Wednesday, April 13, 2016

12th april,2016 daily global,regional and local rice enewsletter by ricpelus magazine

·         Vegetables: Sri Lanka to facilitate imports from Pakistan
·         Pakistan seeks to be Iran's top rice exporter
·         Basmati prices likely to firm up in near term despite tepid demand
·         China to release more water to alleviate SE Asia drought
·         Vietnam could disrupt plans to bolster NFA’s rice buffers
·         Manila urged to drop rice import quotas
·         Satellite technology takes root in Philippine farms
·         APEDA AgriExchange Newsletter - Volume 1452
·         Drought could hit rice stocks at exporters, fuel price crisis, analyst says
·         Rice basmati strengthens on rising demand
·         AMAICA: Rice price going up by 10 to 15 per cent
·         India's monsoon rains seen above average in 2016: weather office
·         At 106% rainfall, IMD predicts above-normal monsoon in 2016
·         04/12/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report
·         U.S. House's Cuba Working Group Hears Ag Trade Benefits
·         WASDE Report Released
·         Commodity Report-April 12
·         The paradox of rice imports
·         Basmati rice industry may see revival from H2 of 2016-17: Icra

News Detail...


Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are one of the marvels of science and their existence in the natural world cannot be denied. In fact almost all the African countries have been taken over by the swarms of GMOs in the form of GM crops, GM products, etc. These GMOs are produced by insertion of genetic portions of different traits from different organisms into the genome of one organism.These GMOs have many useful aspects, but besides those useful aspects they also are capable of many negative effects on the ecosysFirst ever genetically engineered DNA was made in 1973 and after that the process got started and adopted by many scientists, and the result is in the form of today’s world where new diseases keep on originating from nowhere, old ones got worse with only some vaccines as a preventive measure but where does it lead those people of our society who die just because they cannot afford such expensive medication?

In Pakistan, trend of GMOs is still in. This country has been inoculated with the virus of GMOs in the form of BT-cotton being grown all over Pakistan. BT-rice, more than 60% of which is being used all over the country and people are unaware of it, GM tomato, potato are among many others.Whenever someone dies at the young age (25-45 years approx) due to any disease, people say it’s the will of God; but why don’t we ask ourselves what if we try to make this planet as God ordered us to make it? Why is the natural world so limited? Why don’t we see cancer as the genetic disorder when someone young dies of it? What if the inserted genes in GMOs are causing this? What if the insect resistant toxin produced by BT-cotton causes cancer or other fatal diseases? Why our animals don’t eat seed cake made from GM crop seeds? Why international seed companies and food departments are taking over the control of what we eat in this country? These entire questions have answers waiting before us. The only thing that we need to do is to expand our point of view. We must try to take things seriously and more deeply.Always keep it in mind to think before you eat, no matter what you eat and how expensive it is or how much hygienic it is because it’s your life that is on the line and not that scientist’s life who is sitting in the lab and making GMOs like that to get rich.

Vegetables: Sri Lanka to facilitate imports from Pakistan

April 12, 2016 RECORDER REPORT

Sri Lanka will facilitate the import of vegetables including potato and onion from Pakistan. The issue of exempting imported consignments of vegetables from regularity duties will be taken up in the next cabinet meeting as the duties are imposed to save local production. These views were expressed by Sri Lankan Minister of Trade and Industry Rishad Bathiudeen while addressing a lunch arranged by Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Forum in his honour.

He said Pakistan's cement and pharmaceutical industries had better opportunities of investment in Sri Lanka. He said that enjoying the free trade agreement between Sri Lanka and India, Pakistan, by establishing industries in Sri Lanka and with value addition of its products, can had indirect market access to India. Education, he said, was another sector where both countries might develop cooperation as a large number of students from Sri Lanka went to India and United Kingdom for modern education. They could be invited to professional universities especially those in medical and engineering fields in Pakistan.

The minister said Pakistan's rice had great demand in Sri Lanka whereas Sri Lankan tea could get shares in Pakistani markets. On the occasion, Aslam Pakhali, President of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Forum appreciated the efforts made by the minister for enhancement of bilateral trade. He said the minister had great contribution in making the single country exhibition of Pakistan held in Sri Lanka a successful show.

Pakhali said imposition of regularity duties was right of Sri Lankan to save its local production. However, the foreign country was requested to exempt the already shipped consignments of potato and onion from Pakistan, which was the largest exporter of the same item to Sri Lanka, he added.

