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‘Levy rice’ system to go from October

Mar 03, 2015

In its bid to push state governments to set up procurement mechanism for paddy and to ensure farmers get the minimum support price (MSP), the Centre has stopped the decades-old practice of "levy rice" from October this year.

Levy rice is a mandatory system under which millers also undertake rice procurement for the public distribution system (PDS) by buying paddy directly from farmers like Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government agencies. At present, in different states, it's compulsory for millers to supply up to 25% of their annual produce for public distribution system at a rate fixed by the government.

Sources said there were two reasons for doing away with this practice. First, there is no effective system in place to supervise whether millers are paying MSP to farmers while buying paddy and, two, there are chances of millers diverting better quality rice to the open market.

They added that the millers in many cases supplied inferior quality rice for the public distribution system.

"With a view to ensure payment of remunerative prices to farmers at MSP or above and to improve outreach of procurement system to the farmgate for their better coverage, it has been decided now that state governments should not impose any levy on rice from millers from October 1," a recent notification issued by the food ministry said.

Punjab and Haryana are among the major rice-producing states that have already abolished the levy rice system. However, it is still prevalent in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal.

Since the NDA government came to power, there has been greater focus on expanding the government system for procurement of both paddy and wheat in states where such mechanism is either missing or inadequate.

Recently, the PM-appointed high level committee on restructuring FCI had recommended that the agency should outsource all procurement operations to states that have gained sufficient experience such as Punjab and Haryana. It had urged FCI to move to other states where farmers may be resorting to distress sales, such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.

    
Source: The Times of India



India Government Decides to Sell Excess Rice Stocks in Open Market

Feb 11, 2015

 

 

 

 

The Indian government has decided to sell about 2.3 million tons of excess rice stocks under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to bulk buyers and traders through e-auctions, according to local sources

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) sources told local sources that the rice is expected to be sold at around Rs. 2340 per quintal (around $ 376 per ton) to private buyers. They noted that the auction price would include the minimum support price (MSP) and the freight cost to destinations from the FCI warehouses.

According to the FCI sources, the minimum and maximum auction quantity would in the range of 50 tons to 3500 tons. They noted that state governments are also allowed to participate in the auctions.

This is the first time the Indian government has decided to sell excess rice stocks through the OMSS though it has been selling excess wheat stocks under this scheme since 2009-10. According to FCI’s estimate rice stocks with the corporation would reach around 15.5 million tons as of March 1, 2015, while the new buffer norms prescribe a rice stock of around 13.5 million tons. Therefore, the excess stocks of about 2-3 million tons are to be sold in the open market.

According to local sources, an inter-ministerial group consisting of the Food, Expenditure and Consumer Affairs would shortly seek a formal approval from the Food and Finance Ministries before beginning the rice sales through OMSS.

India’s rice stocks in the central pool as of February 1, 2015 stood at around 24.88 million tons (including a milled equivalent of about 17.43 million tons of paddy), down about 20% from around 31.27 million tons recorded during the same period last year, according to data from the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

 

 

 

 

 

 

    
Source: Oryza



Indian Panel Said to Propose Record Price for Rice, Cotton Crops

Apr 01, 2014

India, the world’s largest rice exporter, may set record prices for purchases of unmilled rice and cotton from farmers, according to government officials with knowledge of the matter.

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, which advises the government on crop rates, recommended paying 1,360 rupees ($22.7) per 100 kilograms (220 pounds) for common paddy in the year beginning July 1, compared with 1,310 rupees now, said two government officials, who asked not to be identified because the proposals are private.

The panel wants the price of long-staple cotton increased to 4,050 rupees per 100 kilograms from 4,000 rupees and the medium variety raised to 3,750 rupees from 3,700 rupees, they said. Manoj Pandey, a spokesman for the Agriculture Ministry, declined to comment. A decision will be taken by a new government after general elections next month, they said.

The government sets the prices to safeguard farmer incomes and provides subsidies on sales of grain and cooking oil to the poor. It buys about 30 percent of the country’s rice production from farmers at these prices.

The minimum rates of corn, soybeans and peanuts may be kept at levels now, said the officials, citing the panel recommendations. The government buys black soybeans at 2,500 rupees per 100 kilograms, yellow soybeans at 2,560 rupees, peanuts at 4,000 rupees and corn at 1,310 rupees.

    
Source: bloomberg.com



India Exports Rice Worth $5.6 Billion in April – December 2013

Apr 01, 2014

India has exported rice worth around $5.6 billion during April – December 2013, with most of the rice exported to Iran and Saudi Arabia, according to official sources. At the current pace, India’s rice export value in the full fiscal year 2013-14 (April – March) is expected to reach around $7.5 billion, which is up around 21% from total rice exports worth $6.21 billion in FY 2012-13.

The Middle East remains India’s biggest rice market in FY 2013-14. India has exported rice worth around $1.55 billion to Iran in the first nine months of FY 2013-14, which is already about 28% more than India’s rice exports worth around $1.2 billion to Iran in full fiscal year 2012-13. India’s rice exports to Saudi Arabia stand at around $721.5 million in April – December 2013, compared to around $753 million worth rice exports in the full FY 2012-13.

India’s other major rice export destinations in April - December 2013 include Benin (about $463 million), UAE (about $223 million), Iraq (about $219 million), Kuwait (about $170 million), Senegal (about $153.6 million), Yemen (about $143 million), South Africa (about $141 million).

