Wednesday, August 01, 2018

1st August,2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter

NFA: Rice imports must be fast-tracked

State-run National Food Authority (NFA) is pushing for the earlier importation of rice to boost the country’s buffer stocks and avoid shipping and distribution delays that may be caused by unfavorable weather.“Right now, the typhoons are lining up like people buying NFA rice,” spokesperson Rex Estoperez said in a telephone interview.
“If we want to avoid similar delays, we must import now,” he added.The NFA has so far secured approvals to import 500,000 metric tons (MT) of rice — 250,000 MT from Vietnam and Thailand through government-to-government deal and another 250,000 via the private sector.Delivery of the first tranche was supposed to be completed in June and the rest is expected to be brought in by the end of August. However, inclement weather hampered the arrivals and distribution, which was meant to stabilize prices of rice in the retail market.
“Right now, we are distributing rice as they arrive… unlike before that we had the inventory and the distribution volume,” Estoperez said.
Last month, NFA Administrator Jason Aquino said he was proposing another 500,000-MT shipment, to be delivered by October, to prevent a repeat of an inventory depletion that saw the agency’s stocks reduced to just two and a half day’s worth of consumption.By law, the NFA is mandated to have at least 15 days worth of consumption at any given time and 30-day buffer during the lean season that starts in July and ends in September.
The new imports still have to be approved by the NFA Council. Estoperez said a decision could be made by next month.Government-subsidized NFA rice is sold at P27 and P32 per kilogram, much cheaper than commercial rice that is typically sold at P38 to P40 and above.

Use of bar codes to rice sacks, packs pushed

Published July 31, 2018, 6:35 PM
By Malu Cadelina Manar
KIDAPAWAN CITY (July 31) – North Cotabato third district Board Member Socrates Pinol has proposed the use of bar code to protect Filipino farmers’ agricultural products from smuggled goods.
(Credits: Juan Carlo De Vela|Manila Bulletin)
Pinol said most of the smuggled goods were shipped using the southern backdoor or through the Zamboanga peninsula in West Mindanao.During the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Cotabato on Tuesday, the board member has moved to pass a resolution addressed to National Food Administration (NFA) administrator Jason Aquino to look at the bar coding system to counter so-called illegally-traded rice and combat smuggling of staple food in the country.He proposed that to prevent smuggled rice or illegally-imported rice from getting into the local markets, the NFA should require all importers, rice millers, wholesalers, and retailers to place bar codes to all the rice sacks and rice packs for easy monitoring of the origin of such rice.
Pinol submitted his proposal to the Sanggunian days after President Duterte issued a stern warning against rice smugglers saying harsh punishments would be imposed against them for hurting the livelihood of poor farmers, especially in the countryside.“Large-scale agricultural smuggling is considered clear economic sabotage based on the provisions cited under Republic Act 10845 or the Anti-Smuggling Act, a law passed several years ago,” said the legislator.
Despite the efforts or measures the government has undertaken to reduce rice smuggling in the country, still, the influx of imported rice transported through southern backdoor is “inevitable”, said Pinol.“Who is at a losing end here? It’s the government because we spent our money in buying imported rice. And of course, our own farmers… this is the reason why we must patronize our own products. But because of smuggled rice, we lose. How do we combat this? We must place bar codes to all rice sacks and rice packs so we would know their origin,” said Pinol.

