Monthly Archives: April 2016

Rice Market Anticipates New Demand, Lifting Prices

White Rice Index (WRI), a weighted average of global white rice export quotes, ended the week at about $387 per ton, up $1 per ton from a week and a month ago, and down $21 per ton from a year ago.

In its April 2016 Grain Market Report (GMR), the International Grains Council (IGC) forecasts 2016-17 global rice production at around 485 million tons, up about 2.5% from an estimated 473 million tons in 2015-16 on improved Asian production. However, the IGC kept its forecasts for 2015-16 rice production unchanged from its previous forecasts.

Six of the eight international climate models are predicting that the tropical Pacific Ocean will return to neutral levels, which suggests the end of the El Nino weather phenomenon by May this year. Seven of them are also predicting that La Nina may emerge by September.

Crude oil prices declined on concerns the global supply glut won’t contract as fast as expected. U.S. stocks extended their losses amid a slump in the technology sector. European economic growth for the first three months of 2016 came in better than expected, lifting sentiment. The U.S. dollar slumped to an 11-month low after the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday maintained its cautious outlook on the economy and it’s schedule to raise interest rates.

Thailand

Thailand 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $385 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, up about $15 per ton from a month ago and unchanged from a year ago.

Thailand exported around 2.85 million tons of rice in the first quarter of 2016, up about 34% from around 2.13 million tons exported during the same period of last year. The TREA noted that Thailand remained the top rice exporter the first three months of 2016, while India stood second with 2.3 million tons Vietnam stood third with 1.55 million tons.

Thailand’s National Rice Policy Committee has approved the government’s decision to sell 11.4 million tons of stockpiled rice through a series of auctions starting next week. The government hopes to generate income of at least 100 billion baht (about $2.86 billion) from the sales.

The Thai Department of Royal Irrigation has advised farmers to delay planting for the 2016 main rice crop until July as the water in the Chao Phraya River basin is insufficient to feed the rice farms in the early rainy season next month.

The government of Thailand is targeting 2016-17 main rice crop acreage at 57.41 million rai (around 9.2 million hectares) with a targeted output of 24 million tons and a total targeted output of 27.17 million tons (including the second crop).

Vietnam

Vietnam 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $370 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week ago, down about $15 per ton from a month ago and up about $10 per ton from a year ago.

During the period January 1 – April 21, Vietnam exported about 1.571 million tons of rice, an increase of about 1.23% from in the first four months of last year. The average rice export price so far this year stands at around $410 per ton (FOB), down about 4% from the same time last year.

Drought and salinity have damaged about 240,215 hectares of rice fields in Vietnam’s central southern provinces.

The USDA Post forecasts Vietnam’s MY 2015-16 (January-December) rice exports at 7 million tons, up from last year’s 6.615 million tons and unchanged from USDA’s official estimates.

Cambodia

Cambodia 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $455 per ton, up about $5 per ton from a week ago, up about $30 per ton from a month ago and up about $20 per ton from a year ago.

Myanmar

Myanmar 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $425 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week ago, unchanged from a month ago, and up about $10 per ton from a year ago.

Myanmar rice farmers are urging the Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank (MADB) to provide larger, long-term loans with no limitation on acreage to help them boost their production as well as improve their living standards.

India

India 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $370 per ton, unchanged from a week, a month ago and a year ago.

India average wholesale rice prices have declined in April 2016 after increasing for five consecutive months. Average monthly wholesale rice prices in India stood at around Rs.2,774,60 per quintal in April 2016, down about 2% from around Rs.2,833.79 per quintal in March 2016, and down about 3% from their year-ago levels of around Rs.2,849.81 per quintal.

Rice output in India’s southern state Telangana is expected to decline about 35% y/y to around 2.93 million tons in 2015-16 from around 4.54 million tons in 2014-15 due to drought.

Wholesale basmati rice prices in the national capital declined Thursday due to low demand from retailers against adequate supplies from producing regions.

The government of Bangladesh has decided to procure around 1.3 million tons of paddy and rice during the 2016 Boro (January-May) harvest season between May 5 and August 31. Rice farmers in most parts of the country have started harvesting Boro (January-May) paddy and anticipate better prices this year.

Nepal’s rice imports from India increased about 36% y/y to around Rs.31.43 billion (around $128 million) in the first eight months of FY 2015-16 (August-March).

