for cheaper prices with expected kickbacks.In its contextual implication, SDI summed that Liberia gives generous tax concessions in the iron ore sector that undercuts the Liberia code because the government seems unable to track what extractive industries should pay in taxes.“The iron ore sector in Liberia sits at a fundamental crossroad.

It will either create viable jobs and revenue that can stimulate economic growth or it will facilitate the devolution of the state resources into a feckless rentier economy wherein citizens are reduced to causalities of natural resource exploitation,” SDI said in its report.The Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency International (LEITI), an institution constituted to monitor extractive resources gloomily revealed that out of 66 concession agreements signed with the government, only two meet the standard of agreement.According to the former Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), Richard Tolbert Liberia spends over US$200 annually on the importation of rice, which is the country's staple food.



Arkansas Farm Bureau Daily Commodity Report

Long Grain Cash Bids
- - -
- - -
Long Grain New Crop
- - -
- - -

Jan '16
Mar '16
May '16
Jul '16
Sep '16
Nov '16
Jan '17


Rice Comment

Rice futures may be attempting to stabilize after the recent downturn which took over $1.50 off the market in a matter of a few short days. January is attempting to establish support at $11. The domestic cash market is quiet and export demand is slow as well, which is typically the case around the holidays. The monthly supply/demand report showed little change, with only a 1 million cwt decrease in imports into the U.S. and use unchanged. Exports were pegged at 98 million cwt, and ending stocks were cut to 38.8 million cwt. The average on farm price for long grain remained $11.50 to $12.50. Global rice stocks are forecast to decrease for the third year in a row as consumption is expected to outpace production. Production was lowered to 469.3 million metric tons, down approximately 8.9 million tons from the preceding year.



USA Rice Announces Conservation Achievement Award

Leo LeGrande (l) and honoree Kevin Norton

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- USA Rice presented the sixth annual USA Rice Distinguished Conservation Achievement Award to Kevin Norton, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state conservationist for Louisiana.  Leo LaGrande, chairman of the USA Rice Farmers' Conservation Committee, presented the award to Norton during the annual Rice Awards luncheon held here last Friday, during the 2015 USA Rice Outlook Conference.

 "Since being named Louisiana's state conservationist in 2007, Kevin has worked as a champion for the rice industry and encouraged the adoption of innovative practices to further conservation benefits beyond NRCS standards," LeGrande said.  "Just this year he submitted a number of new Conservation Stewardship Program practices that are designed specifically for use on ricelands."LeGrande added, "Among fellow state conservationists, Kevin has been recognized as a strong leader.  Recently he spent 29 months detailed to the Senate Agriculture Committee to develop the Conservation Title of the 2014 Farm Bill and personally helped design the Regional Conservation Partnership Program."When accepting the award, Norton said, "As a public servant, there is no greater or more humbling honor than to be recognized by your customers.  And this is really special to me because rice is special to me."

 Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444

Rice Scholarship Winner Promotes Health, Budget Benefits of Rice


From left:  USA Rice CEO Betsy Ward, grand prize winner Haven McElhanon, and Leslie Rodgers with Dow AgroSciences


NEW ORLEANS, LA -- At last Friday's USA Rice Outlook Conference Awards Luncheon, Haven McElhanon of Forrest City, Arkansas, took home the 2015 USA Rice Federation National Rice Month Scholarship, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.  As the grand prize winner, she received a $4,000 scholarship and a trip here to attend the conference.McElhanon's initiative, "Rice - a Health Happy Hand," touted the health benefits of budget-friendly rice, which she promoted through classroom visits and community events, spreading rice information, and recipes.  She also enlisted support from a local judge who signed a proclamation to make September Arkansas Rice Month.


McElhanon is the daughter of Dana Crisp and Steve McElhanon, and is part of a fifth-generation farming family in Arkansas.  While rice production has always been part of her community, she learned more about its importance while conducting rice promotions and serving as Miss St. Francis County Rice 2015. "In spreading the news about rice and its nutritional value, I became interested in pursuing a degree in nutrition upon attending college in the fall of 2016," says McElhanon, who is a senior at Palestine/Wheatley High School.   "I hope my efforts have made a difference in my community where so many suffer from poverty and poor health as a result of diet."To apply for the scholarship, students were required to develop a promotional program in their local community that highlights U.S.-grown rice as part of National Rice Month in September.  The second- and third-place winners are Mary Katherine Swindoll of Hernando, Mississippi, and Clay Parker, of Carlisle, Arkansas, respectively.


