Saturday, January 06, 2018

6th January,2017 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine



2018 overproduction potentially devastating to rice prices

Overproduction of rice in 2018 could resut in sluggish to lower prices.
Dramatic swings in Arkansas long grain rice acres have become the norm and this is anything but a good thing.
Bobby Coats | Jan 04, 2018
Market participants are hearing an array of 2018 rice acreage and production projections for Arkansas. All projections are pointing to higher acreage and production in 2018 over 2017:
·       Due in part concerns regarding weak soybean and corn 2018 pricing opportunities and over expectation possibilities regarding 2018 rice pricing opportunity.
·       Public and private varieties are coming on line and creating significant optimism about Arkansas productivity and quality improvements.     
·       This is important
If rice market participants believe, and this is especially true for 2018 Arkansas long grain rice acreage and production, that the state will overplant and overproduce in 2018 with no new demand source, the market could turn sluggish to weaker 2017/18 prices for the remainder of the marketing period; depending on 2018 planted long grain rice acreage, potentially chronic low prices could result for the 2018/19 marketing period. 
2017 Arkansas Total Rice
Harvested Acres: Arkansas’ total rice harvested acres in 2017 is estimated by USDA at 1,093,000 acres, 28 percent below 2016. FSA preliminary failed total rice estimate is 51,179 acres and prevented planted 218,791 acres. Without weather and global economic issues potential total Arkansas rice acreage including failed and prevented is 1,362,970 acres.
Yield per Acre: Arkansas total rice yield per acre in 2017 is estimated at 7,400 pounds or 164 bushels per acre, the 4th highest on record.
Production: Arkansas total rice production in 2017 is estimated at 81 million cwt., 17 million cwt. below a 5-, 10-, and 15-year average of around 98 million cwt.
2017 Arkansas Long Grain Rice:
Harvested Acres: Arkansas long grain rice harvested acres in 2017 is estimated 945,000 acres, 445,000 acres or 32 percent below 2016’s 1,390,000 acres. The previous six year average is 1,123,000 acres.
Production: Arkansas long grain rice production in 2017 is estimated at 70 million cwt., the 2nd lowest in the current 7 production periods.
Top 4 Counties: The top 4 AR long grain rice counties by harvested acreage are Lonoke, 77,342 acres; Lawrence, 74,529 acres; Greene, 64,904 acres; and Poinsett, 62,922 acres.
2017 Arkansas Medium Grain Rice:
Harvested Acres: Arkansas medium grain rice harvested acres in 2017 is estimated at 147,000 acres. The previous 16 year average is 159,625 acres.
Production: Arkansas medium grain rice production in 2017 is estimated at 11 million cwt., or 24 percent greater than 2016.
Top 4 Counties: The top 4 AR medium grain rice counties by harvested acreage are Poinsett, 28,819 acres; Jackson, 19,078 acres; and Lawrence 13,791 acres.
World Rice Fundamentals
If one takes USDA’s balance sheet at its face value, 2017/18 world rice milled production is 481 million metric tons, the 2nd highest on record, and world rice milled consumption at 480 million metric tons is also the 2nd highest on record. World rice production has exceeded consumption in the current 11 marketing periods.
World trade at 45.1 million metric tons, 2nd highest on record, and consideration could be given to global reflation providing a more bullish trade bias for 2018.
That said, world rice ending stocks at 138.9 million metric tons is the highest since 2001/02. Collectively, from a global perspective, we may not need to be conservative in our Arkansas acreage expansion plans without an additional known demand source.  
U.S. Rice Fundamentals
 The 2017/18 long grain rice total supply is estimated at 178.5 million cwt, which is 15 percent below 2016/17. The 5 year average is a 190 million cwt., and the 10 year average 191 million cwt.
The 2017/18 long grain rice total export is estimated at 74 million cwt., 4.7 million cwt below last year. The 5 year average is 72 million cwt, and the 10 year average 73 million cwt.
The 2017/18 long grain rice ending stocks are estimated at 16.5 million cwt, 47-percent below 2016/17 and the 2nd lowest in the previous 13 marketing periods. The 5 year average 23.7 million cwt and the 10 year average is 24 million cwt, potentially favorable for 2018 prices unless U.S. overproduction occurs and world production is average or above.
2018 Global Macro Forces Positive
Present domestic and global fiscal, monetary, trade and regulatory policies are
adequate to overcome:
·        Chronic global slow growth
·        Low to negative interest rates
This assumes social, political, trade and military stability. 
My expectation is that policy intervention will significantly enhance 2018 Global Inflationary Forces and provide continued support for rice and grain prices.
 For rice, this assumes no major over-production. Over-production would be bearish pushing prices back toward 2016/17 season’s lows.
Concluding Thoughts
Dramatic swings in Arkansas long grain rice acres have become the norm and this is anything but a good thing:
·        From 2011 to 2012 the harvested acreage shifted from 910,000 acres to 1,170,000, a 29 percent increase.
·       From 2013 to 2014 the harvested acreage shifted from 950,000 acres to 1,265,000 a 33 percent increase.
·        From 2015 to 2016 the harvested acreage shifted from 1,045,000 acres to 1,390,000 a 33 percent increase.

