Monthly Archives: November 2016

Rice exports on track to reach 9.5m tonnes target

Rice exports totalled 9.18 million tonnes in the first 11 months and the Commerce Ministry is now confident of attaining its target of 9.5 million tonnes this year.
Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the ministry’s Foreign Trade Department, said as of Nov 28, the approved amount for export was up 8.7% on the same period last year. The export value for the period was US$4.159 billion, up 3.55% year-on-year.
She said the department was confident that rice exports would reach the target of 9.5 million tonnes in 2016.
In addition to the increased volume, prices had also risen for white rice, fragrant rice and glutinous rice.
The top 10 buyers of Thai rice are Benin, Ivory Coast, Japan, China, Angola, Cameroon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Congo and Mozambique.
Ms Duangporn said Thai rice could compete better at these prices on the world market because it was known for its quality by foreign importers and consumers.
She said the rise in exports in the final quarter of the year was fuelled by buyers stocking up on rice for sale during the New Year and Chinese New Year, particularly in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Earlier in mid-November, Thai Hom Mali was named the world’s best rice at the annual World Rice Conference held in Chiang Mai, which was attended by at least 600 international traders. More than 50 samples from many countries were considered during the judging. Second-place went to Cambodia’s fragrant rice, and third to Japonica rice from the US.

Nigeria to begin exporting rice by 2017

The Central Bank of Nigeria has stated that Nigeria will begin to export rice to other countries by the end of 2017, The Punch reports.

Okoroafor said the programme had started yielding fruits, adding that with the progress so far recorded by the CBN through its agricultural financing policies, Nigeria would begin to export rice by next year.

According to him, the harvest in rice this year had exceeded the projections, noting that if the tempo was sustained, by the end of 2017, Nigeria would not only meet its national demands but would export to other countries. His words: “We started a pilot programme in Kebbi state with 78,000 farmers, cultivating an average of one hectare and that was when President Muhammadu Buhari launched the programme in March last year. “The programme was to enable farmers to plant three times in year – two dry seasons cropping and one rainy season cropping. I am telling you now that Kebbi State has exceeded one million tonnes of rice.

“Not only Kebbi, Ebonyi state has keyed into it. We were there last week and Ebonyi is to give us over 1.2million tonnes of rice in one year. They are harvesting now, they are bagging and they are milling. Nigerians are booking their Christmas rice in Abakaliki. “Abia state has ordered rice from Ebonyi state government. Other states are keying in. In Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Cross River, rice is coming up. Nigerians are planting rice, producing rice. “You need to taste Nigerian rice, it is fresh. Not the nine year old rice from Vietnam, Thailand and India. Let us feed ourselves. Our rice is healthier, it is not preserved with chemicals. “We have been to Anambra, Niger, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Cross River and Ebonyi just to ensure that this is not another talk show. “We have seen harvest of rice which brought me to say that the harvest in rice for this year has so far outstripped our projections. “By the end of 2017, Nigeria will not only meet our national demands which is between six and seven tonnes per year, but we will exceed it that we will have rice to export to other countries.”

Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service have carried out anti-smuggling operations that has resulted in the confiscation of 2,500 bags of foreign rice. In a related development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Nigerian minister of agriculture and rural development has reassured Nigerians that the federal government has put necessary measures in place to prevent hunger and famine in the country. Explaining the measures put in place, on Tuesday, November 22, Ogbeh said: “There will be no hunger. It is just that there is heavy export of our grains to North, West and Central Africa. However, we are taking steps to ensure enough food in the next harvest.”

Vietnam’s rice exports see record low in 2016

VietNamNet Bridge – Contrary to optimistic forecasts given earlier this year, rice exports have plunged recently. The total export volume would be less than 5 million tons in 2016, a record low since 2009.

Rice HQ

Lao Dong cited a VFA report as saying that Vietnam had exported 4.117 million tons of rice by the end of October with export turnover of $1.836 billion, a decrease of 21.2 percent in volume and 16.9 percent in value compared with the same period last year.