"During the past seven years of Dow AgroSciences sponsoring the National Rice Month Scholarship, we have been impressed with the students' passion and effort they put into promoting rice in their communities," says Leslie Rodgers, a crop protection representative with Dow AgroSciences, who presented the award.   "These applicants are our next generation of producers, teachers, and agriculture advocates."


Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for December 14
Net Change

January 2016
- $0.070
March 2016
- $0.075
May 2016
- $0.070
July 2016
- $0.065
September 2016
- $0.030
November 2016
- $0.030
January 2017
- $0.030


Commodity Report-Dec. 14

In today’s commodity report we have the California Shell Eggs: Daily Egg Report, the Weekly Rice Summary and other commodity end of the day market numbers.

California Shell Eggs: Daily Egg Report

Benchmark prices are 40 cents lower for Jumbo, 56 cents lower for Extra Large, 55 cents lower for Large and 33 cents lower for Medium and Small. The undertone is steady to occasionally lower. Retail and food service movement is light to mostly moderate. Offerings are moderate. Supplies are light to moderate. Market activity is slow to moderate. Small benchmark price $1.69.Shell egg marketer’s benchmark price for negotiated egg sales of USDA Grade AA and Grade AA in cartons, cents per dozen. This price does not reflect discounts or other contract terms.



Weekly Rice Summary

In California, medium grain milled rice prices steady to weak. Second heads and Brewers prices steady. Rice by-products: Rice Bran prices mostly steady. Ground rice hulls spot trade lightly tested, mostly all hulls already sold.
USDA National Weekly Rice Summary (.pdf) with all prices for all areas.
Check the December USDA Commodity Report Calendar for today’s commodity reports released by USDA.

Now Monday’s Commodity Market ending market numbers for other commodities:

March Corn ended at $3.79 gaining 3 3/4 cents, May ended at $3.84 1/4 up 4 cents.
January Soybeans ended at 8.74 1/4 up 3 1/2 cents, March ended at 8.76 increasing 2 1/4 cents.
March Wheat ended at $4.93 1/2, increasing 3 cents, December Wheat ended at $4.99 1/4 gaining 3 cents.
Rough Rice

January Rough Rice ended at 10.985 down 0.07, March ended at 11.25 dropping 0.075.
Live Cattle

December Live Cattle ended at $119.325 decreasing $2.125 and February ended at $124.225 losing $2.025 and April ended at $125.15 down $2.20.
Feeder Cattle

January Feeder Cattle ended at $148.00 losing $4.125 and March ended at $146.425 decreasing $3.70 and April ended at $147.30 off $3.775.
Lean Hogs

February Lean Hogs ended at $60.125 decreasing $0.425, April ended at $64.425 down $0.275
Class III Milk

December Class III Milk ended at $14.58 up $0.02 and January ended at $13.73 increasing $0.03 and February ended at $14.01 unchanged.

#2 Cotton

March #2 Cotton ending at 63.38 losing 0.33, May ended at 64.15 down 0.34.
Sugar #11

March sugar #11 ended at 14.51 down 0.07 and May ended at 14.14 decreasing 0.08.
Orange Juice

January Orange Juice ended at 149.65 gaining $0.45, March ending at 149.40 down $0.70.
Crude Oil WTI

January Crude Oil WTI ended at $36.27 increasing $0.65, February ended at $37.52 up $0.27 and March ended at $38.65 gaining $0.08.

Brent Crude

January Crude Oil Brent ended at $37.92 down $0.01, February ended at $38.16 decreasing $0.16 and March ended at $38.81 losing $0.21.


Senators divided on sales to Cuba


Boozman for it, Cotton opposed

WASHINGTON — Nearly a year after the Obama administration announced plans to renew diplomatic ties with Cuba, some members of the Arkansas congressional delegation are working to remove trade barriers.But those measures face opposition from lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who say expanded trade will benefit that nation’s communist regime.Currently, Americans can only ship goods to Cuba if they’ve already been paid for with cash. No credit can be extended to Cuban purchasers.Arkansas’ other senator, Republican Sen. John Boozman, has introduced legislation allowing Americans to “provide payment or financing terms for sales of agricultural commodities to Cuba or an individual or entity in Cuba.”