Application for emergency loans in rice sector now open: RBD

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times  
Rice millers in need of capital can now apply for government emergency loans, according to the Rural Development Bank (RBD), the institution in charge of disbursing the loans.
In a statement yesterday, RBD called on rice millers interested in accessing extra credit for the upcoming harvest season to apply as soon as possible, as demand for emergency loans this year is expected to increase following the construction of several rice storage facilities in the past few months.
“This season we have new silos and warehouses which means storage capacity is much higher,” said Kao Thach, RBD’s director.
The loans are part of a lending mechanism initiated by the government in 2016 to help millers who are short on cash buy paddy rice from farmers and keep the price of the commodity stable.
Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice, a firm that received a $5-million loan last year to build a silo and a warehouse in Kampong Thom province, said they will apply for a new loan this year to buy 100,000 tonnes of paddy rice.
He said the emergency loan programme has proven to be a very useful scheme for millers around the country.
In the past year, several rice storage facilities have been built in the country’s main rice-producing provinces by private companies that used emergency loans, with the government making available $15 million to fund the construction of storage facilities.
In 2016, the first year that the emergency fund was made available, $27 million were disbursed. Last year, the fund was expanded to $50 million, but only $36 million were dispensed.
Trade volume rises but rice export falls
Maritime trade volumes in Myanmar are rising. Aung Myin Ye Zaw/The Myanmar Times
While maritime trade volumes are up by US$1 billion this year so far compared to the same period last year, exports of commodities like rice, has fallen by 55000 tonnes, U Khin Maung Lwin, assistant secretary of Ministry of Commerce (MOC), told The Myanmar Times.
Maritime trade volumes, up until the third week of July, amounted to US$ 8.4 billion which exceeds last year’s trade volumes by $ 1.2 billion over the same period, according to MOC. During the period exports amounted to US$3.2 billion while imports totalled US$ 5.1 billion. 
According to the data up to July 20, US$109 million was earned from exporting 328,706 tonnes of rice. Last year in the same period, Myanmar earned US$106 million from exporting 383,919 tonnes of rice.
“Earnings from rice exports are up marginally but the volume is down by 55000 tonnes. We need to export more rice to boost earnings,” said U Khin Maung Lwin.
Why are rice exports falling? U Soe Tun, vice chair of Myanmar Rice Federation said “domestic rice prices are rising but world rice prices are falling. As such, exporters do not get much profit. As it becomes harder to export, volumes also decrease. Exporters will suffer losses if they buy rice locally for export purposes.”
Another reason is the weather; as it is rainy season, there are difficulties in exporting. “In maritime exports, some items increased in volume. For rice, the volume decreased. It is mainly due to the weather because it is the rainy season. Rice exports always drops during the rainy season.” U Khin Maung Lwin said.
“The major exports via the maritime route are ready-made garments,” he said.
Up until the third week of July, garment exports generated US$ 1.2 billion, almost double the value compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, US$ 400 million in raw materials and capital goods were imported this year, U Khin Maung Lwin said. “Raw materials are essential in manufacturing, while capital goods like machinery represent investments made to grow other businesses in the country,” he said.

PNP deploys teams vs rice, food smugglers, profiteers

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) will join the government’s campaign against rice smugglers and other illegal traders tagged as criminal manipulators of prices of basic commodities in the market. PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said police operations are being mapped out with the guidance provided by President Duterte in his State of the Nation Address.
“We will aggressively support concerned government agencies in waging war against unscrupulous traders who willfully manipulate market forces for their own selfish gain that result in higher prices of basic and essential commodities, particularly rice and food products,” Albayalde said.
“These acts go beyond the economic issue of fair trade. This is a matter of food security that the state is duty-bound to protect and defend,” he added during a news briefing on Monday.
In ordering the police to go after illegal businessmen, the PNP chief also directed the PNP Directorate for Operations to review all of its existing operational plans, directives and issuances, including existing memoranda of agreement with the Department of Agriculture and National Food Authority (NFA).
The review is being taken in order to identify possible areas or room for improvement for the strengthened law-enforcement operations against “rice smuggling, hoarding, pilferage, profiteering and illegal trade practices involving rice and basic commodities.”
Last week Sen. Cynthia A. Villar called on the government to arrest and prosecute at least one illegal rice trader in order to show that it is serious in dealing with rice smuggling.
Albayalde said a “whole of government approach” is needed in order to decisively address the “chronic economic sabotage” that is being waged and sustained by “wealthy criminals whose protectors might be in the high places.”
Aside from revisiting its agreements with the agriculture department and with the NFA on its law-enforcement operations, Albayalde also ordered the PNP to closely coordinate and work with the National Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice and the Philippine Competition Commission in the concerted effort to bring down illegal rice traders and market manipulators. 