India’s rice exports to Nigeria have declined significantly this year. India exported rice worth a mere $28.7 million to Nigeria during April – December 2013, which is down about 91% from rice worth around $339.4 million exported in full fiscal year 2012-13. However, India’s rice exports to Benin and Cameroon (both neighbors of Nigeria) continue to surge. India has exported rice worth around $463 million to Benin in April – December 2013, which is already up about 93% from rice exports worth around $240.93 million in full fiscal year 2012-13. India has exported rice worth around $86.3 million to Cameroon during April – December 2013, which is up about 13% of rice exports worth around $76.5 million in full fiscal year 2012-13.
 

    
Source: oryza.com



Philippines: NFA admits issuing rice import permit to errant coop

Mar 25, 2014

 National Food Authority officials on Monday admitted issuing a farmers’ cooperative a permit to import rice in 2013 even after it had skirted guidelines.

The NFA officials made the admission after Sen. Ralph Recto took them to task for issuing permits to cooperatives after the arrival of a rice shipment despite an earlier Senate recommendation against it in 2012.

Officials said that the NFA stopped issuing post-arrival import permits only this month.

At the resumption of the agriculture committee’s inquiry into rice smuggling, Sen. Cynthia Villar cited in contempt Judilyne Lim for denying her links to a former personnel who engaged in rice trading on behalf of Lim’s company.

Davidson Bangayan, alleged rice smuggler, skipped the hearing due to back pains, and so did Leah Echeveria and Eugene Pioquinto, alleged facilitators in the importation of rice.

“Yes, your honor,’’ NFA assistant administrator Joseph dela Cruz said when asked by Recto if the agency had let such cooperatives to get away.

Quizzed by Recto, Dela Cruz admitted the NFA decided to grant an import permit to the San Carlos Multi-Purpose Cooperative despite bungling the procedure.

The cooperative is facing smuggling charges before the Department of Justice.

According to Dela Cruz, the cooperative submitted to the NFA documents to secure an import permit on Oct. 1, 2013. The NFA advised the cooperative to go to the Landbank of the Philippines first for processing of its documents.

The NFA later found out that the cooperative did not open a letter of credit with the Landbank, and made a direct payment to the supplier, bypassing the Landbank, Dela Cruz said.

The cooperative went back to the NFA to say that Landbank refused to process their documents, admitting that “they committed a mistake, they didn’t follow the guidelines and they offered an apology,’’ he said.

And recognizing that it was a legitimate importer and had paid advance tariff and duties, the NFA granted the cooperative an import permit, Dela Cruz said.

“So on Oct. 7, we issued the import permit to San Carlos Multi-Purpose Coop,’’ he said.

Recto commented: “Historically, we’ve seen this already. It would appear from documents that the NFA was letting these coops get away. Like we said, we know this already. Hopefully, this won’t happen again.’’

After conducting an inquiry into rice smuggling, the Senate recommended that the NFA stop issuing permits after the rice shipment has arrived.

Villar agreed with Recto’s observations, and pressed Dela Cruz why NFA has not shaped up in 2013 following the Senate recommendation.

Dela Cruz replied: “We made the corrections. When we discovered the findings of the Customs, the subsequent import permits of San Carlos were not issued. They didn’t consummate their allocation.’’

Hearing this, Recto said: “Your testimony today is saying that they’ve put one over you (napalusutan).’’

Customs Commissioner John Sevilla confirmed filing smuggling charges against executives of the cooperative before the DoJ for importing some P34 million worth of rice without the required permit.

In the hearing, Villar cited in contempt Lim for repeatedly denying that she had anything to do with Echeveria who allegedly convinced five cooperatives to transfer their allocation for imported rice to Lim’s company, DGL Commodities Inc.

At one point, Lim invoked her right to protect herself from self-incrimination. She asked for a copy of the documents about Echeveria’s deal but found the papers unclear.

“I don’t think we’re the one being referred to here,’’ Lim said, making a distinction between DGL Commodities Inc. and DGL Commodities Trading.

Villar said the committee decided against detaining resource persons cited in contempt inside the Senate for logistical reasons, and would merely prepare the filing of perjury charges against them.

“The rest have to come, otherwise we will have them arrested,’’ she said of the other witnesses who skipped the hearing.
 

    
Source: newsinfo.inquirer.net



Rice to take sea route to Kerala from now on

Mar 24, 2014

 The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has decided from now on to regularly transport rice to Kerala via the sea route from Andhra Pradesh considering the advantages like almost zero transit loss and cleaner consignments.

An FCI official said here on Wednesday that 6,300 tonnes of rice, both raw and boiled, arrived here in containers for the first time and that the experience was encouraging.

The permitted level of transit loss is between 0.1 and 0.2 per cent of a consignment sent by rail and FCI official said that even this level of loss could be overcome by using containers for transport. The consignments will also be cleaner because of little or no contamination unlike in the case of rail rakes.

FCI officials are optimistic that if there are no labour troubles it would be possible for FCI to stick to the new schedule.

The Food Corporation would also be saving money because transport by rail involves consignments arriving here on Sundays when no unloading operations take place, forcing the Food Corporation to cough up extra payments in demurrage.

The Food Corporation of India transports approximately 1.40 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat, almost half the consignments being rice from Andhra Pradesh. Only a small quantity of raw rice was sourced from North India, making it possible to transport nearly the entire quantity of rice to Kerala by sea, the FCI official said.

    
Source: thehindu.com



Philippines to Import One Million Tons of Rice in 2014 Under Government-to-Government Deals

Mar 20, 2014

The targeted one million tons of rice imports this year will be under government-to-government (G-2-G) deals, according to the Philippines Department of Agriculture (DA).