On the House side, 1st District U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford is sponsoring House Resolution 3687, the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act, which would allow credit to be extended as long as “the agricultural business is not controlled by the Government of Cuba, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, the Ministry of the Interior of Cuba, or any subdivision of either governmental entity.”This week, Boozman, of Rogers, said he’s still working to get his language approved and that he still is hopeful it will get passed before the end of the year. Despite time growing short, “I think it’s still in the mix,” he said, expressing hope that Congress would pass it before heading home for Christmas.Ben Noble, the Arkansas Rice Federation executive director, said many rice growers are hopeful the barriers will be lifted.

The federation describes itself as the state’s largest rice industry trade association.Industry officials, heartened by the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations, invited Cuban officials to the 2015 USA Rice Outlook Conference in New Orleans this week.An official with the Cuban Embassy’s Economic and Trade Office, Minister Counselor Ruben Ramos Arrieta, attended and expressed interest in importing more rice from the United States.“I think there’s a lot of optimism” among rice farmers, Noble said. “I think there’s a real desire to get past the old Cold War philosophy with Cuba and re-engage.”Earlier this month, Boozman told Delta Grassroots Caucus members and others that dropping the trade barriers is “good for the United States and it’s good for the people of Cuba.”
The U.S. initiated an economic embargo against Havana shortly after the ouster of dictator Fulgencio Batista by Fidel Castro. Trade restrictions have been in place ever since.In 2000, U.S. law was changed to allow the sale of food and medicine. But in 2005, the Treasury Department said it would no longer allow sales that weren’t prepaid for in cash.On Dec. 17, 2014, President Barack Obama took steps to normalize relations between the two countries, including announcing plans to reopen the U.S. Embassy in Havana. But federal law mandates many of the sanctions, and it would take congressional action to end them.Cotton says Castro, not common Cuban citizens, would benefit from a change in trade policy.

“The president made a unilateral decision last December to recognize Cuba in return for nothing and, since then, Cuba’s behavior’s only gotten worse,” he said this week.Cuba harbors American fugitives and imprisons political dissidents, and Fidel Castro and his brother Raul still call the shots, Cotton said. Raul Castro has replaced his brother as leader of Cuba.“They continue to control all levers of the economy, so any kind of trade or economic activity that we have with Cuba ultimately doesn’t benefit the Cuban people and move them towards a safe, prosperous democracy that would be an ally of the United States,” Cotton said. “It simply enriches the Castro regime.”Other agencies are also working to restore ties. On Friday, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to restore direct mail service to Cuba. A pilot program is planned and no timetable was announced, according to The Associated Press.Boozman said the embargo “hasn’t worked” and said U.S. trade policy should be consistent.

“We deal with a lot worse actors than Cuba. When you look at the Saudi Arabians’ human-rights record, the Chinese, the … Vietnamese,” he said. “There’s simply no reason to single them out at this point for something that happened decades ago.”Crawford told the same group at the Delta caucus gathering that the trade barriers need to be lowered.“From an Arkansas perspective, this is very important to us because two of the things that are most common on the menu in Cuba are rice and chicken, and those are two things that we do very well in Arkansas,” the Jonesboro Republican said.

Roughly half the nation’s rice in 2014 was grown in Arkansas. It has long been the state’s leading export.Arkansas’ location gives it a competitive advantage over other rice growers. In Cuba, “you can get a shipment of rice from Vietnam in 36 days or you can get a shipment of U.S. rice in 36 hours,” he said.Plus, Crawford said, Arkansas rice tastes better.“We just have a higher quality product,” he said. “And I think the Cubans would be very, very happy to receive that and to deal with us. But we’ve got to get past that financing restriction that currently exists.”

Print Headline: Senators divided on sales to Cuba



2015 Rice Outlook Conference draws record attendance in New Orleans

Dec 13, 2015

Forrest Laws | Delta Farm Press

Kevin Berken, rice farmer from Lake Charles, La., welcome rice industry members to the 2015 USA Rice Outlook Conference.The 2015 USA Rice Outlook Conference attracted record attendance as producers and other industry members traveled to New Orleans to learn about new developments in technology and the market outlook for 2016.The preliminary attendance figure for this year's conference was 925, which exceeds the previous record of 857 set in Las Vegas, Nev., a number of years ago. The final attendance figure will be released at a later date.Growers also heard decidedly differing views on the 2016 president race as husband-and-wife-keynote speakers James Carville and Mary Matalin discussed the 2016 presidential election. The political “odd couple” – Matalin is a Republican and Carville a Democrat – gave their take on the 2016 race.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in American politics,” said Carville when asked by Brian King of Ritter Grain Services, Marked Tree, Ark., about the large field of candidates vying for the presidency. King moderated the discussion.“This is unprecedented - you could field two baseball teams,” Matalin said. “We have produced a field that is uncharted territory.”Attendees also heard from Jim Wiesemeyer, senior vice president with Informa Economics, who included some discussion of the 2016 elections in his Washington Outlook presentation at the conference.Here are some photos from this year’s event.For more on the USA Rice Federation and the USA Rice Outlook Conference, visit http://usarice.com/.