Genetically modifying rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins

July 31, 2018 by Bob Yirka, report
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
A team of researchers from Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. has genetically modified a strain of rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes the technique by which they modified the rice and how it might be used to prevent HIV infections.

Medical scientists have made great strides in treating people infected with HIV—death rates from infections have plummeted, especially in the developed parts of the world. Scientists have also put in a lot of time and effort to develop a vaccine against the virus, but thus far, have come up empty. In the meantime, oral medications have been developed that can stave off an infection for a short period of time. But as the researchers with this new effort note, such medications are not generally available in third world countries. To help those at risk, they have been hard at work developing a strain of ricethat has the same HIV-neutralizing proteins as the oral medications. Once grown, the rice produces seeds that can be processed on-site to make a topical cream containing the proteins—the cream can then be applied to the skin to allow the proteins to enter the body.
The rice developed by the team produces one type of antibody and two kinds of proteins that bind directly to the HIV virus, preventing them from interacting with human cells. The researchers note that production costs of making the cream are nominal once the rice has been grown—people living in infection areas can grow as much of the rice as they need, then make the paste and apply it themselves. They note that further testing will need to be done to ensure the genetic engineering process does not introduce other unknown chemicals that might be harmful to humans. They also acknowledge that some might be resistant to the idea of using such rice due to the negative press GM crops have been getting in recent years. There will also be regulatory hurdles to overcome in each part of the world where the rice might be grown and used.
More information: Evangelia Vamvaka et al. Unexpected synergistic HIV neutralization by a triple microbicide produced in rice endosperm, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1806022115
The transmission of HIV can be prevented by the application of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies and lectins. Traditional recombinant protein manufacturing platforms lack sufficient capacity and are too expensive for developing countries, which suffer the greatest disease burden. Plants offer an inexpensive and scalable alternative manufacturing platform that can produce multiple components in a single plant, which is important because multiple components are required to avoid the rapid emergence of HIV-1 strains resistant to single microbicides. Furthermore, crude extracts can be used directly for prophylaxis to avoid the massive costs of downstream processing and purification. We investigated whether rice could simultaneously produce three functional HIV-neutralizing proteins (the monoclonal antibody 2G12, and the lectins griffithsin and cyanovirin-N). Preliminary in vitro tests showed that the cocktail of three proteins bound to gp120 and achieved HIV-1 neutralization. Remarkably, when we mixed the components with crude extracts of wild-type rice endosperm, we observed enhanced binding to gp120 in vitro and synergistic neutralization when all three components were present. Extracts of transgenic plants expressing all three proteins also showed enhanced in vitro binding to gp120 and synergistic HIV-1 neutralization. Fractionation of the rice extracts suggested that the enhanced gp120 binding was dependent on rice proteins, primarily the globulin fraction. Therefore, the production of HIV-1 microbicides in rice may not only reduce costs compared to traditional platforms but may also provide functional benefits in terms of microbicidal potency.

Upcoming Field Days - Mark Your Calendar 

August 2 - Mississippi State Rice Field Day
3:30 p.m.
Delta Research & Extension Center,       
Stoneville MS
After a brief welcome at the Capps Center, trailers will depart for the field tour. Social hour at the Delta Council's conference room and back deck immediately following field day.
August 2 - Horizon Ag Field Day
9:00 a.m.
Mark Wimpy Farms, 264 CR 419, near Jonesboro AR

August 3 - University of Arkansas Rice Field Day
7:15 a.m.
Rice Research and Extension Center, Stuttgart AR
Event includes a general session and lunch.

August 6 - Mississippi County Water Management Field Day 
9:00 a.m.
Osceola Community Center, 312 N Country Club Rd, Osceola AR
Tours held at Florenden Farms, Burdette AR.