2018 Arkansas Long Grain Rice: 2018 Arkansas long grain rice harvested acreage likely needs to stay in an acreage range of 1,086,750 to 1,173,000 acres (2017 = 945,000) or 15 percent to 24.1 percent increase. Why? Reality is with no new demand [and if LG rice harvested acreage exceeds a 15 [erect increase over 2017 acreage or 1,086,750 acres] one should likely expect increasingly downward pressure on long grain rice prices, so plan accordingly.2018 Arkansas Medium Grain Rice: Given the potential of new public and private varieties 2018 Arkansas medium grain rice harvested acreage could increase to 169,000 acres 15 percent increase over 2017. Here again overproduction could be problematic, so producers should study demand for medium grain before planting.

Bobby Coats is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service. E-mail:


Maiden hybrid rice seed consignment cleared for export

LAHORE: The government has allowed a local firm to export hybrid rice seed for the first time in the history of the country, marking Pakistan’s debut in the international trade of this variety of the agricultural commodity, a statement said on Friday.
“Guard Agricultural Research and Services Ltd was given a go-ahead to initially sell 50 tons of hybrid rice seed to a Philippine company, after its consignment passed purity and germination analysis,” said Shahzad Ali Malik, chief executive Guard.
“The company had applied for the aforementioned analysis with the Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department (FSCD) in mid of December 2017 and received a positive response on January 03, 2018.” Malik said the company would export the consignment shortly as now it was going through the process of quarantine.
“We had a good harvest of rice seed of hybrid varieties, which after processing and passing through required procedures is ready to be exported now,” he said. He said the shipment was expected to be seen off at Karachi by high government officials, company representatives and other stakeholders at an event to celebrate this landmark achievement by the country.
“We dedicate this milestone to the Pakistani growers, company’s Chinese counterparts and our team,” Malik added.
Shah Rukh Malik, executive seed division, Guard Agriculture Research & Services, termed it a great accomplishment, not only for the company but also for Pakistan.

Rice basmati rules firm on upsurge in demand

New Delhi, Jan 5 Rice basmati prices firmed up by up to Rs 200 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today on the back of rising demand against restricted supplies from producing belts.
However, other grains traded flat in thin trade.
Traders said besides rising demand from retailers as well as rice mills, fall in arrivals from producing regions, mainly pushed up rice basmati prices.
In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety went up by Rs 200 and Rs 100 to Rs 7,800- 7,900 and Rs 6,400-6,500 per quintal, respectively.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,080-2,280, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,800-1,815, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,810-1,815, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 260-300, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 255-290, Roller flour mill Rs 960-970 (50 kg), Maida Rs 990-1,000 (50 kg)and Sooji Rs 1,050-1,060 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,800, Basmati common new Rs 7,800-7,900, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 6,400-6,500, Permal raw Rs 2,300-2350, Permal wand Rs 2,350-2,400, Sela Rs 2,700-2,900 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,925-1,975, Bajra Rs 1,225-1,230, Jowar yellow Rs 1,375-1,425, white Rs 2,750-2,850, Maize Rs 1,340- 1,345, Barley Rs 1,480-1,490.