The Philippines recently announced that it is planning to import about 800,000 tons of rice to control prices and maintain buffer stocks. The DA says that this will be part of the targeted one million tons of rice imports this year. The inter-agency committee of the National Food Authority (NFA) will give the details of the importation plan this week after receiving production data on the rice harvest for the dry season cropping, according to the Agricultural Secretary.

The DA says that the importation would be through the G-2-G deals despite the huge volume of rice needed to be imported before the start of the lean season (July-September). Currently, the Philippines has G-2-G purchase agreements with Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. The government may also import 200,000 tons of rice that were part of the 500,000 tons of last year's emergency imports under G-2-G deals.

The Agricultural Secretary also says that the government is continuing its rice self-sufficiency program, despite the decision to import rice. He says that many regions in the country have registered production increases in this cropping season compared with last year, and the country's paddy rice production is likely to be around 19 million tons in 2013-14.

According to the USDA, the Philippines milled rice production in 2013-14 is estimated at around 11.6 million tons (about 18.5 million tons, unmilled rice), against a consumption of around 12.8 million tons. The USDA estimates the Philippines to import 1.4 million tons of rice in 2014, while the UN's FAO estimates it to import 1.2 million tons of rice.
 

    
Source: oryza.com



India exported Basmati rice worth $240 million to theUnited Statesin the year 2012-13

Mar 19, 2014

India exported Basmati rice worth $240 million to the United States in the year 2012-13. In the first 10 months of the current fiscal, Basmati exports to the country are at about $121.8 billion. The United Stateshas assured India again that it will relax its stringent tolerance norms for fungicide found in Basmati rice shipped from the country.
 

    
Source: moneycontrol.com



India-Australia Collaboration To Develop Stress-Tolerant Rice

Mar 19, 2014

The International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in New Delhi, the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) in Coimbatore, Southern India and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia are partnering to develop stress-tolerant rice based on a native Australian grass.

Professor Sagadevan Mundree, Deputy Director of QUT’s Center for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, said that rice is one of the most important staple foods throughout the world but salinity and drought stresses were putting the crop’s long-term future under enormous pressure.

    “Current rice varieties are heavily dependent on fresh water,” Professor Mundree said. “However it is commonly accepted that the salinization of soils is a growing problem globally. In addition, the lower and erratic rainfall pattern has resulted in major reductions in crop productivity, including rice.”

To address this issue, scientists at QUT have studied a native Australian grass known as the “resurrection plant” because it can tolerate extreme environmental stresses, including severe drought, salinity, high temperature and high light-intensity stresses for prolonged periods and resurrect within 24-72 hours upon rehydration.

    “Here at QUT we have already isolated genes from the Australian resurrection grass that would be used to enhance stress tolerance in rice. Now we will work to get a better molecular understanding of how the drought-tolerant gene works and prepare it for transfer into rice by our Indian partners,” said Professor Mundree.

Professor Mundree said the three-year project had already attracted interest from companies keen to see a demonstration of stress-tolerant rice.

The AUD$600,000 (US$546,800) project is jointly funded by the Department of Biotechnology, India, and the Australian Government under the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

    
Source: asianscientist.com



USDA Post Increases India MY 2013-14 Rice Production Forecast to 105 Million Tons

Mar 13, 2014

The USDA Post in India has increased the forecast for India’s rice production in MY 2013-14 (October – September) to around 105 million tons, up about 2% from USDA official projections of around 103 million tons.

The Post says that as per the second advance estimates by the Indian government, rice production is expected to be better than expected due to good weather and rice yield of the Kharif season (June – December) crop. India’s kharif rice production in 2013-14 is forecast at around 92 million tons, while production from the secondary rabi crop (December – May) is expected to reach around 13 million tons this year.

In its second advance estimate released on February 14, 2014, the government of India forecast total rice production to reach around 106.2 million tons (92 million tons of Kharif rice and 14.2 million tons of rabi rice) in crop year 2013-14 (October – September). However, the USDA Post, citing industry sources, says that rabi rice production forecast is too high due to expectations of average yields and competing acreage.

The USDA Post has increased India’s rice consumption estimates for MY 2013-14 to around 96 million tons, up about 1% from USDA official estimates of around 95 million tons. However, rice exports forecast remains unchanged at around 10 million tons in MY2013-14.

 

    
Source: oryza.com



Philippines to Delay Rice Self-Sufficiency Goal

Mar 12, 2014

The Philippines is delaying for a year its goal of producing enough rice to meet domestic needs after a typhoon and storm reduced rice harvests.

President Benigno Aquino III set a goal of the country becoming self-sufficient in the staple grain by 2015.

    
Source: online.wsj.com



Rajya Sabha panel for review of meat export policy

Mar 12, 2014

A Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions has urged the government to review meat export policy and recommended not to grant permission for any new slaughter house until a critical analysis by a dedicated commission is complete. It also advocated a review of policy of giving subsidies to meat exporters.

The report was submitted on February 13 by a 10-member committee headed by Bhagat Singh Koshyari. MP from Nagpur Avinash Pande was also one of its members. It was constituted in May 2013. The report was submitted on a petition by Vijay Ratnasunder Surishwarji Maharaj (Mumbai) and two others.

The committee got overwhelming response and more than 10 lakh memoranda were received by it. The petition demanded review of meat export policy introduced in 1991 to tide over acute foreign exchange shortage in the country. Several private sector export-oriented slaughter houses have since been set up in the country under this policy.

The petitioners contended that meat export policy was violative of the constitutional provisions which in general provide for compassion for living creatures including protection of environment, forest and wildlife.

The commerce secretary had submitted that export of only buffalo meat sourced from recognized abattoirs was permitted. He also submitted that the policy was implemented by state governments and ban would lead to unemployment, loss of foreign exchange, increase in number of unproductive animals, crisis in ancillary industries. The exports earned almost $3.2 billion in 2012-13, valuable foreign exchange for the country.