Pakistan

Pakistan 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $370 per ton, up about $15 per ton from a week ago, up about $30 per ton from a month ago and down about $10 per ton from a year ago.

The Chairman of the Trade Corporation of Pakistan has called for increased interaction between the TCP and the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan in order to boost Pakistan’s rice exports.

Central & South America

Five percent broken rice from Uruguay and Argentina is today quoted at about $425 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $5 per ton from a month ago and down about $140 per ton from a year ago.

The Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by the Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (CEPEA) reached around 39.94 real per 50 kilograms as of April 22, 2016, up about 0.30% from around 39.82 real per 50 kilograms, recorded a week ago. In terms of USD, the index reached around $225 per ton on April 22, 2016, up about 0.11% from around $224.8 per ton recorded a week ago. Month-on-month, the index has increased about 0.86% from around 39.6 real per 50 kilograms recorded month ago. In terms of USD, the index increased about 4.38% during the month.

U.S.

U.S. 4% broken rice is today quoted at about $440 per ton, up about $10 per ton from a week ago, down about $5 per ton from a month ago and down about $45 per ton from a year ago.

Chicago rough rice futures for July delivery rallied early in the week, reaching the weekly high of $11.390 per cwt (about $251 per ton) on Tuesday but then slipped back down slightly as traders looked to increased global production. Futures closed the week at $11.080 per cwt (about $244 per ton).

The U.S. cash market fell later in the week in conjunction with the futures market as export sales numbers proved to be anemic for long-grain rice.

Other Markets

The USDA Post forecasts Russia’s MY 2015-16 (January-December) rice exports to increase 17% y/y to 190,000 tons, up about 17% from last year and unchanged from USDA’s official estimates.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has provided a loan of about 4.9 billion (around $25 million) to rice farmers under its anchor borrower program, which is aimed at increasing agricultural output of rice and wheat and reducing the gap between production and consumption. The USDA Post forecasts Nigeria’s MY 2015-16 (October-September) rice imports to be around 2.5 million tons, down from last year’s 3 million tons and down from the USDA’s official estimates due to constraints on foreign exchange, the current ban on land imports, and high prices. It forecasts rice imports to further decline to 2.1 million tons in MY 2016-17. The FAO estimates Nigeria’s 2015 paddy rice production at around 4.75 million tons, about 3% less than in 2014. The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) of Nigeria has launched a $800,000 rice seed up-scaling project in collaboration with the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) to boost local rice production in the country

The USDA Post forecasts Indonesia’s MY 2015-16 (January-December) rice imports to reach about 2 million tons, up about 48% from last year due to anticipated lower rice production and carryover imports from last year, in addition to increased demand for specialty rice.

Scientists in Tanzania have developed three salt-resistant and high-yielding rice varieties under the AGRA-PASS breeding program to help boost rice production in the country.

The Australian food processing and exporting company SunRice has fixed the 2017 rice forward price at $400 per ton for medium grain Reiziq rice crop and at $380 per ton for Sherpa rice variety.

The UN’s FAO estimates North Korea’s 2015-16 (November-October) paddy rice production will decline about 26% y/y to around 1.95 million tons due to lingering precipitation deficits and low water availabilities for irrigation.

Paddy rice prices in Italy remained unchanged this week after a long period of slowing down.

South Korea’s state-run Agro Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation is looking to buy about 58,111 tons of non-glutinous brown rice in tenders for delivery between September 30 and November 30. South Korea’s major trading partners – Australia, Vietnam, China, Thailand, and the U.S. – continue to oppose the country’s 513% tariff on rice imports above the WTO TRQ of 409,000 tons, with negotiations between South Korea and the other countries ongoing.

The Philippines National Food Authority Administrator, who will resign April 30 due to health concerns, says the new Chief will decide on volume and timing of rice imports. The Philippine Statistics Authority estimates the Philippines paddy rice output in the first quarter of 2016 to be around 4.01 million tons, down about 8.1% from the same period last year and about 1.5% from its previous estimate.

The Rice Value Chain Advisor at Green Innovation Center (GIC) advised Ghana farmers use “bubble dryer” to improve the quality of local rice production. He stated that the technology uses solar radiation to power a system to blow hot air to dry cereals, including rice and corn. He note that it is capable of reducing the moisture levels in cereals from 22% to between 12% and 13% within a day.