Indian rice exporters to gain market share: Ind-Ra

MUMBAI: The credit profile of rice exporters is likely to improve over the near-to-medium term due to increase in market share following production shortfall in parts of South Asia, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said in a report.
“Credit profile of rice exporters to improve over the near-to-medium term on the back of increased market share, higher realisations and improved liquidity. Significant production shortfall in parts of South Asia is likely to result in a substantial gain in market share by various Indian exporters,” Ind-Ra said.
Ind-Ra expects Indian rice exports to account over 29 per cent of the global rice trade in marketing year (MY) 2017-18 compared to 26.70 per cent in the MY 2016-17.
The rating agency said subdued yields across major South and East Asian rice producers should result in higher realisations and marginal improvement in export volumes.
Weak output levels in Vietnam and other parts of South Asia have resulted in a sharp spike in international prices, primarily on the back of increased demand from exporters to deliver forward export orders, it added. The agency expects demand to remain strong on the back of higher paddy procurement target and minimum support price.
In June 2017, the government of India had decided to increase the minimum selling price of common grade paddy by 5.4 per cent to Rs 1,550 per quintal, it said.
The procurement target was also increased to 37.50 million tonnes in MY 2016-17 from 34.34 million tonnes in the previous year, it added.
Indian Basmati exports grew 35 per cent annually to Rs 136 billion in the first half of FY18 on the back of a significant growth in offtake by Iran. While the timely lifting of the temporary import ban by the Iranian government on November 22, 2017 is expected to augur well for Indian rice exporters, yet, significant volume gain is unlikely due weak demand from countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, it said.
Iran is likely to replace Saudi Arabia as the largest exporter of Indian Basmati rice.
Saudi Arabia reported a 13 per cent decline in rice imports in the first quarter of FY18.
Despite the recovery in demand from Iran and the US, Ind-Ra expects total growth in Basmati export volumes to remain range bound between 3 per cent and 5 per cent.


Strong baht to depress 2018 exports

·       5 Jan 2018 at 08:07 
Thailand's rice exports are expected to ease this year from an expected record high of 11.2-11.3 million tonnes in 2017 because of rising global demand and the competitiveness of the local grain, says the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
Workers haul bags at a rice warehouse in Bangkok. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD
President Charoen Laothammatas said the association forecast Thailand's rice exports to dip to 9.5 million tonnes this year because of depleted state rice stocks and lower Thai hom mali fragrant rice output because of heavy rains in many areas.
The Agriculture Ministry projects rice production for the 2018 season at 30 million tonnes of paddy rice or 22-23 million tonnes of milled rice, equivalent to last season.
But the association argued such production is uncertain, citing weather volatility, while domestic consumption is estimated to exceed 10 million tonnes of milled rice this year because of rising tourist arrivals and foreign workers in Thailand.
The biggest risk factor for rice exports this year is baht appreciation that will whittle down Thailand's competitive edge, said Mr Charoen.
The strong baht will hurt Thai hom mali rice the most because supply is generally limited, making the premium grain more expensive than similar rice from other countries, he said.
As of Dec 27, 2017, Thai hom mali rice was quoted at US$993 a tonne, while aromatic rice from Vietnam was quoted at $600 a tonne and Cambodian aromatic rice sold for $800.
Based on the sharp baht appreciation, Thai hom mali rice is now quoted at about $1,000 per tonne.
Mr Charoen is confident Thailand shipped 11.2-11.3 million tonnes last year, setting a record high for rice exports. The volume was up from 9.90 million tonnes in 2016.
According to the association's figures, Thailand shipped a total of 10.5 million tonnes in the first 11 months of last year, up 19.9% from the same period a year earlier.
Values also rose 14.1% for the period to 156.6 billion baht.
The top five importers of Thai rice were Benin, China, South Africa, Cameroon and the US.
The association estimated Thailand would ship about 800,000 tonnes in the final month of 2017, raising the total for the full year to 11.2-11.3 million tonnes.