However, after meeting stakeholders and petitioners, the committee found that Indian economy was based on agriculture and as per the 2011 census 72.2% of the population still lived in villages and survived on agriculture. Cattles were still backbone of agriculture.

The basic principles of Indian culture and philosophy taught compassion for animals. The committee recommended a more humane and compassionate approach towards preventing slaughter of animals.

Kanakrai Savadia of Sukrut Nirman Charitable Trust, and Naresh Kadyan, non-official member on committee for slaughter houses, demanded immediate action on the recommendations.

Taking a serious view towards unhygienic conditions prevailing in and around the abattoirs in the country and the pollution caused due to dumping of wastes in the open, the panel recommended that health ministry send a team to know the status of slaughter houses.

The committee was distressed to note that there were several departments dealing with animal issues ie animal husbandry, animal welfare board, food processing, health and family welfare, dairying & fisheries, MoEF, commerce ministry etc resulting in chaos.

Recommendations of RS Committee

Critical analysis of meat export policy by a commission comprising farmers and experts

Stop opening of new abattoirs unless old ones are administered and maintained properly as per the APEDA guidelines

Ban pyre burning, composting, mass burial or open farm burial, commercial landfilling and fermentation of carcasses

Animal husbandry may undertake a national survey by taking at least five districts in each state on a random basis to study the declining female buffalo population

Stop export of meat of female buffaloes. Diseased buffaloes are being blatantly slaughtered and their meat is entering the food chain

Adopt chemical stunning for smaller animals like goat and sheep

Abattoirs should have zero effluent release beyond the premises

Issue necessary directions to paramilitary forces that such activity shall be taken as a violation.

    
Source: timesofindia



Rice Export Prices Witness Mixed Trends in February 2014; FAO Rice Price Index Increases 4.4% from Previous Month

Mar 12, 2014

Rice export prices witnessed mixed trends in February 2014 compared to the previous month. According to the FAO, rice export prices increased between 0.5% and 2% m-o-m in Thailand and India due to stronger currencies, remained mostly stable in Pakistan and declined about 3% in Vietnam.

However, the FAO rice price index increased by 4.4% to 237 points in February 2014 from 227 points in January 2014, due to increased demand for japonica rice, whose prices increased sharply in the U.S. and Australia last month.

Domestic rice prices also saw mixed trends in most of the countries. In Asia, domestic rice prices remained stable despite increased supplies from the recently completed 2013-14 main season harvests. Prices were supported by sustained regional import demand and government procurement programs, the FAO says.

Rice prices in Vietnam declined by about 1% over January due to the onset of the 2013-14 main season Winter/Spring harvest. Prices in Thailand were stable in February and lower than the last year due to record level of output from the recently-completed 2013 main season rice harvest. In Myanmar, wholesale prices increased by about 8% from January due to below-average 2013 main season harvest, which was impacted by localized floods and insect plagues. Rice prices in Cambodia increased by about 1%. Local rice prices in the Philippines increased by about 2% due to localized crop losses following Typhoons Nari and Haiyan in late 2013. Average local prices in Indonesia also increased by about 7% due to high fuel and energy prices.

In China, local prices of japonica rice were unchanged and were supported by strong domestic demand and consecutive increase of the minimum support prices (MSP) of rice by 3.3% to CNY 3,100 (around $506) per ton compared to last year. Prices in Bangladesh increased marginally due to the ongoing government's procurement program, which started on December 1, 2013 targeting to purchase 400,000 tons of Aman rice at prices 3.4% above those of last season. Rice prices in India increased by about 2% due to the ongoing government's procurement program. Rice prices in Madagascar declined by 8% from January prices due to new supplies from the 2014 early harvests, the FAO says.
 

    
Source: oryza.com



Indian, Aus scientists working on genetically improved rice

Mar 12, 2014

Scientists from India and Australia have found that a native Australian grass growing in Queensland state could hold the key to ensuring the long-term viability of rice, a crop critical to global food security.

Deputy Director of Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, Sagadevan Mundree, said rice is one of the most important staple foods throughout the world but salinity and drought stresses were putting the crop's long-term future under enormous pressure.

Mundree heads a team of scientists working in partnership with scientists in India to determine whether strategies adopted by the Australian native resurrection grass could be used to genetically improve abiotic stress tolerance in rice. "QUT has developed a strategic partnership with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in New Delhi and the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) in Coimbatore in southern India," Mundree said.

The native Australian grass is called a "resurrection plant" because it can tolerate extreme environmental stresses, including severe drought, salinity, high temperature and high light-intensity stresses for prolonged periods and resurrect within 24-72 hours upon rehydration.

"There is an urgent need to develop more resilient varieties of rice that can cope with less water and are more tolerant of salinity stress," Mundree said.

    
Source: financialexpress.com



IGC Projects Higher Production Thanks to India, but Estimates World Rice Stocks Will Decline for the First Time in 9 Years

Mar 07, 2014

A new report released by the International Grains Council (IGC) predicts that global rice production will reach an all-time high in 2013-14, reaching as much as 473 million tons, basis milled.  Last year’s production was about 470 million tons, and this 1% increase is mostly due to increased output in Asia.  Correspondingly, global rice use is also set to increase about 1% from last year.
 
This production projection is 3 million tons higher than IGC’s forecast a month earlier, after weather in India did not negatively affect the kharif (summer) harvest there as much as anticipated.  The projected production increase comes despite expected minor declines in China’s production since last month.
 