Australian scientists are working towards developing a new rice variety that has health benefits of brown and colored rice varieties but with the texture of white rice.

VIETNAM RICE PRICES DIP, THAI PRICES STABLE

Vietnamese exporters lowered rice offer prices this week on thin buying demand, but were still unable to compete with Pakistani grain rates, while Thai prices were stable on tight supply, traders said on Wednesday.

Farmers in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta have been waiting for the rainy season to start planting their next summer-autumn crop. However, the dry weather might continue until late May, state forecasters said.

Vietnam’s 5-percent broken rice stood at $370-$375 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) basis, against a wider range of $365-$385 last Wednesday.

“Prices stand still as no new sales have emerged,” a trader at a foreign firm in Ho Chi Minh City said. “A few companies have gone to Pakistan for rice at cheaper rates.”

Pakistani 5 percent broken rice was quoted at $345 a tonne, FOB basis, which has attracted buyers, he said.

The Philippines, which stated it can import 500,000 tonnes to boost state reserve stocks, has not made any moves until now ahead of an election next month, traders said.

This year’s dry weather has damaged at least 1 million tonnes of paddy in Vietnam, and another 400,000 tonnes could be affected from the Mekong Delta’s next summer-autumn crop, Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat told a ministry meeting on Tuesday.

The total losses would equal to 700,000 tonnes of milled rice, or 8 percent of Vietnam’s export volume in 2016 projected to be 8.7 million tonnes, based on a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization forecast.

In Thailand, despite a depreciation of the Thai baht over the week, tight supply kept rice prices stable, a trader in Bangkok said.

Thai 5-percent broken rice narrowed to $385-$390 a tonne, FOB Bangkok, from $382-$390 last week.

“Domestic prices go up because of low supply, so the weaker exchange rate balanced that out,” said a Bangkok-based trader.

Thailand and Vietnam, the world’s second- and third-biggest rice exporter after India, contribute a combined 40 percent of global rice trade.

Thailand takes world’s top rice exporter crown in Q1 | Bangkok Post: business

Thailand topped the list of the world’s biggest rice exporters in the first quarter, shipping 2.85 million tonnes of the grain, a 34% year-on-year increase.
The Thai Rice Exporters Association said Friday that the 44 billion baht in rice exports marked a 23% increase in value over the same period in 2015.
By comparison, India shipped 2.3 million tonnes of rice from January-March while Vietnam exported 1.4 million tonnes, Pakistan 1.3 million tonnes and 820,000 tonnes by the United States.
However, Vietnamese customs data released on Wednesday showed the world’s No.3 rice exporter shipped 1.55 million tonnes. The country said it expects second-quarter exports to top 1.6 million tonnes.
India’s export volume was estimated to have risen 2% in the quarter, while that of Vietnam rose by 58% and 4% by the US. Pakistan’s export volume dropped 9%.
In the first quarter, the five biggest buyers of Thai rice were Indonesia (317,100 tonnes, an 877% annual increase), Ivory Coast (272,354 tonnes, up 86%), Benin (266,246 tonnes, up 426%), China (257,708 tonnes, up 86%) and Cameroon (191,846 tonnes, up 251%).
In March alone, the country exported 990,864 tonnes of rice worth 15.2 billion baht, rising 26% by volume and 17% by value year-on-year. In the month, exporters delivered white rice to governments in China, Indonesia and the Philippines and broken rice to African nations.
The association estimated the rice export at 700,000-750,000 tonnes in April due to the Songkran holidays.
Without government-to-government rice deals, rice sales in traditional markets did not increase much because the purchasing power of African countries remains low, the association said.

Rice famers demand financing fix

A recent state bank decision to increase loans to rice farmers by 50 percent in the coming monsoon season has not been well-received, with some paddy farmers calling for the troubled development bank to be privatised.

Myanma Agricultural Development Bank (MADB) will increase the size of loans available to rice farmers from K100,000 to K150,000 per acre, after receiving permission from parliament. The state lender will issue K1.7 trillion of the larger one-year loans over the coming months.

The development bank will contribute K1.2 billion of the funds and the Central Bank will provide K500 million, managing director U Kyaw Shwe told The Myanmar Times.

These loans will be limited to 10 acres, in line with previous MADB loan policy, said U Soe Tun, vice president of the Myanmar Rice Federation. But farmers are calling for longer-term loans with no limitation on acreage.