H1 rice imports may hit 900,000 MT – NFA

December 14, 2015 9:50 pm

Proposed 2016 volume to stabilize supply, prices

Rice imports may reach nearly 1 million metric tons (MT) in the first half of 2016 as the government moves to ensure stable supply and prices amid an ongoing El Nino.National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Renan Dalisay told reporters that the Food Security Committee (FSC) could recommend an additional 400,000 MT of rice imports on top of the 500,000 MT already programmed for the first quarter of 2016.Dalisay said the FSC was expected to approve the additional import volume before the year ends, with shipments to arrive before the onset of the lean season that starts in June.“We need to ensure that we have enough rice inventories at government depositories as El Nino peaks in the first quarter of next year,” he said, adding that the proposal is part of a roadmap aimed at alleviating the impact of a prolonged drought on food supplies.
Manila, formerly the world’s biggest rice importer, traditionally buys an average of 1.7 million MT of the grain annually. For 2015 alone, the country contracted a total of 1.9 million MT of rice but actual arrivals of the grain have been pegged at 1.135 million MT.For next year’s importation, Dalisay said the NFA Council was looking at the possibility of buying the rice through a government-to-government (G2G) deal or via an open tender.A G2G transaction requires an existing executive agreement for a country to participate. At present, only three countries – Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia – have existing rice purchase agreements with the Philippines.An open tender, on the other hand, will allow foreign private entities outside of the Philippines’ current bilateral agreements to bid for Manila’s rice requirement.“The NFA Council is also studying the possibility of including the planned import volume under the minimum access volume (MAV),” the NFA chief said.

At present, Manila limits the amount of rice allowed to enter the country through the MAV to 805,000 metric tons.The MAV refers to the minimum volume of farm produce allowed to enter into the Philippines at reduced 35 percent tariff. Shipments outside the MAV are levied a higher rate of 50 percent and require NFA approval.Depending on the impact of the dry spell on domestic palay production, rice imports could double in 2016 to ensure stable prices, Dalisay said.The NFA is mandated to protect the interests of both rice producers and consumers. As such, the agency’s two primary duties are to stabilize the price of rice and to ensure food security.The price stabilization mandate means the NFA tries to influence prices on two fronts. On one end, it must support palay farmers and keep prices at a level that is enough to ensure a reasonable return.

 At the same time, it must also ensure that the price of rice is affordable enough for consumers.Over the past two years, the NFA has relied massively on cheaper imported rice to replenish its buffer stocks since it cannot compete with private millers and traders in buying locally grown palay.Buying rice from abroad cuts the agency’s spending on local purchases, and it can earn more and limit its losses by selling to consumers at higher prices.NFA Spokesperson Angel Imperial Jr., meanwhile, said the country still had enough of the grain, with inventories at government-owned depositories as well as commercial warehouses and households sufficient for the next 69 days.“
As of November 30, the NFA has 801,000 MT of rice which is good for 26 days, while commercial and households stock as of October 30 was pegged at 666,000 MT and 777,000 MT, respectively,” Imperial said.The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has projected that the ongoing El Niño will exceed the 1997 to 1998 occurrence.The full effects of the current weather phenomenon, the agency added, will be felt in February and March 2016 when the entire country is projected to get only 20 to 30 percent of normal rainfall.

Despite the threats of a prolonged drought, however, the government still expects palay production to bounce back in the first quarter of next year, thanks to changes in the cropping calendar.The palay sector has suffered massively from unrealized plantings as a result of delayed releases and inadequate irrigation water, late rains and some areas being left fallow. The wet season should have started mid-April but was delayed to June-July due to the lack of water supply.With recent storms having filled dams and irrigation facilities now overflowing, the Agriculture department said harvests would rebound in the first quarter of 2016. Officials also said they were meeting with farmers who wish to conduct early planting of palay.Palay production is forecast to reach 20.69 million MT next year.