Rice farmers in trouble with hippos in CRR

Friday, January 05, 2018
The rice farmers at Ndokey village in Niani District, Central River Region (CRR) north have yesterday complained about the invasion of rice fields by hippos that are causing massive destructions at their low land agricultural fields.The rice farmers, who, for several years have been lodging litany of similar complaints over hippopotamus in the region, have expressed their worry over hippos’ rampant destruction in recent times.
In an interview with The Point, Alkalo Eliman Njie of the villages said the destruction by the hippos to their rice fields was a terrifying situation for the village because the rice fields were previously affected by heavy flash flood which had submerged lots of rice.
“However, the little remaining rice at the fields has now been also ravaged by the hippos. This destruction pushed us to terrible challenges because even getting seedlings for the next season could be difficult, talk less of feedings,” he stated.
He pointed out that they have been experiencing hippos’ destruction in their rice fields but this year’s is has been the worst as 80% of the farms have been destroyed due to heavy downpour, monkeys and hippos incursion.
He explained that the frequent tampering of the rice fields is due to the high tidal this year. He said that due to the oversea level, it enable the hippos climb to travel to the fields for feeding.
He recommended for government to modernise the agricultural site to tidal irrigation or to dig a ditch between the river and the rice fields in order to prevent the hippos from climbing to their rice farms.
One Jalika Keita, a rice farmer, said the destruction of the rice fields became the community’s greatest concern as the hippos have destroyed her eight plots of rice where she spent lots of money including from clearing, ploughing and fertilizer application among others.
She asserted that the area is a potential rice growing area and they heavily depend on rice for feeding as well as for cash crop. She said such devastation could lead to difficulty for them.
She finally noted: “However, apart from agriculture, we don’t have any source of income to feed our families; thus if the hippos are discouraging us from rice cultivation then our future could be in mess.”
Mariama Jallow also a rice farmer said the hippos destroy all her family’s rice fields which she said was great devastation for them because they use the rice for feedings, school fees and other relevant matters.
“The nightmare became a terrifying, challenging for us since we put all our hopes on rice cultivation as our principal source of foods and revenue,” she said.
Mamadou Keita and Mariama Jallow both said the destruction causes numerous challenges for the affected families, noting that apart from agricultural activities, they do not have any other source of income. They posited that the hippos’ destruction has jeopardized their cropping season and appealed to concern authorities to come to their aid in order to tackle menace of hippos in the area.
They said hence the wild life department said the hippos should not be killed, then they should provide measures to address the situation because they are farmers and use the rice fields to sustain their families.
Author: Lamin S.M. Jawo in CRR


BSP considers inflation on target, manageable

Published January 5, 2018, 10:01 PM
By Lee C. Chipongian
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. yesterday said they remain confident that inflation path is manageable, within prediction, and is supportive of sustainable growth.
“Robust domestic economic activity, ample liquidity, and well-anchored inflation expectations continue to support within-target inflation,” commented Espenilla following the government’s announcement of a 2017 inflation rate of 3.2 percent which is within the target of two percent to three percent.
The 3.2 percent full-year rate is also the BSP’s forecast for the year.
Espenilla said the BSP “will remain vigilant against any risks to the inflation outlook to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with the mandate of maintaining price stability conducive to economic growth.”
For this year and in 2019, inflation rate is projected to settle above the midpoint of the target range of two percent to four percent for the next two years.
BSP Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo said that while they expect the tax reform program will put pressure on inflation numbers, they look at it as mostly short term effects, particularly from the higher fuel prices.
Guinigundo said the one percentage point impact of the tax reform program “hardly justifies a monetary response” since it will be on the supply side. “We shall consider adjusting our monetary stance when second round effects are triggered because the demand side would be upset, generating demand pressure for higher wages and higher transportation fares.”
“As we said previously, if Congress is able to pass the rice tariffication bill early enough this year, that could be a game changer because liberalizing rice imports would have the effect of cheapening the general price of rice which accounts for nearly nine percent of the consumer basket. Our initial estimate puts it at around one percentage point reduction, which on balance could provide some counterweight to the inflationary pressure of the higher excise tax on fuel,” he said.
Guinigundo added that the tax reform would produce the funds for infrastructure projects and “increase our potential output and in the end enhance the supply situation and mitigate price pressures.”
“The rice policy towards more open rice importation would allow the government to channel proceeds from rice tariffs to agricultural support like irrigation, warehousing, drying facilities, reaearch on new disease and weather resistant rice varieties. This is a superior public support than subsidizing farm gate rice prices,” said Guinigundo.
Economists and analysts likewise had on-point inflation forecasts for 2017. Standard Chartered Bank economist for Asia, Chidu Narayanan, said they expected the 3.3 percent for the December rate as well.
“We retain our view that inflation is not a worry for the Philippines,” said Narayanan. The December inflation is same as November’s.
The bank also sees a 3.5 percent inflation for 2018 due to domestic demand and the tax reform. “We estimate higher infrastructure investment and the tax reform to add about 0.3-0.5 percentage point to headline inflation.”