He further informed the visiting minister that the forum was doing all its best to enhance trade between the two countries. He said the forum had advertised Sri Lankan pineapple in Pakistan recently. "There is a demand for Sri Lankan herbal and Islamic products in Pakistan. The mega project of CPEC may also provide access to Sri Lankan products in Middle Eastern countries, Europe and Central Asia." The dinner programme was also attended by Sri Lankan Consul General in Karachi Heerath, Vice President of the forum Abdul Wahhab and others.-PR

Pakistan seeks to be Iran's top rice exporter
Global English (Middle East and North Africa Financial Network)
Pakistani traders seek an increase of at least 30pct in export of aromatic Basmati rice to Iran, as the latter is one of the world's biggest rice importers, based on reports.Iran ships in more than USD2bn of the commodity yearly and Pakistan on the other hand has a modicum share in the neighboring market, so it emerges as a top candidate to be a top exporter.Moreover, Pakistan expects outbound shipments to grow 20-30 percent in the near future; however its biggest challenge now is to break a long-standing monopoly of Indian aromatic rice in Iran.We are eager to regain our lost share of basmati rice to India, as in the past few years, India has flooded the Iranian market with its basmati rice at knockdown prices," said a top Pakistani official

Basmati prices likely to firm up in near term despite tepid demand

By Sutanuka Ghosal, ET Bureau | 12 Apr, 2016, 11.39AM IST
The industry is expected to witness weak sales growth or degrowth and decline in profitability in 2015-16, Majumdar said.KOLKATA: The Basmati price have gone up 11.7% in the past one month, promising some respite to traders even as excess supply and weak demand are expected to continue in the near term, according to credit rating agency ICRA and some experts.Most of the companies are expected to report a decline in profitability in 2015-16, which will weaken the leverage profile of these companies. Listed companies such as KRBL, LT Foods and Kohinoor Foods with established brands such as India Gate, Dawat and Kohinoor armed with strong distribution networks are likely to be better placed to deal with the situation, the agency said. "The scenario of excess supply and weak international demand is expected to linger in the near term, impacting the financial profile of basmati rice players," Sabyasachi Majumdar, co-head of corporate rating at ICRA, said.

The industry is expected to witness weak sales growth or degrowth and decline in profitability in 2015-16, Majumdar said. "Inability to liquidate stocks and recover funds from debtors are likely to increase the funding requirements and hence leverage. Nevertheless, players with established brands and strong distribution network are likely to be better placed to cope with the challenges," he said. Majumdar said that the situation is likely to improve only from the next basmati paddy harvest season in the second half of FY17. Prerana Desai, vice president, Edelweiss Agri Research, said that the prices of basmati paddy had bottomed out in February 2016 when it touched Rs 4,600 per quintal. "Though it has gone up to Rs 5,250 per quintal, the prices will keep on languishing for some time," she said.
While basmati price is consumed across the globe, West Asian countries account for most of the imports. Within West Asia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two largest buyers, together accounting for over 50% of basmati rice exports from India. However, even as Iran emerged as one of the largest importers of basmati rice in recent years, the country imposed a ban on basmati rice imports from India in 2014-15, citing its own healthy rice crop and large basmati inventory. The ban led to a decline in Iran's proportion of total exports from India from 37% in 2013-14 to 24% in 2014-15. › 



China to release more water to alleviate SE Asia drought

Cambodia fears drought due to insufficient water from upper Mekong

In this March 28 photo, workers repair a dried up irrigation canal at Chai Nat province. Much of Southeast Asia is suffering its worst drought in 20 or more years. Tens of millions of people in the region are affected by the low level of the Mekong, a rice bowl-sustaining river system that flows into Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.(AP photo)

BEIJING -- China will release more water from a dam in its southwestern province of Yunnan to help alleviate a drought in parts of Southeast Asia, China's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, following an initial release begun last month.The water already began being released on Monday from the Jinghong dam, and will continue to be released until the "low-water period" is over, ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing.The actual amount of water released will be decided upon by how much water there is to release upstream and the demands of downstream users, Mr Lu added.China's releases of water show the effectiveness of "water facilities" in helping control floods and address droughts, he said.
China has said that the water released will benefit Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
Thailand is facing its worst water shortage in two decades, with 14 out of 76 provinces hit and large swathes of agricultural land at risk.Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed concern on Monday that if low water levels in the Mekong River persist, Cambodia could be "seriously affected" by drought and the encroachment of sea water.

Speaking at a Buddhist ceremony in Prey Veng province, Hun Sen said that the river's low level has already resulted in sea water flowing about 100 kilometres into the Mekong delta in Vietnam, and that it could reach Cambodia as well in the absence of sufficient freshwater.The premier added that during his recent visit to China, he requested the upper Mekong country allow a larger volume of water to flow down the river.He said he also asked Thailand, Myanmar and Laos not to block any more water than is essential for their own usage, so as not to trigger drought conditions in the lower Mekong countries.

In Vietnam, some 1.8 million people are facing water shortages and the government says 230,000 hectares of rice has been destroyed in the central and southern regions this year.
While China and Vietnam are involved in an increasingly bitter territorial dispute in the South China Sea, the two communist-led countries have traditionally had close ties.
Beijing and Hanoi have also been trying to repair ties severely harmed in 2014 when Beijing parked an oil rig in waters off the Vietnamese coast, leading to anti-China riots.

Bangkok Post


Vietnam could disrupt plans to bolster NFA’s rice buffers

THE strong drought hitting, some of the Philippine's key source of rice imports, could disrupt the government’s plan to build up reserves of the staple held by the National Food Authority (NFA), an industry official said.