U Thein Aung, chair of the Free Farmers Association, said that the amounts being made available were not enough to cover cultivation costs. He owns more than 40 acres, and said that the increase in the maximum loan available – K1 million to K1.5 million – would not make much of a difference.

Farming industry figures said a lack of infrastructure, banking and financing are causing problems for rice farmers trying to cultivate high-quality paddy fields. Farming machinery is expensive to hire, exchange rate volatility can push up fertiliser prices and paddy farmers are also exposed to sharp drops in rice prices.

Summer rice was priced at up to K600,000 per 100 tins (each tin is equivalent to 9 gallons) until mid-March but was worth just K450,000 in early April. Prices began to fall when Indonesian buyers discovered pests in a shipment of rice from Myanmar, and refused to pay traders.

The existing system of MADB loans only allows farmers to cultivate and produce, but does nothing to improve their lives, said U Thein Aung. His organisation wants a shift in policy toward larger and longer-term loans, he said.

But MADB, which is funded by state-backed giant Myanma Economic Bank, is barely profitable as it is. The agricultural development bank offers loans at much lower interest rates than the private sector – just 5 percent a year, compared to 13pc at commercial banks, and makes just 1pc profit.

Some agricultural industry figures are calling for MADB to be privatised in order to better support Myanmar’s agricultural households.

U Soe Tun said that his organisation had submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation in early April, and was still awaiting a decision. “We think it [MADB] should be privatised as it is apparently suffering losses, while farmers need more financing support.”

MADB’s Tanintharyi regional mananger U Win Naing recently told The Myanmar Times that the bank faces losses in less-cultivated regions and states while in Yangon, Bago and Ayeyarwady it is able to break even.

“Interest rates will inevitably rise if it becomes privatised,” said U Soe Tun. But MADB would also become a stronger institution, which would prevent farmers from seeking loans with even higher interest rates from non-banks, he added.

Managing director U Kyaw Shwe said that the bank may have to merge with other institutions or change its policy, but was not aware of any decision from the agriculture ministry on the issue of privatisation.

“We haven’t heard anything about privatising or restructuring so far,” he said, adding that MADB will have operate under whatever new policy the government puts in place.

MADB is facing a loss for the 2015-16 fiscal year, and has yet to receive K350 billion in outstanding monsoon loans from farmers in Sagaing, Monywa, Tanintharyi, Ayeyarwady and Bago, which it extended last year, U Kyaw Shwe said. “My staff and I will go to the areas where farmers could make the whole payment and collect loans with the help of regional authorities,” he said, adding that farmers could not borrow new loans before paying back existing debt.

“We have to find out why farmers have not paid back loans even though the interest rates have been reduced as much as possible.”

TCP Chief Calls for Increased Interaction with REAP to Boost Pakistan Rice Exports

The Chairman of the Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has called for increased interaction between the TCP and the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) to boost Pakistan’s rice exports, according to Business Recorder citing the Associated Press of Pakistan.

He met with the officials of REAP and noted that the two organizations should join hands to prepare a roadmap for enhancing rice exports. He assured that the TCP would support rice exporters to double rice exports in next two years. He reiterated that the TCP had many times in the past extended maximum support to the REAP.

The TCP chief also assured that the state-run organization would provide all the needed support for the REAP delegation to Indonesia. He suggested that Pakistan rice exporters should also focus on new markets such as Qatar and Cuba market as Pakistan rice is competitively priced compared to the Indian rice.

“Recommendation from REAP had always been forwarded to the Ministry of Commerce and other concerned quarters in letter and spirit,” he said.

In the same meeting , the REAP’s Patron-in-Chief and Acting Chairman REAP highlighted the hindrances in rice exports to different countries and sought the TCP support. They expressed concern that no new rice seeds have been introduced in the country for a long time, a new seeds are needed to enhance the per hectare yield. They also emphasized on more rice research and called for privatization of the country’s rice research institutes such as Kala Shah Kaku and Dokri Rice Research Institutes to ensure better research on rice.

FAO Estimates Nigeria 2015 Paddy Rice Production to Decline 3% y/y to 4.75 Million Tons

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates Nigeria’s 2015 paddy rice production at around 4.75 million tons, down about 3% from around 4.9 million tons in 2014.

