Tuesday, March 14, 2017

14th March,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Time to focus on ECO market for food exports

PAKISTAN can boost its food exports to ECO countries as it now leads this 10-nation economic bloc for next five years and as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor opens up a lot of fresh opportunities.
Afghanistan is already one of the country’s biggest food exports market. Food exports to Iran are growing after lifting of US-led international sanctions on that nation. Chances for boosting food exports to Turkey have also brightened after the establishment of Halal certification authority in Pakistan. “And, food exports to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are expected to rise as they have start realising that trading with us is easier and strategically important in the CPEC era,” says a senior official of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. “Already 80pc of our total exports to these countries fall in foods category and demand keeps growing.”
Officials of the ministry of commerce say our food exports to ECO nations that totalled $620m or so in FY16 can hit $1bn, if not this year, maybe next year. Their optimism is rooted in the enthusiasm shown by member countries of this regional bloc during the recently-concluded summit. “But a lot depends on our relationship with Afghanistan,” one senior official conceded in an obvious reference to current unease in Pak-Afghan political ties.
According to an old study conducted by the ECO secretariat, out of the 15 top items that Pakistan can export to ECO countries, five fall in food category. These are: rice, cereals cereal preparations, animal and vegetable fats, fruits and vegetables and live animals.

In the first half of this fiscal year, out of the total $102m earnings from wheat and wheat flour exports, $97m came from Kabul

Currently hundreds of items including these five categories and even more, for example, seafood and meat and meat preparations are exported to the ECO nations.
Meat and meat preparations had long been on the list of export items to Afghanistan. But exports of seafood to Central Asian countries began when exports started diversifying export markets to reduce dependence on the Middle East, exporters say.
“Whenever Pakistan is surplus in wheat the nearest export market is Afghanistan if there is any shortfall there,” says a TDAP official. In the first half of this fiscal year, out of the total $102m earnings from wheat and wheat flour exports, $97m came from Kabul.
And in FY16, $122m, or 98pc of the total $125m earned through wheat and wheat flour exports to Afghanistan.
In the last fiscal year, $191m or more than 10pc of total rice export earnings originated from the ECO nations, chiefly from Afghanistan ($128m) but also from Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkey.
“The potential market is much larger,” says an official of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan. “But we need to boost our Basmati production (which is in more in demand in the ECO region) and we need stronger branding. Dubai-based Indian traders continue to import Pakistani rice in bulk and resell the same as Indian rice to Iran and other countries.” Description: https://i.dawn.com/large/2017/03/58c4b98c8c92e.jpg
In FY15, Iran had bought $9m worth of Pakistani rice mainly long-grain, aromatic super Basmati. But in the last fiscal year, rice exports to Iran fell o $2.4m due to overall inadequate local supplies of Basmati that forced buyers to cater to more permanent rice export markets first (like GCC region), leading exporters say.
Pakistan’s food exports to six ECO Central Asian countries have seen a surge since FY2010 then for two basic reasons. First, Russia began beefing up its food stocks and curbed its food exports to them. And secondly, these countries also witnessed a declining trend in food trade with each other as they started diversifying trading sources.
“In this backdrop, Pakistan entered this market aggressively and now our total food exports of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan exceeds $50m,” says an official of the Ministry of Commerce citing FY16 statistics.
“Food exports must be prioritised in all our efforts to increase overall exports to ECO countries, because except in case of Turkey and to some extent Iran our key exports to ECO falls in foods category.”
As a gesture of goodwill Iran lifted ban temporarily on imports of kinnow from Pakistan just a day before the March 1 ECO summit in Islamabad. The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry has demanded that the ban be lifted permanently.
If it is done, Pakistan will be able to export as much as 60,000 tonnes of kinnow to Iranian markets every year. But for that to happen, we’ll have to remove Iranian concerns regarding the quality of the kinnow we export there, officials say. They say that Pakistan would soon take up this issue with Iran.
Free movement of goods throughout the ECO region using road and rail transport is expected to become easier — thanks to CPEC projects.
Published in Dawn, Economic & Business, March 13th, 2017