Workers unload sacks of rice at a warehouse of the National Food Authority.  AFP

"There are many countries, not only us, hit by drought. And then everybody will be trying to get rice from these rice-producing areas but they themselves are also hit by drought . That's where price will be critical," said Philippine Confederation of Grains Associations (Philcongrains) President Herculano Co adding that funds for procurement will be crucial for the country's imports.Earlier, the National Food Authority expressed plans to import additional 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice on top of its current government-to-government contract to bolster the country's buffer stock amid the El Nino.

When asked if the country may be able to count on drought-stricken rice-producing countries for 500,000 MT considering the possibility of higher rice prices, Mr. Co answered in the negative.In 2015, some 511,250 MT of rice was approved for importation via contracts with various countries, with specific quotas governed by the minimum access volume scheme, which allows produce to enter into the country at reduced tariff rates. Of the total, 51.50% was bagged by Vietnam. Thailand and India received allocations of 42.08% and 1%, respectively.

According to “Vietnam Consolidated Report on Drought and Saltwater Intrusion” collated between October and March by the United Nations Disaster Risk Management Team (UNDRMT), provinces in the Mekong Delta, Southern Central and Central Highlands regions have been feeling the impact of the El Niño-induced dry spell since the end of 2015.The Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s source of about half the country’s rice and fruit, with 159,000 hectares (ha) of the staple grain reported damaged by the drought as well as by saltwater intrusion as of March 9.

“Since the end of 2015, water levels in the lower Mekong River have been at their lowest level since records began nearly 100 years ago. It is estimated that levels of water shortage in the rivers of the Mekong Delta range from 30-50%,” reported the UNDRMT, adding that “further 500,000 ha of paddy rice is likely to be damaged by mid-2016.”
In January, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha encouraged farmers to shift from solely planting rice crops to help sustain water reserves across the country, which have dipped below 2015 levels. The Commerce Ministry, in addition, forecast output of 25 million MT for crop year 2016, down from 27.06 million MT a year earlier.According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations dated Feb. 8, rice stocks this year may need "to be drawn down to bridge the expected gap between world production and consumption, with much of the release likely to concern India and Thailand, the two leading rice exporters."

NFA spokesperson Angel G. Imperial said that the Philippine plan to import about 500,000 MT more rice is “not yet a definite plan... It’s just a possibility” being considered to boost buffer stocks as a precaution against the dry spell, which has been hurting farms here since February 2015.Earlier, the NFA announced that buffers may be sufficient to rule out imports in the first half of the year.“This will be an interesting few months for the global market, which faces a tight supply situation for the first time since 2007-08,” according to a post by Dr. Sam Mohanty, head of the Social Sciences Division of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) dated Feb. 22 on the official IRRI Web site.
The rice stocks of five major exporters -- India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan and the United States ��” have declined since reaching a peak of nearly 41 million tons in 2013, according to IRRI, citing United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.The USDA was quoted as saying that the biggest drawdown of stocks in the exporting countries is under way this year, with a 40% drop from a year earlier to reach 19 million tons by late 2016.Mr. Co said that with great crop damage resulting from the dry spell, a potential crisis looms that reminded him of the rice crisis of 2008, when prices exceeded $1,000 per MT.“If we rely on imports, what happens if the countries have problems [supplying] their own like what is happening now? We will be hostage to the rise in prices,” said Estrella F. Catarata, executive director of the Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes, a convenor of the Green Action PH, civil society group.

Ms. Catarata also noted similarities to 2008.“If possible this may be even worse than 2007-2008 crisis when there were no weather disturbances to spur the crisis,” Ms. Catarata said, noting that the violence in Kidapawan City may be a sign of the worsening situation.
“If the government is serious in eradicating poverty and boosting agriculture, they should invest in irrigation,” said Ms. Catarata. She estimated that nongovernment organizations can establish irrigation systems for P300,000-P400,000 adequate to the needs of a community of some 200 households.UNIDRMT reported that Vietnam has allocated $23.3 million in emergency funds to compensate farmers suffering from El Niño as well as providing them with water tanks and other provisions.

Manila urged to drop rice import quotas

MANILA — The Philippines should scrap rice import quotas and instead charge tariffs on shipments of the grain, the World Bank said on Monday, as it urged the Southeast Asian country to open up its economy to more competition.The country is the one of the world's top rice buyers, but its import controls aimed at protecting farmers have previously caused shortages and in 2014 local prices hit a record high and increased the number of Filipinos living in poverty.World Bank lead economist Rogier van den Brink said the government should replace import caps with an initial 30% tariff, compared with 35% currently imposed."Simulations show that these policy changes will reduce poverty and hunger significantly," he told a news briefing, citing the private sector's capacity to meet supply shortages efficiently.

Easing restrictions on rice imports has been a hot issue in the Philippines, with the government retaining tariffs and quotas to protect farmers, despite its commitment to removing global trade barriers.The state grains procurement agency, the National Food Authority (NFA), is the only body allowed to import rice tariff free."Liberalising rice trading and easing restrictions on local and foreign capital, and investments in sectors like telecommunications, shipping and construction, should generate more jobs, increase income and lower prices,'' van den Brink said.
In its latest outlook, the World Bank kept its 6.4% and 6.2% growth forecasts for the Philippines for this year and next, making it among the fastest growing economies in the region. The economy grew 5.8% in 2015.But Karl Kendrick Chua, senior country economist at the World Bank, said the economy faced a range of risks including an uneven recovery of richer economies, financial market volatility, slower remittance growth from oil exporting countries, the El Niño weather pattern, and uncertainty around the May 9 Philippine elections.