August 7 - RiceTec Field Day
4:00 p.m.
RiceTec Business Center, 15329 Hwy 1, Harrisburg AR
Field tours start at 4:30 p.m. with dinner and program following at 6:30 p.m.
USA Rice Daily

Rice Webinar:  Thursday August 2 
Tune in Thursday, August 2 at 3:00 p.m. Central Time, for a new rice webinar hosted by Dr. Bobby Coats, with the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Patrick Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a professor in the MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, will try to make sense of this quickly-changing political situation for ag and discuss possible implications for agricultural markets and farm program payments.
Go here to register for the webinar.

Rice stakeholders nix 40% bound tariff, pitch 180%

In Photo: Corazon, a farmworker in Laguna, winnows freshly harvested palay. Policy-makers and lawmakers are gearing up for the impending conversion of quantitative restrictions on rice to a tariff system, but industry stakeholders say the government should aim for the maximum bound tariff allowed under the WTO, to give it more elbow room to protect local farmers during cases when there’s so much cheap foreign rice around.
RICE industry stakeholders are pushing for a 180-percent bound tariff on rice imports once the quantitative restriction (QR) on the staple is scrapped, in order to give the government enough elbow room to impose duties that would protect farmers vulnerable from “cheap” foreign rice.
In a position paper, representatives of farmer organizations and cause-oriented groups said they “firmly believe” that Manila must aim for the maximum allowable bound tariff rate it could impose, as stipulated by agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“We firmly believe that the bound tariff rate for rice imports should be set at the maximum possible rate allowed by GATT-UR [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade-Uruguay Round] regulations, which we affirmed when we joined the World Trade Organization [WTO]. In this regard, we support the 180-percent bound tariff rate being proposed by the House legislative version and the Department of Agriculture,” read the five-page position paper, a copy of which was obtained by the BusinessMirror on Tuesday.
“A high bound rate will allow the government to more freely adjust actual or applied tariff rates depending on market and other conditions.  It could be adjusted to a much lower rate if import prices are very high, or increased to a level not exceeding 180 percent when import prices are very low,” the paper added.
The rice industry stakeholders said setting a “very low” bound rate, such as 40 percent—as proposed by the economic managers—would limit the government’s policy space in protecting local farmers from “cheap” imports.“If the bound rate is set to a very low level, such as 40 percent as proposed by some of our economic managers, the government will not be able to impose a tariff higher than 40 percent even if the situation warrants it,” the paper said.
“Further, if and when the WTO members eventually agree to further reduce tariff rates, we will be forced to start our reduction from a relatively low tariff level.  This will increasingly restrict our ability to protect our local farmers from cheap imports,” it added.
The groups said the government has “nothing to lose” by setting the bound tariff at 180 percent. “We therefore urge the government and legislators to adopt a prudent and judicious strategy of employing the highest possible bound rate so that it can preserve its policy space to react effectively to future and emerging marketing conditions.”
Furthermore, the groups urged the government to review its committed 35-percent tariff rate on rice imports under the Asean Trade in Goods Agreement in order to have a higher protection level for farmers. The groups noted the majority of the country’s rice imports come from Asean member-countries, particularly Thailand and Vietnam.
“We urge the government to review this commitment and, if deemed necessary, negotiate for an adjustment in our tariff on rice imports,” the paper read. “It is worth noting that countries like Japan and South Korea, which are much more economically advanced than the Philippines, have set their rice tariffs to very high levels of 778 percent and 513 percent, respectively,” the paper added.
The groups are also pushing for the implementation of an “effective” trade remedy system that would allow the country to impose additional measures when rice imports are deemed unfair and too detrimental to the local sector.
“We also support moves to designate rice as a special safeguard [SSG] product in the WTO so that we will have the option to impose additional remedial tariffs on rice imports in the event of an abnormal surge in imports or a major depression in import prices,” it said.“We further urge the government to put in place an effective trade remedy system that will allow us to impose countervailing duties on subsidized imports or antidumping duties on exports of foreign companies that sell rice below the price they normally charge in their home market,” it added.
SSG is a trade measure that allows countries to impose additional tariffs when the value of an imported product is below the trigger price.
The groups said they “fully support” the establishment of a rice competitiveness enhancement fund (RCEF), made up of the tariffs collected from rice imports.The RCEF would provide the DA with additional resources “to expand and intensify their programs to improve the competitiveness and profitability of rice farmers as the rice market is liberalized,” according to them.
Furthermore, the groups said the RCEF could be used “to provide farmers with safety nets in the event of natural calamities, market disruptions and personal emergencies.”The groups proposed that 80 percent of RCEF be pre-allocated to fund key programs for the rice sector, while the remaining 20 percent could be used to augment program budgets “when deemed necessary.”
“We are well aware of the problems that continue to hound the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, and we understand the reasons why some legislators have opted to pre-allocate specific percentages of RCEF for specified support activities, or limit the amounts that can be accessed by individual farmers or farmer organizations,” they said.“On the other hand, we also feel that sufficient flexibility should be allowed for RCEF usage so that the fund can adequately fill up budgetary gaps or respond to changing priorities as they emerge,” they added.
The groups said they support the proposals to use the RCEF to fund credit programs, farm mechanization, postharvest facilities, and research and development and extension. The groups further proposed that the RCEF  be used for: 1) common service facilities; 2) social protection programs; 3) subsidized crop insurance and loan guarantees; and 4) crop
diversification programs.“We believe that the RCEP, together with the earmarking of rice import tariffs, should be retained for as long as necessary and until such time that local rice farmers can compete with imports on a sustainable basis,” it said.
“An initial 10-year life span for RCEP could be adopted, with the understanding that a thorough review will be conducted before its expiry, and with the option to extend its life span if deemed necessary after the review,” it added
The groups also support the idea of entrusting the RCEF with the DA, through the agriculture chief, “who shall formulate the guidelines and policies for the usage of the fund in consultation with the private stakeholders through the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries.” They proposed to create a special PCAF committee that would oversee the utilization of RCEF.
“We support proposals to immediately augment the budget of the DA to fast-track important competitiveness-enhancing programs while the RCEP is still being set up and tariff collections have yet to be accumulated,” they said.
There is no reason, the groups said, “the government should wait for QRs to be lifted before acting on the threats that farmers face from cheaper imports.” The position paper was signed by representatives of the Federation of Free Farmers, Centro Saka, Alyansa Agrikultura, Rice Watch Action Network, Paragos-Pilipinas, National Union of Rural Based Organizations, Pambansang Katipunan ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan, Ka Tribu Ug and Lasang Foundation, and Cacao/Coffee Alliance.