Production in South America is also expected to rise to a three-year high of 16.4 million tons, about 4% higher than the previous year.  Brazil is largely driving this increase due to improved productivity, despite lower acreage plantings.
 
Increased exports to Far East Asia lead IGC to forecast a 3% increase in world trade in 2014.
 
The IGC also projects world stocks in 2013-14 will decline – only slightly, but it’s the first decline in 9 years, and market participants  will wonder if this might be a turning point.

    
Source: oryza.com



Eastern India can be country's rice bowl: Assocham

Mar 04, 2014

The country's eastern region has the tremendous potential to emerge as the country's 'rice bowl', a recent study industry body Assocham said.

The study titled 'Towards Second Green Revolution in Eastern India: A Road Map' also said the eastern region would be able to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about ten per cent in paddy production, if the country manages to bridge the gap between potential yield and actual yield.

"The paddy production in the eastern region of India can reach about 670 lakh tonnes (LT) by 2017-18 from the current level of over 580 LT as the region holds tremendous potential to emerge as the 'Rice Bowl of India,' as every quintal increase in yield would push rice production by over two million tonnes," the study said.

West Bengal spearheads eastern India in paddy production to the tune of about 150 lakh MT followed by eastern UP (140 LT), Odisha (70 LT), Bihar (68 LT), Chhattisgarh (63 LT), Assam (47 LT) and Jharkhand (34 LT), it said.

According to the study, Odisha's paddy production may reach 82 LT in three to four years time period.

By 2017-18, the study predicted, Odisha can reach this feat through increased usage of high yielding varieties of seeds, improved soil drainage, spreading rice-fish culture and taking other such measures.

It also said that discouraging rice cultivation in marginal lands and diversifying in favour of oilseeds and pulses, utilisation of rice fallows are certain significant steps required to increase cropping intensity and crop productivity in Odisha.

In its study, Assocham has suggested that apart from rice suitable evaluation of promoting other crops like maize, pulses and oilseeds should be undertaken for optimum utilisation of land and local needs in the region.


 

    
Source: Economic Times



Tax exemption means less hassles for rice exporters

Feb 21, 2014

P Chidambaram's decision to spare transport and warehousing of rice from service tax can be linked to intensive lobbying by exporters, including those from Gondia. They routed their demand through union heavy industries minister Praful Patel who contests polls from this rice-belt.

Rice continued to get service tax exemption as available to other agriculture products till an issue was raised last month saying only paddy was non-taxable. Paddy is the basic farm produce and rice as available to consumers is processed in mills. Gondia is a major centre for exporting non-basmati rice that mostly goes to poorer countries. Sources in the business community here say this internal clarification of the department to bring rice into tax net left them harried. They rushed to Congress MLA Gopaldas Sharma and Patel seeking help. Patel did not respond to a SMS send on this matter.

Sources in the service tax department said even otherwise no demand was raised from rice traders but the issue had cropped up only last month and there was confusion on whether rice is to be treated at par with paddy. Finally there is clarity on the matter.

However, even if the rice were taxed, it did not have any financial implication on the exporters. This is because exports itself are exempt from all kinds of levies though as a procedure taxes have to be paid first and a refund claimed later. The relief for the exporters is that they would now be spared from getting registered with the authorities.

Sources say note having to get registered has other benefits too, especially giving scope for under-reporting of transactions which can be otherwise available for scrutiny to other agencies. "Registration is the biggest nightmare for the businessmen as it is followed by filing of returns. Many are scared as the whole procedure leaves them exposed to an intense scrutiny by taxmen. It either brings to fore other irregularities or becomes a cause of harassment by sleuths," said a service tax lawyer.

Arun Wadra, a member of Gondia Rice Millers Association, said they had taken the help of Praful Patel to route their demands. Even as the tax was refunded on account of exports, the basic grudge was over the need of getting registered with the department. "It would have led to unnecessary paperwork, like filing returns, paying the taxes and getting a refund," said Wadra.

Those trading locally, on the other hand, said they were not aware of any service tax at all. "It will not make any difference as even otherwise there was no tax on transport of rice or storing it. In fact, rice is not stored in large quantities due to its perishable nature," said Pratap Motwani of Itwari Grain and Seeds Merchants Association.

    
Source: timesofindia



Reduced supply from India pushes rice price up in Saudi Arabia

Feb 19, 2014

Price of imported rice including the Indian Basmati has shot up 20 per cent in Saudi Arabia due to shortage of supply from India, according to a media report.

Popular varieties of Basmati rice remain hard to find at retail outlets in the country despite the price hike, the Arab News report said.

The price has gone up 20 per cent within a month and they are likely to rise further as India is facing its own high demand, it said.

Mohammed Al-Shalan, a leading rice importer in Saudi Arabia and a member of the Food Security Committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, blamed price hikes on cost factors and supply and demand dynamics in India.

Another trader told the newspaper that the situation is so dire that the price of Thai rice, which is usually lower than the price of Indian rice, is now in the same range. Some traders have taken advantage of the situation by selling substandard rice.

Many are duping customers into believing they are purchasing genuine Sona Masuri rice, popular in Andhra Pradesh, according to the report. Rice is a major staple food in Saudi Arabia, with an annual per capita consumption of approximately 42 kg.

The Gulf nation relies on rice imports from abroad to meet its demand and there are about 17 large rice importers out of total 180 in the country. Over 80 per cent of Saudi rice imports constitute the Basmati variety from India. Leading Saudi rice importers also have a significant presence in India.
 

    
Source: Economic Times



Rice exempted from service tax

Feb 18, 2014

 Finance Minister P Chidambaram, in the interim budget 2014-15, has exempted loading, unloading and storage of rice from service tax.