Global Baby Rice Flour Market Research Forecast Report 2016 – 2020

As drought slashes rice harvest, 900,000 face hunger in Sri Lanka

By Amantha Perera
COLOMBO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The worst drought in five years has pushed 900,000 people in Sri Lanka into “acute food insecurity”, the World Food Programme (WFP) says.
An unpublished survey conducted by government agencies and relief organizations in February found that both food insecurity and debt were rising sharply among families hit by drought, the WFP office in Sri Lanka confirmed to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The country’s rice harvest could be the worst in 40 years, charity Save the Children predicted. The just-completed harvest was 63 percent below normal, it said.
The survey found that over one third of the drought-affected households had seen their income drop by half since September and 60 percent of the households surveyed were in debt.
The average amount of debt was about 180,000 Sri Lankan rupees, or $1,200, WFP said.
The survey findings are expected to be formally released later this month.
Sri Lanka’s government said over 1.2 million people have been affected by the country’s current drought, which began last November and continues despite some occasional rainfall over the last two months.
Save the Children estimates that over 600,000 of those affected – two thirds of the total – are children.
The Western and Northern Provinces have been worst hit, with over 400,000 people struggling with drought in each province.
Government and WFP assessments suggest Sri Lanka’s 2017 rice harvest could be less than half the 3 million metric tons recorded last year.
According to WFP assessments the island needs 2.3 million metric tons of rice for annual consumption but the overall 2017 rice harvest is projected to yield just 1.44 metric tons.
The government has already taken steps to increase rice imports to stave off shortages, Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said.
“We have a shortfall in the rice harvest. We have been taking action to prevent any shortfalls and will allow for tax-free rice imports until the harvest recovers,” he said.
Worst-affected by the drought have been farmers and those relying on agricultural work for income. The joint WFP and government survey indicated that one out of five farmers and one out of four farm laborers is now classified as food insecure in the drought region.
Preliminary data in the survey also indicated that female-headed households in drought areas were faring worse than others, with almost 20 percent reporting “poor” to “borderline” ability to access enough food as a result of the drought.
Yapa said that the government was devising a plan to help those affected and “we will begin cash assistance very soon”.
The initial plan is to provide 500,000 persons with cash assistance, he said. The government has so far set aside 8 billion rupees ($52 million) for cash-for-work programs in drought-hit areas.
Over 50 million rupees ($300,000) has been allocated to distribute water to affected populations in 22 of the island’s 25 districts, he said.
The drought is expected to continue into April, according to seasonal forecasting by the Meteorological Department.“The big rains will come with the next monsoon”, which is expected to arrive in late May, said Lalith Chandrapala, director general of the Meteorological Department.
(Reporting by Amantha Perera; editing by Laurie Goering :; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women's rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit news.trust.org/climate

Rice import goes up in two weeks
Prices still remain high in local mkt
Yasir Wardad
 Rice import has been increasing for last two weeks amid its persisting higher price in the domestic market and decline in prices in neighbouring India, said sector insiders.
Even after paying 25 per cent customs duty, private importers are making profits by importing two specific rice varieties from India, they added.
The food ministry data showed that private rice millers so far brought over 54,000 tonnes of rice in the current financial year (FY'17) of which 14,000 tonnes entered just in last 15 days.
The rate of rice import was 160-172 tonnes a day earlier which increased to 900-1,000 tonnes in March, said a food ministry official.
L/C (letter of credit) has been opened to bring another 43,000 tonnes of rice, he added.   Rajib Kumar, a Dinajpur-based importer, told the FE that Brri dhan-28 is now selling at Tk 43-43.5 a kilogram at local mill gates.
He said import cost (including 25 per cent customs duty) of the same variety, known as Ratna in West Bengal, India ranges between Tk 41 and Tk 42 a kg. He said the difference between the prices in India and Bangladesh is encouraging imports.
Lalit Saha, another importer, said prices of Swarna and Ratna declined to some extent in India in February last.
He said finer Swarna was selling at Tk 36-36.5 a kg at mill gates in Bangladesh, but its import cost was Tk 34.0-Tk 34.5.
However, he informed the FE that most of the L/Cs have been opened between February and the first week of March when prices of Swarna and Brridhan-28 were US$ 343- 360 a tonne in India.