Satellite technology takes root in Philippine farms

Diwata-1, which is one of the cargoes of Cygnus cargo ship that arrived at the International Space Station yesterday (NASA via AP)

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is fully embracing satellite technology, with data generated from hundreds of kilometers up, to help address matters that affect food production down on the ground.The DA is doing so as the first Philippine-assembled micro-satellite which was launched last March awaits deployment from the International Space Station.Called Diwata-1, the micro-satellite is expected to help the country’s efforts to enhance and promote agricultural productivity, among other applications.Through a partnership with the International Rice Research Institute, the DA has been harnessing the latest technology such as remote sensing, crop modeling, cloud computing, and smartphone-based surveys to boost what—for most Filipinos—is seen as a decidedly low-tech agriculture sector.

The team-up with IRRI initially provides for the development and implementation of the PRISM Philippine Rice Information System (Prism) until 2017.Earlier this year, the DA announced it would continue beyond 2017 the Prism program, which is considered a pioneering achievement as the Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia to have such an operational system.Alice Laborte, IRRI’s project leader for Prism, says the DA will own, operate and sustain the rice information system starting 2018.“This will complement existing systems in the DA that guide strategy and interventions for food security at national and regional levels,” Laborte says.“Infrastructure, including resources and personnel, have been mobilized and PhilRice (Philippine Rice Research Institute, a DA-attached agency) will be able to set up the Prism unit,” she adds.
 “This will be the center for all Prism operations, processes and maintenance.”PhilRice executive director Calixto Protacio says Prism has been helping the Philippines monitor rice production as well as prepare for and mitigate the effects of disasters to rice areas such as typhoons and El Niño.The PhilRice chief said this monitoring and information system had been generating timely seasonal data on rice areas and yield, and assessment of crop health and damage in the event of typhoons, flood or drought.“Advancing information technology can lead to timely and crucial information on which farmers and other stakeholders can base their decisions, surely leading to competitiveness in the rice supply chain,” Protacio says.Prism is one of several projects under the Food Staples Sufficiency Program.

The DA’s National Rice Program provides funding for Prism’s development and implementation, which the Bureau of Agricultural Research monitors.Jimmy Quilang, Prism project leader at PhilRice, says the system enables a better, faster and accurate assessment of rice areas, yield estimates, and forecast through the power of remote sensing—all despite the various locations, planting dates and effects of extreme weather events.Quilang adds that Prism-generated information can help decision-makers to act immediately and implement adjustments and improvement on food security plans.According to IRRI’s Laborte, the system particularly uses high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery acquired throughout the rice growing season.For the 2014 and 2015 cropping seasons, Prism used 443 satellite images acquired from third-party providers and used in rice area mapping and damage assessment.

According to IRRI, some of these images were used to map flood-affected parts of Nueva Ecija that were ravaged by Typhoon “Lando,” as well as to assess drought-affected areas in Mindanao due to the El Niño.PhilRice’s Protacio says Prism will be a valuable tool for food self-sufficiency because agriculture planners can now pinpoint areas where development is needed.“For example, we can see which communities have very low yields, map these out, and then target them or provide support to these communities,” he says.“We have an average yield of four tons per hectare, but the others are just averaging maybe one ton,” he adds. “So if we know where these are, then we can better target these communities and give them the support needed.” 

APEDA AgriExchange Newsletter - Volume 1452

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Price on: 11-04-2016
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Drought could hit rice stocks at exporters, fuel price crisis, analyst says


A puddle of water is surrounded by cracked soil at a dried up swamp in Ayutthaya, Thailand, April 9, 2016.
Crippling drought brought on by the El Nino weather pattern could cut rice stocks among the world's top exporters to levels not seen since 2008, potentially fueling a price crisis similar to one seen that year, an industry expert warned.Total stocks in top shippers of the grain India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan and the United States are likely to fall to 19 million tonnes by the second half of the year, from a peak of nearly 41 million tonnes in 2013, said Samarendu Mohanty, head of the social sciences division at the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute."If we have a bad monsoon, with drought still persisting in many parts of Asia, the risk significantly increases in terms of price response," Mohanty told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Dwindling stockpiles could crimp volumes exporters are willing to ship abroad.Although a severe El Nino is now fading, it has brought drought to swathes of Asia, drying irrigation channels and destroying crops. It has also stoked concerns on the strength of the South Asian monsoon due to start around June.Export restrictions by major rice producers including India fed panic in the market in 2008, forcing big purchases by countries such as the Philippines that caused Asian benchmark prices to nearly triple to around $1,000 a tonne.

After that, consumers and exporters, mainly in Asia, rebuilt rice inventories to avoid another crisis, but Mohanty said stocks have been declining since 2013."Last year, nobody was panicking because they were sure that there's plenty of rice in the market if there's any shortfall. I think we don't have that luxury anymore this year," he said.The price of Thai 5-percent broken rice touched an eight-month high of $378.50 a tonne in March, while Vietnam's own 5-percent broken rice last month rose to a 2-1/2-month peak of $385 a tonne.