VFA emphasized that the problem not only lies in the sharp fall in exports, but also in the abnormally high inventory volume. It is estimated that 1.2 million tons of rice are still in stocks.

Gana, the second largest export market for Vietnam, imported 387,700 tons of rice from Vietnam, worth $189.6 million, which represented an increase of 41.8 percent in volume and 36.2 percent in value.

Indonesia, Vietnam’s fourth largest export market, imported 359,400 tons of rice in the first nine months, worth $142.5 million.

However, the increases in exports to the two markets could not offset the decreases in exports to China, the largest export market.

Nguyen Dinh Bich, a trade expert, in an article on Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon, stressed that only Vietnam had a bad export season in 2016, while its rivals had satisfactory business.

If the export volume in the last two months of the year is less than 400,000 tons as forecasted in October, Vietnam’s total export volume in 2016 would be less than 5 million tons.

Meanwhile, India leads the world in rice exports with 8.1 million tons in the first nine months of the year, a drop of 9.9 percent compared with the same period last year. Thailand has been firm in the second position with 6.9 million tons, a slight increase of 3.7 percent.

Bich pointed out that exporters were wrong when believing that Thailand’s move to sell its stockpile would not affect Vietnam’s exports.

Reports showed that in order to export 6.9 million tons of rice in the first nine months, Thailand offered the low price of $449 per ton, or $31 per ton lower than the price of the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the average price for 5.2 million tons of white rice dropped to $351 per ton. The average price of 1.7 million tons of Thai Hom Mali rice dropped to $751 per ton, down by 17.7 percent.

After the selling price dropped for old rice, Thailand also offered low prices for new rice to lure customers.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s average export price of 4.2 million tons in the first 10 months was still at $449 per ton, up by 5.5 percent.

Pakistani exports to SAARC countries take a nosedive

Rice HQ

The promises and prospects that agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) offered during 12th SAARC Summit back in 2004 has begun to fade, at least for Pakistan.

Pakistan’s exports to SAARC countries amounted to $2.69 billion during 2015-16 remained less than the preceding year when Pakistan exported goods worth $3.29 billion to SAARC countries. For the third consecutive year, Pakistan’s trade with SAARC countries remained downwards.

The same downhill pattern repeats itself in trade between Pakistan and India, while the exports to India have plummeted steadily, the imports from the neighbour barely suffered during past three years. Pakistan has exported goods worth $303 million to India, while the imports during the same year amounted to $1.7 billion, according to documents available with Pakistan Today. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan exported goods worth $408 billion and $3.58 billion in year 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively. However, import goods from India after witnessing a drop from $2.04 billion to $1.69 billion have steadied during 2015-16.

Trade and commerce emerge as the clear victims in SAARC region, which is held hostage to the fragile bilateral relationship between Pakistan and India. Despite the measures like Tariff Liberalization Programme under SAFTA being fully implemented by all member countries and giving of go ahead to reduce the sensitive lists further by 20pc, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has failed to turn itself in an entity that facilitates and enhances trade and economic cooperation among its members. Recently, in the wake of Kashmir unrest, Uri attack and tensions along the Line of Control, South Asia Business Leaders Conclave, an event that brings together the businessmen from all SAARC countries, was delayed along with the SAARC Summit.

The main goods Pakistan imports from SAARC countries are cotton, polymer, tomatoes, coal, dried vegetables, vessels and ships for breaking up. Major exports include wheat, sugar, rice, potatoes, citrus fruit, dates, and woven fabrics of cotton.

Philippines Hopes to Limit Rice Imports to 500,000 T in 2017

The Philippines hopes to limit rice imports to 500,000 tonnes next year, its agriculture minister said on Tuesday (22/11), as the government of President Rodrigo Duterte aims to be self-sufficient in rice production by 2020.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said he hoped the Philippines, one of the world’s biggest rice importers, would not have to buy more than 500,000 tons of the grain next year as the prospects for farm output, including rice and fisheries, looked favorable.