Rice was originally exempted from service tax as it was classified as agriculture produce.

However, the Finance Ministry later said that only paddy was agriculture produce, while rice was a processed item.

In his interim budget speech, Chidambaram said, “By virtue of the definition of ‘agricultural produce’ in Finance Act 2012, read with the Negative List, storage or warehousing of paddy was excluded from the levy of service tax. Rice was not.

The distinction is somewhat artificial. Hence, I propose to exempt loading, unloading, packing, storage and warehousing of rice from service tax”.

The Finance Minister’s decision to exempt service tax on rice comes in the wake of resistance from States such as Tamil Nadu on the Centre’s move to impose such a levy.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in a recent letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had urged him to “unambiguously declare rice to be agricultural produce and hence not subject to the levy of service tax for all services related with it”.

Terming it as “discriminatory and completely unjust,” against the people in South and East where rice is a staple diet, Jayalalithaa had demanded that the service tax already collected with effect from July 1, 2012, should be returned to the assessees.

    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Rice exports from India climbing to record on Middle East demand

Feb 17, 2014

Rice shipments from India, the world's largest producer after China, will probably expand to a record as buyers from Iran to Saudi Arabia boost purchases of aromatic basmati grain used in biryani and pilaf dishes. Exports are set to increase 7.8% to 11 million tonne in the 12 months through March from a year earlier, said MP Jindal, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association.

Sales of basmati may jump 14% to 4 million tonne as cargoes of non-basmati varieties advance 4% to 7 million tonne, he said in a phone interview. Shipments are increasing from India as Thailand, once the world's biggest supplier, is also set to boost exports. "India has an edge over other countries because of quality and price competitiveness," said Faiyaz Hudani, an associate vice president at Kotak Commodity Services, a Mumbai-based broker."When the output is high and the pace of growth is stable, there is no cause of concern."

Rising sales may benefit Indian shippers such as KRBL, LT Foods and Kohinoor Foods. India is targeting production of 106.3 million tonne in the year through June, compared with a record 105.3 million tonne in 2011-2012 , according to the Agriculture Ministry. The harvest would add to global inventories estimated at 109 million tonne in 2013-2014 by the London-based International Grains Council. The price of Thai 5- % broken white rice, a benchmark grade, fell 23% in 2013, the most in at least five years, and was at $460 a tonne on Wednesday.

A slump to $370 by March is possible as grain is offloaded from state granaries, according to Chareon Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Rough-rice futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 0.6% to $15.625 per 100 pounds on Wednesday. Thailand may not be able to find enough buyers for its stockpiles because major importers in Africa and the Philippines increasingly prefer grain from Vietnam and India, according to Darren Cooper, a senior economist at the council.

"Thailand will try to dispose of the stockpiles at whatever price it gets," said BV Krishna Rao, MD of Pattabhi Agro Foods, an Indian exporter. Shipments may not be affected by rising Thai sales as the two countries catered to different markets, he said. Basmati rice exports from India are climbing as Iran is building reserves, said Jindal at the exporters association.

Sales to Iran jumped to 1.28 million tonne in the nine months through December , exceeding the 1.07 million tonne for whole of 2012-2013 , according to the association. The country is India's biggest buyer of basmati and imports 1.5 million tonne annually. India supplies 65% of the overseas basmati rice market, while Pakistan accounts for the rest, according to the state-run Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.
 

    
Source: Economic Times



Rice Exports From India Climbing to Record on Mideast Demand

Feb 13, 2014

Rice shipments from India, the world’s largest producer after China, will probably expand to a record as buyers from Iran to Saudi Arabia boost purchases of aromatic basmati grain used in biryani and pilaf dishes.

Exports are set to increase 7.8 percent to 11 million metric tons in the 12 months through March from a year earlier, said M.P. Jindal, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association. Sales of basmati may jump 14 percent to 4 million tons as cargoes of non-basmati varieties advance 4 percent to 7 million tons, he said in a phone interview.

Shipments are increasing from India as Thailand, once the world’s biggest supplier, is also set to boost exports. The Southeast Asian country has built record stockpiles big enough to meet about a third of global import demand under a buying program that started in 2011. Farmers are demanding the government sell the reserves to pay for their crop.

“India has an edge over other countries because of quality and price competitiveness,” said Faiyaz Hudani, an associate vice president at Kotak Commodity Services Ltd., a Mumbai-based broker. “When the output is high and the pace of growth is stable, there is no cause of concern.”

Rising sales may benefit Indian shippers such as KRBL Ltd. (KRB), LT Foods Ltd. (LTFO) and Kohinoor Foods Ltd. (KFL)

India is targeting production of 106.3 million tons in the year through June, compared with a record 105.3 million tons in 2011-2012, according to the Agriculture Ministry. The harvest would add to global inventories estimated at 109 million tons in 2013-2014 by the London-based International Grains Council.
Thai Stockpiles

The price of Thai 5-percent broken white rice, a benchmark grade, fell 23 percent in 2013, the most in at least five years, and was at $460 a ton yesterday. A slump to $370 by March is possible as grain is offloaded from state granaries, according to Chareon Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Rough-rice futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose 0.6 percent to $15.625 per 100 pounds yesterday.

Thailand may not be able to find enough buyers for its stockpiles because major importers in Africa and the Philippines increasingly prefer grain from Vietnam and India, according to Darren Cooper, a senior economist at the council.