Mohanty said India and Thailand, the world's top two exporters, would have combined stocks of around 16 million tonnes by the third quarter, around 70-percent lower than levels in 2013.That buffer will be much smaller than recent stock levels of 16.2 million tonnes for India and about 12 million tonnes for Thailand.India will be "very cautious in exporting" if its rice output is hit by a weak monsoon, said Mohanty.That could push big buyers such as the Philippines and Indonesia to accumulate the grain, a staple food for nearly half of the world's population, similar to what happened in 2008."We might see the same thing as we move forward and countries get scared about the weather situation around them," Mohanty said.The Philippines is considering importing another 500,000 tonnes of rice this year to boost state reserve stocks.
(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Rice basmati strengthens on rising demand

PTI | Apr 12, 2016, 03.15 PM IST
New Delhi, Apr 12 () Rice basmati prices firmed up by Rs 200 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today on rising demand from retailers against tight supplies from producing regions.

Traders said rising demand from retailers amid restricted supplies from producing regions mainly led to the rise in rice basmati prices.In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety were up by Rs 200 each to Rs 5,800-5,900 and Rs 4,500-5,500 per quintal, respectively.Non-basmati rice permal raw, wand and IR-8 were also up by Rs 25 each to Rs 1,900-1,950, Rs 2,075-2,125 and Rs 1,725-1,745 per quintal, respectively. Sela too ended higher by Rs 100 to Rs 2,400-2,500 per quintal.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 1,850-2,100, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,600-1,605, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,605-1,610, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 230, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 230, Roller flour mill Rs 850-860 (50 kg), Maida Rs 930-940 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,010-1,025 (50 kg).

Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 5,800-5,900, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 4,500-5,500, Permal raw Rs 1,900-1,950, Permal wand Rs 2,075-2,125, Sela Rs 2,400-2,500 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,725-1,745, Bajra Rs 1,615-1,620, Jowar yellow Rs 1,800-1,900, white Rs 3,400-3,500, Maize Rs 1,470-1,480, Barley Rs 1,435-1,440. SUN KPS SRK MR

AMAICA: Rice price going up by 10 to 15 per cent 

Noticias Relacionadas: Rice, Guyana, Nembhard, Rice, Says, 
Jamaica Gleaner / Jamaicans are being warned to brace for a 10 to 15 per cent increase in the price of rice from Guyana following a hike in the cost to import gain. Managing Director of Jamaica Rice Mills Derrick Nembhard says in mid-March, the Guyana Rice Development Board introduced a pricing schedule which requires  Jamaican importers to pay US$400 per tonne if they are importing 1,500  tonnes or more. However, if the Jamaican importers want less than the 1,500 tonnes  they will have to pay more than US$400 per tonne .
Nembhard says as a result of the increase in the price of rice imported from the region, the cost is being passed on to consumers. Recently, the Jamaica Rice Milling Company  signed agreements with the Guyana Rice Development Board  to import a total of 80,000  tonnes of rice from Guyana during 2016. However, Nembhard says the Guyana Rice Development Board independently arrived at the pricing schedule.  Managing Director of Jamaica Rice Mills Derrick Nembhard JAMAICA: Rice price going up by 10 to 15 per cent Con Información de Jamaica Gleaner

India's monsoon rains seen above average in 2016: weather office

India's crucial monsoon rains are expected to be above average in 2016, the weather office said on Tuesday, easing fears over farm and economic growth after two straight droughts hit rural incomes and agricultural output.Rains in 2016 would be 106 percent of the long-term average, Laxman Singh Rathore, chief of the India Meteorological Department, told a news conference.Rathore said the monsoon rains could be above average as El Nino - a warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean that can lead to dry spells in South Asia - is fading and giving way to La Nina in which the same waters cool.

The July-to-September monsoon delivers 70 percent of India's annual rainfall. It is critical for the country's 263 million farmers and their rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybean crops, as nearly half of its farmland lacks irrigation.Bumper rains can spur farm and economic growth and boost rural demand for gold, cars, motorcycles, refrigerators and fertilizer. Two-thirds of India's population depends on farming for its livelihood.Plentiful rains could also encourage the Reserve Bank of India to cut interest rates after the central bank this month eased its repo rate by 25 basis points to its lowest in more than five years.

"If indeed we end up having a better-than-normal monsoon, and spatial distribution of monsoon and production indicators point to a normal year, then the RBI's comfort for another rate cut will increase," said Gaurav Kapur, senior economist at Royal Bank of Scotland in Mumbai.A normal or average monsoon means rainfall between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm during the four-month season from June, the weather office says.