Harvesting of the 2015 cereal crops, including rice, was completed in January 2016. The FAO reports that despite late onset of the 2015 rainy season in the middle and northern parts of the country, above-average and well-distributed rainfall from mid-July benefited crop development in the major producing states of the country.

Though the government is keen on achieving self-sufficiency in rice production, currently high import dependency persists as production is much lower than consumption. The FAO forecasts total cereal imports, including rice, to exceed 7 million tons in 2016. Nigeria is still largest rice importer in Africa.

The government has been taking several measures to reduce rice imports and encourage local rice production. The Central Bank of Nigeria recently banned importers from accessing foreign exchange markets in 41 categories of items, including rice. Though it lifted the ban on rice imports through land borders in October 2015, it again reinstated the ban in March 2016 due to an increase in informal imports.

Coarse grain prices reportedly increased in February 2016 after declining for several months. A recent sharp depreciation of the Naira on the parallel market, driven by reduced supplies of foreign exchange reserves, coupled with persisting civil conflict in northern Nigeria, contributed to the sharp food price increases, says the FAO.

TCP to support Reap’s roadmap to increase rice exports

AIG is to speed up plans to list its Asian subsidiary through an IPO that could raise more than $4 billion, as the bailed-out US insurer seeks to raise cash to pay back government loans. The IPO would help AIG repay some of the $180 billion the US government has ploughed into what was once the world’s biggest insurer, and allow the profitable Asia life insurance subsidiary, American International Assurance Co Ltd (AIA), to break from its ailing parent.

The at least $4 billion initial public offering, based on targets set by AIG executives, would make it the largest Hong Kong IPO since China Citic Bank Corp raised $4.2 billion in April 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data. After AIG failed to sell a large stake in AIA earlier this year, the insurer said it would continue to try and seek a buyer or an IPO. A statement on Monday was the first official sign from AIG that steps toward a listing are underway.

AIG said it has asked for requests for proposal (RFPs) to select global co-ordinators and bookrunners for the IPO, confirming a Reuters report last Thursday. Blackstone Group, AIG’s global financial adviser for its restructuring, will manage the IPO, the insurer said. Most major investment banks will pitch their plans to co-manage and underwrite the IPO, which will print huge fees if successful. Hong Kong-based AIA has more than $60 billion of assets under management. Last year, AIA said it recruited more than 52,000 agents, bringing the total to about 250,000 agents. It has about 20,000 employees across 13 Asian markets.

AIA is regarded as AIG’s Asia crown jewel, a 90-year-old business providing coverage to about 20 million customers, or close to a third of AIG’s total customer base. Still, analysts say that even with bright prospects, the IPO faces plenty of obstacles. AIG itself said the offering depends on market conditions and regulatory approval. “We need to remember that AIA will be up against the China growth story,” said Patrick Yiu, associate director with CASH Asset Management.

“Anybody who wants exposure to the insurance sector has the choice of buying China Life and Ping An. So, unless the terms of the IPO are very attractive, it may not be a huge success.” Speed is also key as delay could put more pressure on AIG and it would be less certain to hit the IPO market on the way up. AIG said it would seek to list AIA on an Asian exchange. CEO Edward Liddy has told Reuters the company is leaning toward a Hong Kong IPO in the first half of 2010. AIA and AIG would have separate boards and management teams.

Need for increased efforts by TCP, REAP for rice export

Chairman, Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), Rizwan Ahmed Khan on Tuesday underlined the need for increased interaction between TCP and Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) to explore new market for Pakistani rice.

During his meeting with rice exporters at REAP Office here, TCP Chief said these two organization should shake hands to prepare a road map for increasing rice export.

He assured all support to the proposed delegation from REAP to Indonesia and said Pakistani rice exporters should also focus on Qatar market as the rates of Indian rice had risen and Pakistan could benefit.

He assured the TCP management had and would be extending maximum facilitation to REAP.

“Recommendation from REAP had always been forwarded to the Ministry of Commerce and other concerned quarters in letter and spirit,” he said. REAP’s Patron-in-Chief Abdul Rahim Janu and Acting Chairman REAP Rizwan Shaikh spoke of the hindrances in rice export to different countries and sought TCP help.

Abdul Rahim Janu emphasized on more research on rice and called for privatisation of Kala Shah Kaku and Dokri Rice Research Institutes for better research on rice.