Rice tariff bill slated for second-reading approval

THE Duterte administration’s rice tariffication bill is now moving closer to getting approval at the House of Representatives.
This, after House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Jose T. Panganiban Jr. of Anac-IP delivered his sponsorship speech on Tuesday and called for the immediate passage of House Bill 7735,  or the proposed “Revised Agricultural Tariffication Act.”
Government officials earlier disclosed that they are eyeing to present the rice tariffication law to the World Trade Organization in September.
“We will approve this tomorrow [Wednesday] on second reading. . . We can no longer postpone [the passage of] the rice tariffication bill,” Panganiban told the  BusinessMirror.
“The bill seeks to put in place the safety nets for Filipinos rice producers and rice consumers by imposing tariffs in lieu of quantitative restrictions on rice imports,” he added. The lower house has set the bound tariff rate for rice imports outside the minimum access volume (MAV) at 180 percent.
Under the bill, the Philippines will impose a bound tariff rate of 35 percent for rice originating from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, regardless of volume. Manila would also impose a 40-percent bound tariff most-favored nation  rate for in-quota rice imports from countries that do not belong to the  Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Once the bill is enacted into law, the country’s MAV for rice shall revert to its 2012 level of 350,000 metric tons, from the current 805,000 MT.
The bill mandates the National Food Authority (NFA) as the sole authority to undertake the direct importation of rice, only for the purpose of ensuring food security and maintaining sufficient national buffer stocks.
The measure defines buffer stock in the NFA rice inventory as reserve equivalent to 15 days’ national consumption requirement and maintained by the NFA at any given time to address calamities, and most important, for price stabilization.
It also authorizes the NFA to allocate import permits among certified and licensed importers for importation other than maintaining buffer stocks, while mandating the NFA to issue guidelines for the exportation of rice and corn by certified and licensed exporters.
It also provides for the composition of the NFA Council, to be chaired by the secretary of Department of Agriculture, cochaired by the NFA administrator with these members: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor, secretaries of Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of the Interior and Local Government, chairman of National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, executive secretary of Office of the President and two farmers’ representatives.
The bill also empowers the President, when necessary, to adjust the applied rate; regulate rice exports, impose temporary regulations or restrictions on the volume of imports of rice, and enter into trade negotiations or renegotiations relating to the bound or maximum rates committed to or to be committed by the Philippine in relation to rice.