“We will strive for self sufficiency. We will work for it and we have the formula to do it,” Pinol told a media briefing.

The Philippines’ National Food Authority last month indicated it could buy 250,000 tons of rice to boost buffer stocks on top of the 250,000 tonnes it has purchased from Vietnam and Thailand earlier this year.

Agriculture output in the fourth quarter may increase by 3 percent from last year but would remain at the same level as the third quarter, Pinol said.

Barring strong typhoons and given greater demand for fish products from China, agriculture growth was also forecast to sustain its “robust” pace next year, Pinol added.

The Philippine economy grew 7.1 percent in the third quarter, its fastest pace in more than three years, helped in part by strong farm output growth.

Rice basmati rises on uptick in demand

In thin trade, rice basmati prices rose by up to Rs 200 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today following upsurge in demand from retailers.

However, bajra and barley finished lower on reduced offtake by consuming industries.

Traders attributed the rise in rice basmati prices to pick up in demand from retailers amid restricted supplies from producing belts.

In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety rose by Rs 200 and Rs 150 to Rs 5,900-6,000 and Rs 4,750-5,950 per quintal, respectively.

On the other hand, bold grains like bajra and barley moved down by Rs 20 each to Rs 1,530-1,535 and Rs 1,790-1,800 per quintal, respectively.

Following are today’s quotations (in Rs per quintal):

Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,850-3,385, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 2,250-2,255, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 2,275-2,290, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 300, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 300, Roller flour mill Rs 1,210-1,220 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,310-1,320 (50 kg)and Sooji Rs 1,370-1,380 (50 kg).

Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 5,900-6,000, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 4,750-5,950, Permal raw Rs 2,050-2,075, Permal wand Rs 2,150-2,200, Sela Rs 2,800-2,900 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,850-1,860, Bajra Rs 1,530-1,535, Jowar yellow Rs 1,850-1,900, white Rs 3,500-3,700, Maize Rs 1,680-1,690, Barley Rs 1,790-1,800.

New demand for Vietnam’s rice seen up

Africa, the Philippines and Indonesia are expected to buy a combined 1 million tonnes of rice from Vietnam, the world’s number two exporter of the grain, by the end of this year if prices ease as expected, traders said.

“The buying demand is there but traders are not rushing now, waiting for prices (in Vietnam) to ease,” said a trader at a foreign firm in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s grain trading centre.

“There is a possibility that demand for the whole year will be higher than 3.5 million tonnes,” another trader said, referring to the government’s rice export target for this year.

The traders, speaking late on Thursday, estimated Vietnam had signed contracts for between 2.7 million and 2.8 million tonnes so far this year. The country, capable of exporting 4 million tonnes of rice a year, shipped 3.82 million tonnes in 2003.

They also said their contracted volume estimates had excluded memorandums of understanding Vietnam sealed early this year with several buyers, including Cuba and Russia.

“Indonesia is busy with its election, but buyers there will return later,” the second trader said, adding there were also inquiries for Vietnamese rice from South America, including Brazil.

The traders said new demand was expected from Vietnam’s other key rice buyers the Philippines, and several countries in Africa. On Wednesday, Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen told Reuters the government’s target of exporting 3.5 million tonnes of rice could be raised, if domestic prices eased.

The Trade Ministry curbs the rice export target to help control inflation, which last month hit 8.3 percent from a year earlier, above the government’s target of keeping it at five percent for the whole of 2004.

Food prices, which account for 46.7 percent of Vietnam’s consumer price basket, surged in March and April as exporters scrambled to buy rice to meet delivery commitments.

Tuyen said local prices were expected to ease this month in line with the peak of harvest in the Mekong Delta. He said normally the summer-autumn paddy price was 1,500 dong per kg, while this year it had been at around 1,800 dong (11.5 cents).

The two traders said the harvest would end early next month.

One said the Trade Ministry had sent a team to the Delta to survey rice stocks and contracts signed by exporters to work out plans for the rest of the year.