New Rice Could Help Reduce Global Greenhouse Gasses

The new strain of rice (right) compared to common rice (left). The new rice creates much less methane during its growth and produces more grains.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Rice is a staple in many people’s diets. But you may not know that rice paddies are one of the biggest sources of global methane emissions — a potent greenhouse gas. Now, researchers have found a way to nearly eliminate methane emissions from rice paddies.When it comes to greenhouse gasses, methane is a major contributor to climate change. It is 20 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

Researchers estimate that up to 15 percent of global human-caused methane emissions comes from growing rice.That’s why researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences decided to see if they could reduce the amount of methane that comes from growing rice.PNNL’s Christer Jansson said researchers were able to splice a barley gene into a rice gene.

 The effect: The team’s rice paddies emit almost no methane. The hope is that could help reduce greenhouse gasses worldwide.“I think it could have an effect, certainly," Jansson said. "There’s always a balance.” There’s an added bonus to the gene splice: increased rice yields.The team has tested the rice in greenhouses in Sweden and in rice paddies in China. Up next: testing how the rice tastes, looks and is harvested compared to what’s grown now — although Jansson said researchers so far haven’t noticed any differences.Jansson said this new rice won’t be available commercially for another 20 years or so.


SunRice lifts first-half profit


A focus away from sales of bulk rice to more profitable branded rice into premium markets has helped boost the half-year profit of global rice trader SunRice.SunRice's first-half revenue and profit rose despite a smaller rice crop in NSW's Riverina region in 2015 as well as adverse foreign exchange movements and weaker economic conditions in some markets.SunRice also says it is developing contingency plans in the Riverina in expectation of a significantly reduced crop in 2016, largely due to the current availability and pricing of water.SunRice's net profit attributable to members for the six months to October 31 rose 12.5 per cent to $21.9 million.SunRice did not declare a dividend."This half-year profit result was underpinned by the continued growth of branded sales and operational improvements," SunRice chief executive Rob Gordon said on Tuesday.


"We continue to actively execute our stated strategy to focus on premium branded markets and to build capacity and capability across the organisation."SunRice expects its profit for the full 2016 financial year to be in line with the 2015 results.SunRice said revenue generated by its rice pool business was lower compared to a year earlier as volumes were affected by a smaller crop. The rice pool business mills and markets rice from the Riverina.The international rice business, which markets and distributes rice from outside of the Riverina region, suffered a fall in profit because of unfavourable exchange rate movements and weaker economic conditions in some markets, including Papua New Guinea.


The rice food segment, which makes and distributes products such as rice cakes, rice flour and rice chips, was also impacted by negative currency movements and had to import additional product.The Riviana Foods business, which makes and sells consumer food products to intermediaries, improved its profit as it axed some product ranges and cut costs.Meanwhile SunRice expects to release details of a capital restructure to shareholders in February 2016, ahead of a shareholder vote on March 16.SunRice has two classes of shares: A-class voting shares, which are held by active rice growers; and B-class non-voting shares, which are held by active and former rice growers, and employees.SunRice is proposing to list a separate entity called the SunRice Fund on the Australian Securities Exchange - similar to dairy producers Murray Goulburn Co-operative and Fonterra.



Presenting #RMTC16 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Robert S. Zeigler

Dr. Robert S. Zeigler
Director General and Chief Executive Officer
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Robert “Bob” Zeigler is an internationally respected plant pathologist with over 30 years of experience in agricultural research in the developing world. Zeigler became director general and chief executive officer of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in 2005.After completing undergraduate work in 1972, Zeigler joined the Peace Corps and spent 2 years as a science teacher in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa.Zeigler earned degrees at Cornell University (PhD), Oregon State University (MSc), and the University of Illinois (BSc). Zeigler has completed corporate management and governance programs from Harvard Business School and Kellogg School of Management. Dr. Zeigler is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Phytopathological Society, the Indian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and is a member of the honor societies: Sigma Xi (The Scientific Research Society), and Gamma Sigma Delta (agriculture).Zeigler has authored and co-authored over 100 refereed international journal articles, reports, and scientific papers and has delivered numerous invited lectures worldwide.

My hometown of Houston, Texas welcomes you to the 2016 Rice Market & Technology Convention!

Now this is going to be a real exciting event that you will not want to miss – and from the interest shown so early, we believe that the saying “Everything is Bigger in Texas” will be fitting for our 2016 RMTC as we expect it to be our largest ever!  In Texas we have so many resources of support along the gulf coast area such as rice farms, university research programs, ports, seed development companies, rice mills, allied equipment companies and more.  And I have not mentioned Houston’s famous food, shopping, sports, arts and entertainment.  Did someone say “Barbecue”??  It’s on me folks!  See you May 31-June 2, 2016!


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