Rice Prices

as on : 31-07-2018 10:47:02 AM

Arrivals in tonnes;prices in Rs/quintal in domestic market.

Flooding threatens rice harvest target in Laos

Vientiane Times/Asia News Network / 04:53 PM July 31, 2018
A man swims with matress in flooded village in Sanamxay district, Attapeu province, Laos Thursday, July 26, 2018. Authorities and the builder are investigating why a dam in southeastern Laos collapsed earlier this week, killing at least two dozen people and leaving over a hundred missing. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh).
VIENTIANE — Laos may not be able to meet its rainy season rice harvest targets this year as widespread flooding affects many parts of the country, according to authorities.
Last year, the country lost 30,000 hectares or around 130,000 tonnes of rice from flooding, drought and yellow-spined bamboo locust outbreaks, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.Last year, a total 330 villages in 24 districts of five provinces were affected by these issues, the ministry reported.
The government planned to encourage farmers to produce 4.3 million tonnes of rice but they were only able to produce around 4.1 million tonnes or 95 percent of the plan.
This year, the ministry had targeted about 4.2 million tonnes of rainy season rice on 817,800 hectares along with 100,000 hectares of upland rice. Farmers around the country planted more than 625,000 hectares or 77 percent of the plan, the ministry announced at the end of last month.According to estimates, thousands of hectares of rice crop in northern provinces have been damaged as a result of recent flooding but authorities have yet not issued any official reports.
However, the government is actively encouraging farmers to produce rice on a commercial basis with the plan to export 300,000-400,000 tonnes with some bound for the European Union. The focus will be on black rice, kaynoi rice, and Hom rice, while new improved varieties such as Thadokkham, Tasano, Phonngam and Hom are also in demand.
To achieve the target, the ministry will try to increase rice yields and improve quality in line with internationally accepted standards.Many businesses have exported their rice products to foreign countries such as China, Vietnam, Mongolia and European countries.The value of rice exports from Laos in 2015 reached US$23.5 million and increased to more than US$33.6 million in 2016, while in the first nine months of last year earned US$31.14 million, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Rice is the main commercial crop for the Lao domestic market and export along with coffee, banana, rubber, maize, tea, sugarcane, cassava, Job’s tear, and beans.
Laos plans to produce about 5 million tonnes of rice with the hope to export 1 million tonnes by 2020 to ensure food security and commercial sustainability. 

Sticky rice exports from Mekong Delta decline

By Trung Chanh
Tuesday,  Jul 31, 2018,18:08 (GMT+7)
A file photo of a sticky rice field. The local sticky rice market has witnessed a slump in exports as major importer China imposed new tariffs of up to 50% on this type of grain, starting July 1 - PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH
CAN THO – The sticky rice market in the Mekong Delta is witnessing a slump in exports as China, the largest importer of Vietnamese rice, imposed new import tariffs of up to 50% on glutinous rice, starting July 1, raising the rate by an additional 45 percentage points compared with previous tariffs.
According to Tran Quoc Tuan, a rice trader for exporters in the Mekong Delta region, business in the sticky rice market has come to a halt as the exporters cannot send their rice to the neighboring country.
The prices of fresh unhusked sticky rice, which is harvested by combine harvesters, have dipped sharply to VND4,400-VND4,500 per kilogram from VND6,100-VND6,200 per kilogram this year, while the prices of sticky rice have also nosedived from VND11,800-VND12,000 per kilogram to VND8,200-VND8,300 per kilogram, Tuan said.
He stressed that some traders had continued to stockpile this type of grain, waiting for prices to bounce back, as they might incur significant losses if they sell the rice to exporters at this time.
Luu Thi Lan, deputy director of Gentraco JSC, attributed the decline in exports to China’s recently adjusted import tariffs on sticky rice and a stronger U.S. dollar.
Over the years, China has been the primary rice market for Vietnam, with more than 90% of the total sticky rice volume being shipped to the northern neighbor every year.
Rice exports to China in June hit the lowest level in the first half of the year, reaching no more than 50,000 tons, down by some 220,000 tons compared with the export volume in April, the highest this year, according to rice exporters.