Prices of rice drops by 25% in Maiduguri

ON JANUARY 5, 20185:28 PM
As farmers began crop harvest, prices of local rice has dropped by about 25 per cent in Maiduguri, Borno, and newsmen report. A check by newsmen at Gamboru and Customs Area Markets in Maiduguri indicated that prices of the commodity had dropped in the past two months since the beginning of crop harvest by farmers. Rice Newsmen report that rice farmers had recorded bumper harvests this cropping season, forcing the prices of the staple food crushing. A 50kg bag of local rice goes for between N6,500 and N7,200 as against the old price of N9,000, while a measure of the produce is sold at N380. The development has affected the price of refined rice which also declined. A 50kg bag is being sold at between N15,000 and N16,500 from the old pric

e of N17,500. A measure of the commodity now go for N900 as against N1,050, depending on its quality. Prices of other produce had also dropped significantly in the past months as a measure of maize is sold at N280, beans N450 and millet N350, as against the previous prices of N420, N600 and N500, respectively. Similarly, a measure of groundnut oil i sold at N280 as against N500. Traders at the markets attributed the drop in prices to improvement in the supply of food commodities to the markets. Malam Ali Muhammad, a rice dealer, said that prices of rice were falling on daily basis in view of the fresh supplies from the farms. Muhammad also attributed the situation to improvement in the supply of local produce to the market, adding that the development is encouraging. “There is a significant increase in the number of farmers who cultivated rice and other produce this cropping season. “Prices will further go down as supply improves,’’ he said. Muhammad said that rice dealers were now enjoying appreciable patronage. Also commenting, Ya-Ana Yusuf, a peanut grower, said that the massive mobilisation of farmers in liberated communities had encouraged production and forced grain prices down in the state. Malam Muhammad Dungus, a resident, expressed joy over the development, and urged traders to further reduce their prices. Newsmen report that the Federal Government in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had distributed fertilisers, seeds and inputs to over 1.1 million farmers in the Northeast this cropping season. More than 5,000 rice farmers were also supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme in Borno.

Iran imports 1m tons of rice in 9 months

January 5, 2018
TEHRAN- According to the latest report released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), the country imported one million tons of rice during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (ended December 21, 2017).The value of the imported rice stood at $983 million, the report said, showing an increase of 86 percent from the last year’s $527 million. Iran’s imports of rice registered 65 percent rise in terms of volume, compared to the same time in last year.

Group earmarks 1200 hectares for rice production in Benue

"Our Cooperative has earmarked 1200 hectares of farmlands for rice production and we are providing guaranteed security to all investments," Obeya tells Pulse.
·       Published: 05.01.2018
·       Goodness Adaoyiche
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Group earmarks 1200 hectares for rice production in Benue
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In line with the diversification move of the federal government, the Benue South Multipurpose Cooperative society has earmarked 1200 hectares of farmlands for rice production in the state.

Coordinator of the group, Andrew Obeya, tells Pulse that 2018 agribusiness season will focus on rice production.
Obeya noted that the cooperative had obtained legal authorities and work closely with communities and relevant bodies towards ensuring healthy and hygienic foods and commodities are produced for human and industrial consumptions.
“Our goal is to set up and manage agribusiness for willing investors who may have very little opportunity to own and manage their investments directly,” Obeya said.
“The Cooperative society works closely with off-takers and partners to procure farm products for food manufacturing and processing companies. While we work with off-takers to make this happen, we are also developing a long term plan of manufacturing, processing and redistribution of food and raw materials that are needed for consumption.
 “The 2018 agribusiness season will focus on rice production. Our Cooperative has earmarked 1200 hectares of farmlands for rice production and we are providing guaranteed security to all investments, in other to ensure that investors get the best out of their investments.
“The return on investment is about 50 percent of capital per annum and it is expected that investors’ capital will run for 12 months before yielding the desired profit," he concluded.
He added that the cooperative also engages in the sales and distribution of farm inputs like fertilizers, improved seeds and other products that aid agribusiness for small holder farmers and investors.
Meanwhile, an agriculturist, Richard Ogundele, has advised the federal government to allow the current rice production system firm up and become self-sufficient, before it could contemplate banning its importation.
Ogundele made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, January 5, 2018 in Lagos. millers found to be recycling
Rice basmati rules firm on upsurge in demand
Rice basmati prices firmed up by up to Rs 200 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today on the back of rising demand against restricted supplies from producing belts.  However, other grains traded flat in thin trade.  Traders said besides rising demand from retailers as well as rice mills, fall in arrivals from producing regions, mainly pushed up rice basmati prices.  In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety went up by Rs 200 and Rs 100 to Rs 7,800- 7,900 and Rs 6,400-6,500 per quintal, respectively.  Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):  Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,080-2,280, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,800-1,815, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,810-1,815, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 260-300, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 255-290, Roller flour mill Rs 960-970 (50 kg), Maida Rs 990-1,000 (50 kg)and Sooji Rs 1,050-1,060 (50 kg).  Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,800, Basmati common new Rs 7,800-7,900, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 6,400-6,500, Permal raw Rs 2,300-2350, Permal wand Rs 2,350-2,400, Sela Rs 2,700-2,900 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,925-1,975, Bajra Rs 1,225-1,230, Jowar yellow Rs 1,375-1,425, white Rs 2,750-2,850, Maize Rs 1,340- 1,345, Barley Rs 1,480-1,490.