Two straight years of drought in India - for only the fourth time in over a century - have sparked anger among farmers against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.They blame his government for being slow in reaching out to them after drought ravaged their crops in 2014 and 2015, making a mockery of his election promise that they would make a 50 percent profit on their cost of cultivation.The farm vote will be critical in determining the fortunes of Modi's nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) when the big rural states of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab go to the polls in the first half of next year.(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj and Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Rajendra Jadhav and Douglas Busvine)

At 106% rainfall, IMD predicts above-normal monsoon in 2016

Next forecast in June; eases fears over farm and and economic growth after two straight droughts
BS Reporter  |  New Delhi April 13, 2016 Last Updated at 00:59 IST
After two years of drought, rains may break El Nino jinxEl Niño may be neutral when monsoon hitsMet dept predicts hotter summerHeat wave to intensify over north, central and south IndiaDrought no longer part of IMD terminology

This year's best news so far has just arrived. After two consecutive droughts, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday said the monsoon this year is expected to be “above normal.” It forecast monsoon at 106 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA). This is the first time since 1999 that department has made an “above normal” prediction.
In its first seasonal forecast for 2016, IMD said rains, a lifeline for millions of farmers across the country, would also be distributed fairly, a factor which is as critical as total rainfall.In fact, director general of IMD, L S Rathore said there could be a possibility of excess rainfall in some parts, but its prediction is difficult as of now. Advance preparation is being planned to tackle such a situation. Monsoon is considered normal if rain during the June to September season is 96-104 per cent of the LPA. LPA is average seasonal rainfall over the country in the past 50 years, starting 1951, and it is estimated to be 89 centimetres. The forecast is with model error of five per cent.
The good news has come mainly because the dreaded El Nino weather phenomenon that caused the back-to-back droughts of 2014 and 2015 is showing signs of waning by the time India’s southwest monsoon gathers steam around July and August.“We expect rainfall in all four months from June to September to be more than normal, with it gathering steam during the second half of the season,” Rathore told reporters. He said there is a chance of rainfall in the northeast and parts of Tamil Nadu and Rayalaseema being below normal, but given the quantum of rainfall in these parts is more than other areas, the impact would not be much.
Overall, there is 94 per cent chance of 2016 southwest monsoon being above normal to excess. The parched lands of Vidarbha and Marathwada along with others areas in western and central India might get good rain this year, the met department said.Rathore said the latest forecast of monsoon mission coupled with climate model indicates that El Nino conditions would weaken to moderate to weak levels during the first half of the monsoon season, that is in the months of June and July and thereafter neutral conditions would prevail.
The Indian Ocean Diapole (IOD) another critical factor that impacts the monsoon is also expected to turn positive during the second half of the 2016 season. The third factor that is in favour of the monsoon is that snow formation in the Himalayas has also been encouraging.“The climate is also hotter than usual, which bodes well for a good southwest monsoon,” said D S pai, deputy director general, climatology, IMD.On Monday, private weather forecasting agency Skymet had predicted that monsoon would be "above normal" in 2016 at 105 per cent of LPA.
The Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, in a forecast based on February data, had said there was a 54 per cent chance of the June-September precipitation being 10 mm per day, which is above normal. Skymet predicted the 2009 drought correctly, but its 2015 southwest monsoon forecast was off the mark.
Agriculture and allied activities are expected to grow 1.1 per cent in 2015-16 against a contraction by 0.2 per cent in the previous year. Higher farm sector growth would push up India's economic growth, officially pegged at 7-7.75 per cent in the current financial year against 7.6 per cent expected for 2015-16.Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh welcomed the forecast. He said, "According to IMD forecast, definitely agriculture production will be better in 2016-17." He was speaking on the sidelines of a national kharif conference here.
"We had deficient monsoon last two years. There was 12 per cent deficient rains in 2014-15. And the following year, there was 14 per cent deficiency. But we were well prepared."Meanwhile, Aditi Nayar, senior economist, ICRA, said: "The forecast comes as a relief, with two consecutive sub-par monsoons having parched groundwater and drained reservoirs. However, concerns regarding temporal distribution persist. If precipitation is skewed to the later half of the monsoon season, it may be somewhat counter-productive for standing crops, unless sowing is delayed."Confederation of Indian Industry's director general, Chandrajit Banerjee, said a good monsoon could take economic growth to eight per cent. "The prediction would be a great mood changer for industry, as revival of rural demand leads to a turn in investment cycle," he said

04/12/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report

Long Grain Cash Bids
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Long Grain New Crop
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May '16
Jul '16
Sep '16
Nov '16
Jan '17
Mar '17
May '17

Rice Comment

Rice futures were lower across the board. It looks like futures are attempting to consolidate above the recent spike low.  Technically, the first level of support for May is the recent low of $9.42 1/2, while overhead trendline resistance is currently near $10.09. The supply/demand report released today wasn't changed much from last month's report. World ending stocks were decreased to 90.17 million metric tons. However, the U.S. on-farm expected price was lowered to $12.30-$12.70.

U.S. House's Cuba Working Group Hears Ag Trade Benefits
By Peter Bachmann

WASHINGTON, DC -- Yesterday, the Cuba Working Group, a bipartisan group of U.S. House Members supporting efforts to end the Cuban trade and travel ban hosted a briefing for Congressional staff to highlight opportunities for U.S. agriculture that would result from bilateral trade between the U.S. and Cuba.  The bipartisan Working Group has representation from all regions of the country and Members with diverse backgrounds. Rice-state congressmen Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) are among the ten working group members.