Rice Prices Increase Slightly on Concerns about Lower Production

The Oryza White Rice Index (WRI), a weighted average of global white rice export quotes, ended the week at about $386 per ton, up $2 per ton from a week ago, down $5per ton from a month ago and down $23 per ton from a year ago. Crude oil prices advanced for the third week amid improved sentiment. However, the rally may be short-lived. Inestment Bank Goldman Sachs say the recent rally in commodities is not backed by improved fundamentals and that crude oil prices will fall. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Chinese speculators have a new obsession and it’s commodities, as they shift money out of stocks and bonds. Futures contract data also suggests hedgefunds are bearish on the U.S. dollar for the first time in two years. Economists expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to hold interest rates steady this month and then raise them again in June.

Thailand

Thailand 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $385 per ton, up about $10 per ton from a week and a month ago and unchanged from a year ago.

The Thai Farm Ministry has advised farmers to begin planting for the 2016 main rice crop from mid-July, later than usual.The government of Thailand is planning to limit this year’s main rice crop area in the country to 55.8 million rai (around 8.93 million hectares) compared to last year’s 61.74 million rai (around 9.88 million hectares) to balance supply and demand for rice.

The Thai Commerce Ministry hopes to sell 11.6 million tons of stockpiled rice by July this year, before the new crop arrives in the market. Meanwhile, the Ministry will set up a rice institute for commercial activities to promote the development of rice for use in more value-added products.

Vietnam

Vietnam 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $375 per ton, up about $5 per ton from a week ago, down about $10 per ton from a month ago and up about $15 per ton from a year ago.

During the period January 1 – April 14, Vietnam exported about 1.531 million tons of rice, an increase of about 1.35% from the amount exported in the first four months of last year. The average rice export price is around $408 per ton (FOB), down about 5% per ton from this time last year.

Rice area in Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta has declined about 276,000 hectares or about 16.7% between mid-March 2015 and mid-March 2016 due to the impact of the El Nino weather pattern.

Vietnam’s rice exports are expected to fall about 10% y/y to below six million tons, which would be an eight-year low. The decrease is attributed to drought which is affecting the country’s rice production and therefore its ability to export rice to traditional importers such as the Philippines.

Vietnam domestic rice prices, which increased earlier this month on higher demand from China and concerns of drought cutting the output, have started to fall over the last two weeks. However, they are again increasing on higher export demand and expected decline in this year’s production due to drought and salt water intrusion.

The Vietnamese Agriculture Minister has outlined measures to cope with severe drought and salt water intrusion and to ensure food and fresh water for daily use.

Cambodia

Cambodia 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $450 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, up about $25 per ton from a month ago and up about $15 per ton from a year ago.

Cambodia is preparing to bid for the upcoming Philippines rice contract, but does not expect to win due to the nation’s higher production and transportation costs compared to neighboring Thailand and Vietnam.

Myanmar

Myanmar 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $4230 per ton, up about $10 per ton from a week ago, up about $5 per ton from a month ago, and up about $15 per ton from a year ago.

India

India 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $370 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week ago, unchanged from a month ago, and down about $5 per ton from a year ago.

The state of Punjab has invited tenders to sell 188,000 tons of 1509 Pusa basmati paddy; however, rice millers in the state are opposing the government’s move as illegal, claiming it should be milled and delivered to the Central Pool.

A scientist in India known as “India’s rice warrior” has discovered rice species containing medicinal properties.

High temperatures are likely to impact the late Rabi rice crop (November-May) in India’s eastern states Odisha and West Bengal.

Wholesale basmati rice prices in the national capital increased this week due to high demand from stockists against restricted supplies from producing regions.

Pakistan

Pakistan 5% broken rice is today quoted at about $355 per ton, up about $5 per ton from a week ago, up about $15 per ton from a month ago and down about $25 per ton from a year ago.

Pakistan’s Federal Committee on Agriculture has set 2016-17 (July-June) rice production (milled basis) at around 6.83 million tons from around 2.8 million hectares.

In the first nine months of FY 2015-16 (July-March), Pakistan exported about 3.31 million tons of rice, up about 10% from during the same period in FY 2014-15. However, in terms of value, Pakistan earned about $1,376 million during those first nine months of FY 2015-16, which is about 12% less than earned last year, due to a sharp decline in global rice prices.