CBN to make Nigeria global rice giant

Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke On: January 5, 2018 In: BusinessNews,News Update
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it is determined to make Nigeria one of the largest rice producer and exporter in the world, making her less dependent on petroleum money.
Speaking with newsmen in Umuahia, the apex bank’s  Acting Director, Corporate Communication, Issac Okoroafor, underlined the preparedness of the CBN to make the dream come true, saying the country’s apex bank is determined to make Nigeria join other countries in the production and exportation of rice, so that there will be food security and more jobs for the teeming youths.
He said, “This year, we are expecting that we will be self- sufficient in rice production, Nigeria will become a net exporter of rice because we have seen that most families now eat made-in-Nigeria rice.
“We now eat rice grown fresh in Nigeria not the rice we used to import from India, Vietnam and Thailand, rice that was between seven  to nine years old. Now we are eating farm fresh rice, grown, milled and packaged in Nigeria. You see, we are very proud of Nigerians, because they responded to this”.
Okoroafor said the Anchor Borrowers programme has been one of the most successful programs in this country, adding that it goes to show that, “when our people think well and we invest well, we can achieve a revolution, which is what Anchor Borrowers programme has achieved. We are continuing with it, we are expanding it.”
He said the regulator is getting into the next stage of the Anchor Borrowers Program, which is working with commodity associations, (no longer states), pointing out however that the apex bank is still continuing with the state governments.
“We are opening up a window for commodity associations. We have started with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), we expect to reach 12 million farmers in this program and you can imagine what 12 million farming with at least one hectare of land can produce. You can imagine what that will bring to our economy”.
Okorafor said the accelerated agricultural development scheme will involve 10 thousand youths at the pilot level, saying the choice of the youths, will be those that will take pride in agriculture, who also at the end of the day, will be well funded to make agriculture big business.
He said, “We are starting with 360 to 370 youths, including Abuja and we look forward to a few years when we will come up and say, yes, we have made 360 billionaires in agriculture, young people between the ages of 16 and 35, that is our target.
“They would come up to make this nation proud. So we are collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on this programme. The details are going to be rolled out very soon. There has been a stakeholders meeting in Abuja and that is our focus  for this year,” he stated.
Okoroafor said the CBN has spent about N87.5 billion on the Micro, Small and Medium Entreprise Development Fund, which was designed for small business operators, like artisans, vulcanizers, hair dressers and tailors, among others.
He appealed to youths in Abia and the other Southeast states to key-into the programmes of the CBN, by forming strong cooperatives  to enable them access the available funds without cut-throat collaterals.

Rice exports at document excessive in 2017
January 5, 2018 Kaplan Contributor     
Rice exports hit an all-time record in 2017, increasing by 14.77% this year to at least 11.25 million tonnes as of Dec 27, the Ministry of Commerce said.The price per tonne has risen above US$1,000 for popular Jasmin fragrant rice, or hom mali.
Sales revenue showed significant growth of around 15%, or $4.97 billion (168 billion baht). With a few days still remaining in the calendar year, the export volume was already the highest since Thailand began trading rice.
On the global market, the price of Jasmine rice continues to climb steadily, currently standing at $1,040, the highest in the past five years, the ministry statement said.
Staple ‘white rice 5%’ was also doing exceptionally well and competitive, but prices remained quite stable at $403 per metric tonne. 
Honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association Chukiat Opaswong said shipments soared on increased foreign demand and a decrease in global market supply.
“The government’s stock of hom-mali rice for export has already run dry, and our domestic production has dropped from nine to seven million tonnes this year, which caused exporters and rice mills to compete intensely for the remaining supply,” Mr Chukiat said.
“As for the white rice, the price remains stable and less exciting than Jasmine rice because India has recently offloaded their stock at a discount, and its volume is quite overwhelming.”
On Jan 14 the Ministry of Commerce will organise a workshop and seminar for representatives of the rice sector on the future direction and development of the industry, Deputy Commerce Minister Chutima Bunyapraphasara said.
“We will discuss the system as a whole, looking at ways to improve harvesting, production and marketing Thai rice. Next year’s plan to expand the rice industry will give importance to G2G (government-to-government) trading, and fulfilling our contract with China for 600,000 metric tonnes of rice,” Ms Chutima said.
The Ministry of Commerce is planning for a new 1 million tonne contract with China next year, and is ready for negotiations with Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, she said.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- January 5, 2018