Traders said they expected a new export target to be announced next month.

“Many exporters are concerned and dare not sign new contracts as they are afraid the volume they commit to may exceed the target,” a trader said.

Vietnam exported 2.25 million tonnes in the first half of this year, down 3.3 percent from a year earlier, government data shows.

Pakistan needs to seek tariffs elimination from China

KARACHI: Pakistan should seek an elimination of tariffs on its exports to China before signing in the second phase of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, a trade body said on Wednesday.

“Top-performing Pakistan exports to China, which are either not given any tariff concessions, or are given less favourable concessions as compared to China’s other trade agreement partners, should be given tariff concessions or have tariff eliminated completely in phase-II,” the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) said in a report on the third review of the Pakistan-China FTA.

The phase-I of the FTA ended in December 2012 and both the countries initiated negotiations in July 2013. A number of Pakistan’s exports, including jewelry, sugar and rice are facing 20 percent or more tariffs in China. “Such items should be given better tariff concessions or put into the tariff elimination category,” the PBC said.

It said a number of imports from China have significantly increased since the signing of FTA. The countries signed the FTA in 2006 and it was implemented in 2007. “The negative impact of these imports should be considered during the phase-II negotiations, especially where local production is declining or local manufacturers are affected.”

The report identified discrepancies in trade data and statistics. The PBC said the data collection should be standardised and monitored to ensure transparent and reliable results. For 2013, there was a gap of $544 million (in exports) and $4.39 billion (in imports) between Pakistan and China’s reported data.

Pakistan offered tariff concessions or elimination on 6,711 products, while China also did the same on 6,418 products for a period of five years. The PBC said Pakistan almost failed to benefit from the FTA, “because either Pakistani businesses were largely not part of the negotiations or the Pakistani negotiators were not provided the requisite information.”

A number of imported rice brands contain high levels of pesticides

Rice HQ

In an SBS investigation, two of the four rice samples the broadcasting service had tested by Australia’s National Measurement Institute failed to comply with Australian regulations.

These rice varieties can currently be bought in supermarkets across the country, as well as South Asian grocery stores.

Worryingly, an insecticide called buprofezin, which is not permitted in rice in Australia, was found in Kohinoor Basmati rice, imported from India.

Not only that, but made-in-Pakistan Indus Basmati Rice contained chlorpyrifos – an insecticide that is reported to be in breach of the Australian and New Zealand food code.

And it seems that these brands of rice aren’t the only products under scrutiny. Earlier this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced that they are now forcing brands like ALDI and Menora to carry out annual testing of the composition of their herb and spice products.

This comes after testing uncovered that ALDI’s Stonemill Oregano and Menora-branded oregano also contained primary ingredients (like olive leaves and sumac leaves).

Basmati rice stocks gain; Kohinoor Foods, LT Foods up over 5%

Shares of basmati rice exporters have rallied by up to 20% in intra-day trade on BSE in otherwise weak market.

KRBL, LT Foods and Kohinoor Foods were trading higher between 4% and 20% on the Bombay Stock Exchange
(BSE), as compared to 0.72% decline in the S&P BSE Sensex at 01:44 pm.

Kohinoor Foods is locked in upper circuit of 20% at Rs 54.35 on BSE with only buyers were seen on the counter. A combined 887,342 shares changed hands and there were pending orders for 171,920 shares on the BSE and NSE.

LT Foods, the company engaged in the manufacture and sale of rice under the brand DAAWAT, has rallied 12% to Rs 280 on BSE in intra-day after the company said it has entered into Joint Venture (JV) with KAMED SEIKA of Japan to manufacture and market rice based snacks in India.

The said JV will start manufacturing the snack range in Sonepat later in the financial year 2017-18, it added.

KRBL was up 5% to Rs 274 on BSE in intra-day on back of heavy volumes. A combined 275,905 shares changed hands so far against an averages sub 50,000 shares that were traded daily in past two weeks on BSE and NSE.