The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) is sending a 22-member delegation to Iran this week to enhance basmati rice exports to Iran as well as explore trade and investment opportunities with the Middle East country.

Central & South America

Five percent broken rice from Uruguay and Argentina is today quoted at about $425 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week ago, down about $15 per ton from a month ago and down about $140 per ton from a year ago.Heavy rains in Uruguay have delayed this year’s rice harvest by 17 days.

The Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by the Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (CEPEA) reached around 39.7 real per 50 kilograms as of April 15, 2016, up about 0.25% from about 39.6 real per 50 kilograms recorded a week ago. In terms of USD, the index reached around $227.3 per ton on April 15, 2016, up around 1% from around $225.6 per ton recorded a week ago. Month-on-month, the index has decreased around 1% from around 39.99 real per 50 kilograms recorded month ago. In terms of USD, the index increased around 7% during the month.

The USDA Post forecasts Paraguay’s MY 2015-16 (April-March) milled rice production at around 402,000 tons, down from about 570,000 tons last year and down from USDA’s official estimates. The Post forecasts Paraguay’s MY 2015-16 and MY 2016-17 rice acreage at around 125,000 hectares and 110,000 hectares respectively.

The USDA Post forecasts Venezuela MY 2016-17 (April 2016-March 2017) rice imports to remain stable at last year’s 400,000 tons due to poor economic conditions resulting in continuous foreign exchange limitations.

The Cuban government has announced that it would cut prices of some basic foods, including rice, by about 20% in state-run stores following public complaints about high prices.

U.S.

U.S. 4% broken rice is today quoted at about $430 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week ago, down about $15 per ton from a month ago and down about $55 per ton from a year ago.

Chicago rough rice futures for May delivery rallied this week, reaching the weekly high of $10.770 per cwt (about $237 per ton) on Thursday before closing the week at $10.490 per cwt (about $231 per ton).

The U.S. cash market firmed up some this week as grains rallied; however, trading was still muted.

Other Markets

Organic rice acreage in Italy increased about 5% y/y to around 10,000 hectares in 2015.

Copa-Cogeca, the Federation of Farmers Unions and Agri-Cooperatives, is urging the EU Commission to authorize the use of glyphosate herbicide in the European Union for another fifteen years.

Rice imports by European Union nations have increased sharply since the beginning of the crop year 2015-16 (September-August). The EU imported about 775,685 tons of rice during the period September 1 – April 12, an increase of about 14% from the same period last year.

During the period September 1 – April 12, the EU exported about 140,504 tons of rice, a decrease of about 16% from the same period last year.

The IRRI Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships has advised the Philippines government to import the planned 500,000 tons of rice for the lean season (July-September) and take advantage of the stable rice prices in the international market.

Indonesia’s state logistics agency Bulog plans to buy about 2.7 million tons of rice from local farmers in the first half of 2016.

The Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister of Malaysia have advised the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute to identify rural areas in the Sarawak region that are suitable for fragrant rice cultivation in order to avoid over-dependence on imports.

Farmers in France’s main rice producing region Camargue have been complaining about excess amounts of salt in the soil due to which they have significantly reduced rice acreage in the region over the last few years

Pakistan Exporters to Visit Iran to Enhance Basmati Rice Exports

The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) is sending a 22-member delegation to Iran this week to enhance basmati rice exports to Iran as well as explore trade and investment opportunities with the Middle East country, according to the Nation.

The delegation led by the REAP Chairman will reportedly meet with the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines and discuss issues related to the resumption of rice exports, which declined following sanctions as well as implementation of currency swap agreement and the condition of good manufacturing practices (GMP) certification. The visit is also aimed at seeking Iranian investments into Pakistan’s business ventures.

The REAP delegation will meet the Health Ministry of Iran, which sets health standards for the rice imports. Only those registered under its GMP certification program can export rice to the country. Currently, the Iranian authorities have registered only fifteen Pakistan companies under their GMP program.

The REAP Chairman noted that the delegation will also convince the Government Trading Corporation (GTC) to announce tenders for super basmati and long grain 386 rice so that REAP members could avail the facility to book export orders for Iran.

The visit is expected to boost Pakistan’s basmati rice exports to Iran as well as help the country to regain its lost share in the Iranian market. Currently, Pakistan’s rice accounts for about 8% of Iranian market.