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-January 5, 2018
Nagpur, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Gram prices showed weak tendency in Nagpur Agriculture Produce
Marketing Committee (APMC) on lack of demand from local millers amid high moisture content
arrival. Fresh fall in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and release of stock from stockists also
pulled down prices.
About 150 bags of gram reported for auctions in Nagpur APMC, according to sources.  
   * Desi gram raw moved down in open market on lack of demand from local traders.
   * Tuar gavarani and tuar Karnataka recovered in open market on increased demand 
     from local traders. 
   * Moong Chamki reported weak in open market on poor demand from local traders amid 
     good supply from producing regions. 
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 4,100-4,200, Tuar dal (clean) – 6,000-6,200, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 7,800-8,800, Moong Mogar (clean) 7,300-7,600, Gram – 4,300-4,400, Gram Super best 
    – 6,400-7,000
   * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in 
     scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity. 
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close   
     Gram Auction                  3,200-3,700         3,200-3,790
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                n.a.                3,500-4,201
     Moong Auction                n.a.                3,900-4,200
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Wheat Mill quality Auction        1,600-1,706        1,600-1,686
     Gram Super Best Bold            7,000-7,500        7,000-7,500
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            6,000-6,500        6,000-6,500
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            4,100-4,200        4,100-4,200
     Desi gram Raw                4,650-4,750         4,700-4,800
     Gram Kabuli                12,400-13,000        12,400-13,000
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             6,200-6,500        6,200-6,500
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        5,900-6,100        5,900-6,100
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,700-5,900        5,700-5,900
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        5,300-5,600        5,300-5,600
     Tuar Gavarani New             4,300-4,400        4,200-4,300
     Tuar Karnataka             4,600-4,800        4,500-4,700
     Masoor dal best            5,000-5,200        5,000-5,200
     Masoor dal medium            4,700-4,900        4,700-4,900
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        7,500-8,000         7,500-8,000
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,500-7,000        6,500-7,000
     Moong dal Chilka            5,800-6,500        5,800-6,500
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            7,400-7,900        7,500-8,000
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,000-8,500       8,000-8,500 
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,800-7,000        5,800-7,000    
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        5,000-6,200        5,000-6,200     
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,000-5,500        5,000-5,500
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          2,500-2,600         2,500-2,600
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            3,200-3,300        3,200-3,300
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,400-3,800        3,400-3,800   
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,000        1,900-2,000
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,750-1,850        1,750-1,850   
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         2,150-2,350           2,150-2,350         
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,400        2,200-2,400    
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   1,950-2,150        1,950-2,150
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,200-3,700        3,200-3,700    
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,400-2,800        2,400-2,800           
     Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)        3,200-3,600        3,200-3,600    
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,700-2,800        2,700-2,800    
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,300-2,500        2,300-2,500      
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,500-2,600        2,500-2,600   
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      2,350-2,450        2,350-2,450   
     Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG)        4,100-4,500        4,100-4,500     
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,500-3,900        3,500-3,900    
     Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG)      5,000-5,400        5,000-5,400
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    4,400-4,900        4,400-4,900   
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    9,500-13,500        9,500-13,500     
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,000-7,500        5,000-7,500    
     Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)    5,800-6,000        5,800-6,000    
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    5,200-5,500        5,200-5,500   
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,200        2,000-2,100    
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,800-2,000        1,700-2,000
Maximum temp. 27.2 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 9.1 degree Celsius 
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 27 and 09 degree
Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)