Panelists from the agriculture industry presented on what this important market could mean for U.S. farmers and U.S. jobs.  They also explored how U.S.-Cuba trading partnerships have the potential to build a foundation of goodwill and cooperation that will open the door to long-sought economic reforms in Cuba.

Ben Mosely, USA Rice vice president of government affairs, was one of the six panelists tapped by the Cuba Working Group for perspective, and said, "USA Rice is part of the broader group of coalitions advocating for change and we have established relationships within the Cuban government.  The U.S. rice industry stands to reap substantial gains when the embargo is eventually lifted.  We're looking at possibly 20-30 percent of the market share in just the first two years, with increases every year after."

Mosely expressed the need for action, saying, "The current Administration has taken steps in the right direction and, for the most part, exhausted all the tools available under the President's authority.  We now look to Congress to take action to remove remaining financing barriers."In addition to Mosely, panelists included: Luis Ribera, Ag Economics Department at Texas A&M University; Jamie Castaneda, National Milk Producers Federation; Anne Thompson, Bunge North America; Bill Westman, North American Meat Institute; and Devry Boughner Vorwerk, U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba.

WASDE Report Released

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. 2015/16 rice supplies are lowered 500,000 cwt on lower long-grain imports. Long-grain ending stocks are lowered 500,000 cwt to 22.5 million. All rice ending stocks are now 43.4 million cwt. The all rice and long-grain season-average prices are each lowered $0.30 per cwt at the midpoint to $12.30 to $12.70 and $10.80 to $11.20, respectively. Medium- and short-grain prices are also down with the California price lowered $0.50 per cwt at the midpoint and the Other States price lowered $0.20 per cwt at the midpoint.

Global rice supplies for 2015/16 are lowered 500,000 tons, primarily on reduced production. Brazil and Pakistan production are lowered 300,000 tons and 200,000 tons, respectively, both on updated government statistics. Global trade and domestic use projections are both lowered fractionally. Global ending stocks are lowered 300,000 tons to 90.2 million

Read the entire report here

Commodity Report-April 12


Today’s commodity report: Weekly Rice Summary, California Shell Eggs: Daily Egg Report, Shell Eggs: Daily National Egg Market and other commodity end of the day market numbers.

Weekly Rice Summary

In California, medium grain milled rice prices steady to weak. Second heads and Brewers steady to weak. Rice by-products: Rice Bran prices steady. Rice hulls spot trade not well tested. Federal officials say farmers in Northern California can expect to receive all of their requested water deliveries this year.
CME Rough Rice settlements for Friday 8th, May 16 closed .10 higher at 9.95; Jul 16 closed .105 higher at 10.22. US dollar index on Thursday settled at 94.19.

California Shell Eggs: Daily Egg Report

Prices are steady. Trade sentiment is steady to higher. Offerings are mostly moderate although held with slightly more confidence. Retail demand is fairly good to good as operators refill from a busy feature heavy weekend. Food service sales are mostly moderate. Supplies are light to moderate. Market activity is moderate. Monday’s shell egg inventories declined 2.7% in the Southwest and 4.9% in the Northwest.
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.

Shell Eggs: Daily National Egg Market

New York prices are unchanged. Regional and California prices are steady. The undertone is steady in the regions, while steady to higher in California. Offerings are mostly moderate to instances heavy. Retail and food service demand is in a full range, generally moderate to fairly good. Supplies are moderate to heavy in the Midwest and South Central regions, mostly moderate in the Northeast, light to moderate elsewhere for current needs. The total shell egg inventory is 3.8 percent lower when compared to the previous week. Market activity is slow to usually moderate. Supplies of breaking stock are moderate to at times heavy; breaking schedules are normal to over-time. Light type fowl offerings are sufficient for the light demand.
Check the April USDA Commodity Report Calendar for today’s commodity reports released by USDA.

Tuesday’s Commodity Market ending market numbers:

May Corn ended at $3.62 3/4 increasing 6 cents, July ended at $3.65 1/2 gaining 5 3/4 cents.
May Soybeans ended at 9.36 1/4 up 8 cents, July ended at 9.44 3/4 increasing 8 cents.
May Wheat ended at $4.52 1/2, gaining 5 1/4 cents, July Wheat ended at $4.58 3/4 up 4 1/2 cents.
Rough Rice
May Rough Rice ended at 9.785 down 0.06, July ended at 10.055 decreasing 0.06.
Live Cattle
April Live Cattle ended at $133.525 decreasing $0.55 and June ended at $122.85 down $0.375 and August ended at $118.47
April Feeder Cattle ended at $155.275 dropping $0.275 and May ended at $151.05 losing $0.975 and August ended at $151.95 down $0.85.
Lean Hogs
April Lean Hogs ended at $66.625 increasing $0.275, May ended at $75.075 down $0.325
Class III Milk
April Class III Milk ended at $13.81 up $0.05, May ended at $13.76 increasing $0.06 and June ended at $14.01 gaining $0.13.
#2 Cotton
May #2 Cotton ending at 61.51 gaining 0.80, July ended at 60.91 up 0.67.
Sugar #11
May sugar #11 ended at 14.07 down 0.08 and July ended at 14.34 decreasing $0.05.
Orange Juice
May Orange Juice ended at 135.95 losing $1.10, July ending at 136.50 down $1.15

The paradox of rice imports
There is apparently a mystery about the country's food situation, particularly in respect of the staple, rice. The government's claim of self-sufficiency in rice, aided partly by exports in small volumes, is strongly in conflict with growing imports.The volume of rice the country has imported in recent times presents a situation more paradoxical than mysterious. One obvious question that puzzles observers is that if there is more than enough to feed the whole population, where do the huge volumes of imported rice go?