Farmers bat for 'maximum tariffs' on rice

Jul 31 2018 04:37 PM
 Consumers buy rice at the Munoz market in Quezon City on July 30, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
MANILA -- Several groups of farmers on Tuesday said tariffs on rice should be set at the "maximum possible rate" as Congress hears proposals to put duties on the staple in place of import quotas. The Federation of Free Farmers, Alyansa Agrikultura and Rice Watch Action Network among others said the removal of import quotas "should be handled carefully" as a large numbers of farmers might not be able to compete against cheaper imports. 
The groups also warned against the "dangers of relying excessively on imports for the food security of the country." 
"In this regard, we support the 180 percent bound tariff rate being proposed by the House legislative version and the Department of Agriculture," the groups said, adding as this was allowed under World Trade Organization rules. 
The rate could be lowered if import prices are very high, or raised up to 180 percent when import prices are very low, the group said.
The groups also called on the government to review its commitment to impose a 35 percent tariff on rice from ASEAN countries, as Thailand and Vietnam are expected to supply most of the country's demand.
Economic managers have called for the removal of import quotas on rice, saying this would bring down prices of the staple by up to P7 per kilo. 
In his third State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte said the measure was urgent and called on Congress to prioritize its passage. 
The farmers groups said they doubted that rice prices would go down significantly if the quantitative restrictions on imports are lifted. 
"Importers will maximize their profits and sell at the highest price they can, even if they bought the rice for a very cheap price abroad." 
They also warned that speculators could take over a large part of the rice trade to cause sudden movements in prices and make quick profits.


Wheat eases on reduced offtake by flour mills

New Delhi, Jul 31 () Wheat prices softened by Rs 10 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today due to reduced offtake by flour mills against adequate stocks position. However, bajra and maize edged up on pick up in demand from consuming industries.
New Delhi, Jul 31 () Wheat prices softened by Rs 10 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today due to reduced offtake by flour mills against adequate stocks position. However, bajra and maize edged up on pick up in demand from consuming industries. Traders attributed the slide in wheat prices to reduced offtake by flour mills against sufficient stocks position.
In the national capital, wheat dara (for mills) shed Rs 10 to Rs 1980-1985 per quintal. Atta chakki delivery followed suit and traded lower by a similar margin to Rs 1990-1995 per 90 kg.
On the other hand, bajra and maize rose by Rs 20 each to Rs 1450-1455 and Rs 1320-1325 per quintal, respectively.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,300-2,400, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,980-1,985, Atta Chakki(delivery) Rs 1,990-1,995, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 250-280, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 275-310, Roller flour mill Rs 1,070-1,090 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,170-1,180 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,200-1,210 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati rice Rs 9,900, Basmati common new Rs 7,200-7,300, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 6,600-6,700, Permal raw Rs 2,425-2,450, Permal wand Rs 2,525-2,575, Sela Rs 3,050-3,150 and rice IR-8 Rs 2,025-2,075.
Bajra Rs 1,450-1,455, Jowar yellow Rs 1,800-1,850, white Rs 2,950-3,050, Maize Rs 1,320-1,325, Barley Rs 1,600-1,610. KPS DPL SDG SHW ADI ADI