The government imposed 25 per cent customs duty at the very beginning in FY'17 following paddy price debacle during harvesting periods which caused huge losses to the farmers. After imposition of import duty, rice prices in Bangladesh started rising.
The price hike of different varieties of rice ranged between 7 per cent and 23 per cent in last seven months, according to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Coarse rice Swarna is now selling at Tk 37-Tk 40 while medium quality Brridhan 28 and Paijam at Tk 45-Tk 48 and finer variety Miniket, Jeerashail and Najirshail at Tk 48-Tk 58 a kg in the country.
Md Hazrat Ali, a Nilphamari-based trader, said import of Brridhan-28 will continue until the beginning of local Boro harvesting from next month.    
The mills face a supply shortage of Brridhan-28, the most-consumed rice variety which grows during the Boro season.
He also pointed out that many big stockists who have a huge stock of Swarna paddy are now making hefty profits.    According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), Brridhan-28 accounts for nearly 44 per cent while Swarna accounts for over 24 per cent of the country's total rice output.
Secretary of Bangladesh Auto Major Husking Mill Owners Association K M Layek Ali said paddy prices were much higher from last Aman season which benefited the farmers.
The prices of rice will come down to some extent from May with starting of the harvesting season, he said, adding that the existing customs duty should remain in force to protect the local rice industry.
The government should strengthen monitoring so that no one can bring animal food in the name of rice for human consumption, he said. The government has now a stock of nearly 0.64 million tonnes of rice which was 1.06 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year.
Bangladesh produced over 34.57 million tonnes of rice in FY'16 against a demand for 31.0 million tonnes, according to BBS and Directorate General of Food (DGoF).

Central Sulawesi records rice production surplus of 280 thousand tons

13th March 2017
Palu, C Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Central Sulawesi managed to achieve a surplus in rice production, reaching 280 thousand tons in 2016, according to a local official.

"The surplus increased as compared to those recorded in the previous years," Trie Iriany Lamakampali, head of the local food crops and horticulture office, stated here, Monday.

It indicated that the governments program to boost the production of paddy, maize, and soybean was successful, although the increase was not significant, he remarked.

The program in Central Sulawesi Province has been supported by military officers and other concerned institutions, among others.

The province has adequate seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides to boost the production of paddy, maize, and soybean. 

He expressed hope that the Logistics Agency (Bulog) would purchase more produce of the local farmers.

The local farmers who had planted crops during the October-November planting season last year are expected to harvest their crops during the April-May 2017 period. The paddy production is estimated to reach 500 thousand tons.

Central Sulawesi has set a target of producing 1.3 million tons of dried paddy in 2017.(*)

Jakarta | Mon, March 13, 2017 | 06:55 pm
Description:   Rice center to be established in IndramayuFarmers thrash paddy on a rice field in Pabean Udik village, Indramayu, West Java. (Antara Photo/Dedhez Anggara)
State-owned fertilizer company PT Pupuk Indonesia plans to develop a rice center to provide farmers with skill and knowledge as well as facilities to improve the quality of their rice in Indramayu, West Java.“Indramayu, one of the main rice producers in the country, is the ideal location to develop the rice center,” PT Pupuk Indonesia president director Aas Asikin said as reported by tribunnews.com on Monday.
State-owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno visited Mundu village in Indramayu regency last Friday to attend a presentation on the establishment of the center, which will be managed by PT Pupuk Indonesia Pangan (PIP), a subsidiary of PT Pupuk Indonesia.Aas said the center would consist of three main sections – agricultural depot, rice cultivation unit and rice mill.
The agricultural depot will be used to store rice, fertilizer, seeds and pesticide. The rice cultivation unit will helping farmers cultivate their rice fields to improve land productivity through technical guidance and the distribution of fertilizer, seeds and pesticide.
Meanwhile, the rice milling unit will manage paddy produced by farmers and help them improve the quality.
“With modern technology, paddy will become high quality medium and premium rice,” Aas added.Initially, the rice mill will have a capacity of 4 tons per hour and will be increased to 12 tons per hour. (bbn)