Rice: Fortified Rice Added to Global Food Assistance Programs

By Rebecca Bratter, USA RiceJanuary 4, 2018

©Creative Commons Yamanaka Tamaki
For the past three years, USA Rice has worked closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and their partner, The World Food Programme (WFP) to help formulate specifications for a nutritionally superior rice product for use in global food assistance programs.  At long last, the dialogue, field testing, and peer review, has borne fruit as USAID recently announced the publication of a new commodity specification document for the procurement of fortified rice that can address not just hunger but the long-term debilitating effects of malnutrition.   
While fortified rice has been approved for use in global feeding programs for the past two years, only extruded fortified rice was specified in the commodity document, therefore limiting the amount of fortified rice actually used.
As of December 31, 2017, the use of coated fortified rice has been incorporated into the document as an alternate and equally effective micronutrient fortified product.  This means more fortified product availability, greater economies of scale, and efficiency for U.S. government food assistance programs.
Additionally, some of the other rice specifications have been updated and simplified, including new specifications allowing vendors to identify suitable packaging that limits infestation and waste.
“While the use of all rice in global feeding programs has increased significantly over the last year to more than 100,000 MT, we believe the addition of coated fortified rice to feeding programs will result in greater use of fortified rice in all food aid programs,” said Bobby Hanks, chairman of the USA Rice Food Aid Subcommittee.
In the last year, the USDA’s McGovern Dole Food For Education Program went from using negligible amounts to more than 25,000 MT of fortified rice in School Feeding programs in Asia and Africa.
“Reducing and eliminating rampant malnutrition is a goal of all global food assistance programs, and implementing agencies will be looking to fortified rice as a key component of food rations in their ongoing and future programming,” Hanks said.
“USA Rice is pleased with the timely release of the new commodity document and the ongoing strength of its partnership with both USAID and USDA that made this possible,” said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president international.  “While the specification is in effect as of the new year, we will continue to work through a six-month transition period allowing for any new feedback on the specification, particularly on packaging and product shelf life.”
Moran said she anticipates the trend of increased rice usage in these programs will continue in 2018 which provides a lift for the entire U.S. industry.

REAP to send trade delegation to Saudi Arabia

  Last Updated On 05 January,2018 03:40 pm
We are seeing positive growth in rice exports, the Senior Vice Chairman of REAP said.
KARACHI (Dunya News) - Rafique Suleman, the Senior Vice Chairman of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) held a meeting with Inamullah Khan, the Secretary of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) at TDAP Head Office Karachi.
Rafique Suleman expressed with pleasure that we are seeing positive growth in rice exports, however, there are several measure to be taken for the betterment of the 2nd largest export trade. He shared the suggestions with TDAP Officials.
He said that since long time we don’t have any good rice seed, that is why many companies are importing hybrid seeds of rice. He emphasized for proper check and balance on importation of hybrid seeds, as it has been observed that some companies are importing low quality rice seeds which are not good for our agricultural environment. After visit of REAP Delegation to Philippines in 2015, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has sent new GSR-1 & GSR-2 rice seeds, further NIBGE Faisalabad has introduced New Basmati Rice Seed BR-1 which is also useful in low quantity of water. REAP has distributed these Rice Seeds among Farmers for experimental sowing of rice and these seeds are in multiplication stage.
           He also requested to give some relief to rice exporters are they are making huge investments for value addition in rice and struggling hard to compete in international markets, particularly for the survival of Basmati rice exports. He suggested to give farmers latest rice equipments, such as Dryers etc. on easy installments, so that we may get good quality rice for export purpose. He also suggested to organize Awareness Programme by TDAP for Farmers for adopting latest techniques in rice farming.
 He added that REAP is planning to send a high profile trade delegation to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the month of March for the forceful marketing and promotion of Pakistani rice and to increase market share of Pakistani rice in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is very good market particularly for Basmati rice and they import approx. $ 1 Billion worth of rice every year. Pakistan had a good share in Saudi markets, however, since last few years Pakistani rice exports facing decline.
 Pakistan had exported 172,000 M/Tons of Rice amounting US$123.86 Million in 2010-11, whereas in last fiscal year 2016-17 we have exported only 70,000 M/Tons amounting US$47 Million. Therefore, REAP has decided to send a trade delegation on priority basis. He was very hopeful that there is tremendous scope for the export of Pakistani Basmati rice to Saudi Arabia, because of its supreme quality, unique aroma and taste. We are also sending letters to TDAP and Pakistan Mission in Riyadh and Jeddah for arranging meetings of REAP Delegation with Chamber Officials and Leading Rice Buyers.