For sometime now, this question is being raised, but absence of a convincing answer gives rise to a more riddling quiz: Is Bangladesh a rice importing or exporting country or both? According to the food ministry data, last year the country exported 50,000 tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka while during the same period (FY) it imported 1.49 million tones from India.According to a report published in a local daily, this year the country has already imported well over 0.2 million tonnes from India in spite of high import duty at 20 per cent, and another 0.3 million tonnes are in the pipeline with letters of  credit (LCs) having been opened.The situation is confusing not only for those working on food security but more for farmers across the country who are now waiting with their fingers crossed ahead of the Boro harvest beginning in less than a month.
The government, reportedly, will procure around 1.2 million tonnes of rice by the end of next month. But in a situation that does not offer a clear picture of country-wide demand, made complex by increasing imports, it is going to be really uncertain whether farmers are going to get fair price for their produce.There is more to the issue that further creates confusion about the actual storage capacity of the country's food godowns. According to food ministry sources, it is 1.8 million tonnes. Rough estimate says presently there is spare capacity of barely 0.6 million tonnes.This poses the all important question-- will the authorities be able to procure the target volume in the absence of necessary storage facilities? All these are going to adversely affect the price of rice in the ensuing harvesting season. One option for the authorities could be to release large volumes of rice under the government's social security net programmes in order to increase storage capacity.
 What appears as the key barrier to removing these confusions is the absence of an assessment of the country-wide demand for rice. Whatever figures the authorities may have calculated needs to be revisited, because unless there is clear knowledge on consumption, all other calculations are bound to be flawed. The cost of such flawed estimate is high.While it gives a misleading picture of the overall food situation creating anomalies in government policies on export or import, setting procurement targets.On the other hand, it is farmers who bear the brunt more than any one else. Given the situation, it is for the authorities to work out corrective measures, if possible, before it becomes too late.

AIREA All India Rice Exporters Association : Basmati rice industry may see revival from H2 of 2016-17: Icra

04/12/2016 | 03:22am EDT
MUMBAI: The domestic basmati rice industry, which is witnessing excess supply and weak demand, may revive in the next harvest season in the second half of 2016-17, a report said here.'The basmati rice industry faced headwinds - weak demand and oversupply in 'Any improvement in the situation is likely only from the next basmati paddy harvest season in the second half of 2016-17 due to improvement in demand,' rating agency Icra said in its report here.The supply of basmati paddy is expected to witness some moderation as farmers are likely to shift away from basmati, given the non-remunerative prices in the last two crop cycles. Moreover, since Iran has removed the ban on import of rice, demand is also expected to witness some improvement, it said.

Rice is one of the most crucial food crops in the world and a staple diet for nearly half the global population. Over 90 per cent of the global rice output and consumption is centred in Asia, wherein the world's largest rice producers, China and India, are also the world's largest rice consumers. India accounts for over 70 per cent of the world's basmati rice production. Basmati rice constitutes a small portion of the total rice produced in India. By volume, the share of basmati rice is around 6 per cent in 2014-15, even as by value, basmati rice exports account for 57 per cent in 2014-15, of India's total rice exports. Basmati rice exports have increased at a compounded annual growth rate ( CAGR) of 27 per cent from Rs 28.24 billion in 2004-05 to Rs 275.98 billion in 2014-15.The proportion of basmati rice exports in India's total exports has increased from around 0.6 per cent to around 1.3 per cent during the last one decade.

While basmati rice is consumed across the globe, West Asian countries account for 75 per cent of Indian basmati rice exports in 2014-15.Within West Asia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two largest buyers, together accounting for over 50 per cent of basmati rice exports from India.However, even as Iran emerged as one of the largest importers of basmati rice in recent years, the country imposed a ban on basmati rice imports from India in 2014-15, citing its own healthy rice crop and large basmati inventory.Commenting on pricing scenario, Icra said basmati paddy is also vulnerable to cyclical price fluctuations. Higher prices in the market encourage higher basmati paddy cultivation, which increases supply in the next season.This depresses the price, thereby erasing gains and shifting farmers away from basmati paddy cultivation.During the procurement season of 2012-13 and 2013-14, there was a steep rise in paddy prices from around Rs 18,000 per tonne (MT) in 2011-12 to around Rs 37,000 MT in 2013-14, due to strong demand in the international market.

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AIREA - All India Rice Exporters Association issued this content on 12 April 2016 and is solely responsible for the information contained herein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 12 April 2016 07:21:39 UTC