“Thailand will try to dispose of the stockpiles at whatever price it gets,” said B.V. Krishna Rao, managing director of Pattabhi Agro Foods Pvt., an Indian exporter. Shipments may not be affected by rising Thai sales as the two countries catered to different markets, he said.
Basmati Demand

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects Thai inventories to reach a record 14.7 million tons this year, compared with 6.1 million in 2010. Shipments will probably be 8.5 million tons, the USDA forecasts.

Basmati rice exports from India are climbing as Iran is building reserves, said Jindal at the exporters association. Sales to Iran jumped to 1.28 million tons in the nine months through December, exceeding the 1.07 million tons for whole of 2012-2013, according to the association. The country is India’s biggest buyer of basmati and imports 1.5 million tons annually.

“The price of basmati was good this year and overseas demand was more throughout the year from all countries including Iran and Saudi Arabia,” Jindal said on Feb. 4. “Exports to Iran are higher as it buys for keeping certain reserves.”

India supplies 65 percent of the overseas basmati rice market, while Pakistan accounts for the rest, according to the state-run Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. Saudi Arabia and Iran are the two major buyers of Indian basmati, while Africa is a major destination for non-basmati varieties.

    
Source: bloomberg.com



Indian Agricultural Food Exports Rise Sharply

Feb 11, 2014

 The Indian agricultural food products have seen a dramatic rise in exports over the last two years – rising by 55 per cent two years ago and 13 per cent last year, writes Chris Harris.

Last year figures from the Ministry of Food Processing show that wheat and rice products led the way.

In 2011-12 wheat exports rose to more than $202 million and then soared to more than $1.9 billion – a growth of 857.2 per cent. However the export sales of wheat were just 5.36 per cent of the total agrifoods’ export market.

Close behind the rise in exports of wheat were the rises in export sales of basmati and other rice products.

Basmati rice exports rose by 29 per cent two years ago and then last year by 10.7 per cent to reach $3.56 billion, which other rice sales rose by 53.6 per cent last year to reach $2.65 billion.

Production of food grains during 2012-13 was around 255.36 million tonnes compared to 259.29 million tonnes in 2011-12.

Meat and meat preparations, largely bolstered by the sales of buffalo beef, have risen by 48.2 per cent two years ago followed by a 12.7 per cent rise last year to £3.3 billion and taking 9.13 per cent of the total export market.

Poultry product sales also saw a sharp rise in 2011-12, going up by28.7 per cent followed by a 5.7 per cent rise last year to $84.79 million.

Two years ago, export sales of dairy products took a severe hit, dropping by 31.3 per cent.

However, over the last year they rose sharply by 153.4 per cent to reach $326 million.

Fish and marine product exports rose sharply two years ago and remained fairly static last year according to the official figures with sales reaching nearly $3.5 billion.

Overall, agrifood exports for India were worth more than $36 billion and have been showing continual growth over the last three years with rises of 38 per cent three years ago, more than 55 per cent two years ago and 12 per cent last year.

    
Source: thepoultrysite.com



Rabi rice planting picking up

Jan 27, 2014



The ongoing rabi season continues to see a mixed sowing pattern. Wheat, chana and mustard area have increased to a record, but coverage of jowar, a key rabi coarse cereal crop, barley, urad and moong, continue to trail.

Wheat, rice

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the area under wheat is up at 314.78 lakh hectares (lh), against 296.09 lh during the same period a year ago.

The coverage of rice, which had been trailing until the start of this month, has begun to gather pace. Rice has been sown on 15.26 lh, against 10.73 lh last year at this point of time.

In all, 635.13 lh have been brought under various crops as on January 24, against 603.39 lh during the same period a year ago. Though coarse cereals, pulses and oilseeds coverage is high, individually the acreage in some crops is lower.

Among coarse cereals, sowing in maize and barley is higher, but in the case of jowar, it is lower at around 37 lh (38.75 lh). Some of the farmers cultivating jowar have shifted to other crops such as rapeseed/mustard.

Though chana (gram) sowing has topped 100 lh for the first time (102.21 lh versus 92.98 lh), the area under urad (blackmatpe or black gram) and moong (green gram) are down.

The acreage is lower as prices had been ruling low until last month-end. Prospects of higher prices this year in pulses are bleak.

Urad acreage is over 1.5 lh lower than last year, while sowing in moong is lower by over one lh.

Oilseeds

Among oilseeds, rapeseed has seen a record coverage, thanks to the conducive weather, better soil moisture and higher storage level in reservoirs. But rabi groundnut sowing is lower, mainly due to the unseasonal rains in Gujarat late last year.

Farmers are reported to have taken to other crops such as cumin (jeera). Sowing in sunflower is also lower this year.

Rainfall

Though rainfall from January 1 is 14 per cent excess, the spread has been quite uneven with only Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar receiving excess or normal rainfall.

In 19 of the 36 metro sub-divisions, rainfall has been either deficient or scanty and in three, there has been no rain.

Rainfall prospects aren’t encouraging for the January-March period, with the India Meteorological Department saying that rains could be deficient. The storage in the reservoirs is good with the water level in 45 of the major 86 reservoirs above 70 per cent of the capacity.

The storage is also at a 10-year high of nearly 98 billion cubic metres (BCM) against a capacity of 154.877 BCM.

    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Ghansal rice variety set to attain GI status

Jan 09, 2014

Following the footsteps of Kolhapur jaggery, the Ghansal variety of rice grown in the Ajara tehsil is set to attain geographical indication (GI) status to preserve its aroma and peculiarity.

The rice is popular among the urban areas and gains significant demand from various cities such as Kolhapur, Sangli, Pune and Satara.

The World Bank-funded Maharashtra Agricultural Competitiveness Project (MACP) is being implemented in the state for the past few years and has picked up Ghansal variety for providing it GI status.