Submitted by Eleven on Sat, 03/11/2017 - 15:30
Writer: Nilar
The Ministry of Commerce says a new agreement is under way to export 100,000 tonnes of rice to China by sea.“It’s not the ministry itself that will export. The Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation [MAPCO] was previously offered the quota by China to export 100,000 tonnes of rice. There's now a deal underway for another quota of the same amount. The previous quota is almost fulfilled,” said Khin Maung Lwin, a senior official from the ministry.
The previous deal was reached in 2014. 
Myanmar exports most of its rice to China through the Muse border and also exports rice to more than 30 countries by sea.Rice exports to China last year saw a significant decrease due to rebel attacks on Muse and Chinese officials taking strict action on Myanmar’s exports.Other exports also decreased this year due to the instability in the border areas and increased security checks. The MAPCO chose instead to export rice by sea and the weak kyat has driven up exports. Maritime exports struggled in the past because of the policies of the former government.  
The MAPCO is preparing to sell its shares at the Yangon Stock Exchange

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California Rice Country:  In the Board Room and On the Farm
By Deborah Willenborg
 SACRAMENTO, CA -- Last week USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward visited California rice country to attend the March Board of Directors meeting of the California Rice Commission (CRC).  "The CRC is a key member of USA Rice and supports our programs both financially and with the active members who populate our boards and committees," said Ward.  "It was great to speak to the CRC Board about developments in Washington and to thank them for all their support for USA Rice."
CRC manages an impressive program for the California rice industry and that was demonstrated by the scope of topics addressed at the board meeting including farm policy, international trade policy and promotion, regulatory and food safety issues, and CRC's effective communications outreach to multiple target audiences both in California and around the globe.

Gary Van Dyke directs
equipment rehab in preparation for planting
In addition to attending the CRC event, Ward traveled to Pleasant Grove to visit the Van Dyke Ranch, a vertically integrated company that includes Van Dyke's Rice Dryer and VA Farms Inc.   Greg Van Dyke, a recent graduate of the Rice Leadership Development Program, led the tour and explained the history of the Van Dyke family operations in the region that stretches back to 1898.
"I appreciate the hospitality of Greg and his family, and always enjoy getting out to see rice facilities first hand," said Ward.


USA Rice CEO Betsy Ward delivers annual progress report
USA Rice Presents to Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board
By Chuck Wilson
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- USA staff Betsy Ward, Michael Klein, and Hugh Maginnis presented the annual USA Rice Council report to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board (ARRPB) here last week.

Ward provided the board with the financial report and results of the audits for all five organizations overseen by USA Rice, and also gave an update on opportunities and challenges the U.S. rice industry faces, including the impact of priorities coming out of the Trump Administration on trade, food aid, and the upcoming Farm Bill.  Klein shared highlights of recent domestic promotion activities, including chef farm and mill tours that have resulted in U.S.-grown rice being called out on restaurant menus, while Maginnis reported on international markets and programs, including an active tender in Iraq and increasing market access in markets such as Colombia and Haiti.

The ARRPB is made up of nine rice producers who are nominated by industry organizations and appointed to two-year terms by the governor.  The board is responsible for allocating Arkansas rice promotion and research check-off funds annually, and for the past 30 plus years, the ARRPB has awarded promotion funds to the USA Rice Council in recognition of the exemplary work performed by the Council on behalf of Arkansas rice farmers.

"I appreciated the opportunity to report on work made possible by the financial resources entrusted to us by Arkansas," Ward said.  "On behalf of USA Rice, I also want to thank the Arkansas rice farmers and industry members who serve on the USA Rice Council board and on USA Rice domestic and international promotion committees.  Their participation is vital to USA Rice's member-driven process for program development and implementation."

After the presentations on promotion results and USA Rice financials, the ARRPB approved the USA Rice Council's request for funding in the fiscal year August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018.