A team of MACP officials and advisor to the World Bank, Paulsingh Siddu, were in the district on Tuesday and met the rice cultivators and farmers' groups. The team also conducted an awareness session about GI, its importance and procedure to approach the Union government for it.

Narendra Naik, agri-business specialist at MACP, said, "The World Bank has provided some funds to the state government for MACP. The state government is likely to spend Rs 4.5 lakh for completion of the project and obtaining GI accreditation."

Ghansal variety rice is grown in over 2,200 hectares of land in Ajara tehsil, which is surrounded by Sahyadri mountainous range or the Western Ghat. The variety being a traditional one has lower productivity than its hybrid advanced varieties, Naik said.

The report of the district agriculture officer states that the rice variety has productivity of around 45-55 quintals per hectare. The hybrid varieties of rice have productivity of 75-85 quintals per hectare. Despite demands from various urban areas, the farmers do not get very good returns for their produce, the report stated.

A senior agriculture officer from Pune, who attended the meeting, said, "Farmers from Ajara tehsil do questioned the purpose behind continuing Ghansal variety cultivation when other varieties have higher production. The hybrid varieties do not have the aroma of Ghansal and agriculture department wants farmers to encash it. If it is properly branded and marketed, the variety can be sold at a higher price."

There are some farmers' groups formed by the state government, which are being trained for marketing the rice variety. The GI accreditation is part of the entire programme, he added.

    
Source: The Times of India



Assam lines up 32 mini mills to process bumper rice yield

Jan 06, 2014

With Assam expecting a bumper production of rice this year, the state government will soon set up around 32 mini rice mills for processing the harvest. Assam's rice production is expected to touch 60 lakh tonnes, almost 8 lakh tonnes more than the last year's.

The rice mills will come up in different areas with the state government subverting the cost up to 50 per cent. Assam Agriculture Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka said in fiscal year 2012-13 , the state produced over 52 lakh tonnes of rice and around 7 lakh tonnes were surplus.

"This year, we are expecting 60 lakh tonnes of rice." Despite a drought-like situation earlier in the season, the situation improved later on. "The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Assam Agricultural Marketing Board have readied 60 centres for procurement of rice," Deka said.

The minister said that in the absence of milling facility, rice from Assam is processed in Siliguri and Coach Bihar in West Bengal, and in Bangladesh and is sold back in Assam.

The cost of setting up a mini mill will be around Rs 16 lakh and the government will provide half of it as subsidy. Assam is focusing on the export variety of rice like Kumol (soft) and red rice.

    
Source: articles



Agri expert talks about rice productivity

Jan 01, 2014

Agriculture scientist Umashanker Singh from International Rice Research Institute, Manila, visited Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology on Monday and took part in a seminar organised on enhancing rice productivity. Singh addressed the faculty members and delivered a lecture on 'Enhancing stability in rice productivity in South Africa through climate resilient rice variety.' The scientist is the co-ordinator of project named titled 'Stress tolerant rice for Africa and south Asia'. It is run by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Singh said that the project has remained momentous in increasing the production of rice both in India and South Asia.He discussed about the challenges like flood and drought which affect the production of rice. Singh stressed on developing rice production in the country. He said that such variety should be resistant to weather and climate changes. tnn

"By way of using advanced technology, the production of rice can be increased manifold which can end the existing shortage of food in the world," he said.

CSA University vice-chancellor Munna Singh presented a memento to Umashanker Singh. He said that C-IV crops like maize, bajra, sugarcane yield more produce than C-III crops like wheat and rice, keeping in view the changing weather conditions.

    
Source: Times of India



India Exports Rice Worth $3.89 Billion in April – September 2013

Dec 31, 2013

India has exported rice worth around $3.89 billion in the first six months of the fiscal year 2013-14 (April – December), which is about 63% of total rice exports worth $6.21 billion in the full FY 2012-13, according to official sources.

India’s rice exports to Iran have increased significantly in FY 2013-14. During April – September 2013, India exported rice worth around $1.09 billion to Iran, which is already about 90% of total rice exports worth around $1.21 billion in the full fiscal year 2012-13. Other major rice export destinations in April - September 2013 include Saudi Arab (about $504.8 million), Iraq (about $180.76 million), UAE (about $139.96 million), Yemen (about $101.77 million), and Senegal (about $102.02 million).

Notably, India’s rice exports have declined sharply to Nigeria this year, mainly due to high import tariffs by Nigeria. India exported rice worth a mere $13.6 million to Nigeria during April – September 2013, which is down about 96% from rice worth around $339.4 million exported in full fiscal year 2012-13.

However, India’s rice exports to Benin and Cameroon (both neighbors of Nigeria) have increased significantly in FY 2013-14. India has exported rice worth around $372.8 million to Benin in April - September 2013, which is already up about 55% from rice exports worth around $240.93 million in full fiscal year 2012-13. To Cameroon, India has exported rice worth around $62.55 million during April – September 2013, which is about 82% of rice exports worth around $76.5 million in full fiscal year 2012-13.
 

    
Source: oryza.com



India Promotes Organic Rice Farming

Dec 11, 2013

Organic farming of rice and other food products is gaining popularity in India driven by demand in cities. According to the government, total area under organic farming was 42,000 hectares in 2004-05, which grew to around 1.08 million hectares in 2010, a growth of around 157% in six years.

According to local sources, the organic food market is growing rapidly in Indian cities mainly due to health benefits. According to trade estimates, the Indian organic food industry is likely to grow to around $1.7 billion by 2017, up about 900% from around $190 million in 2011. Rice is the second largest crop (after cotton) under organic farming in India. Demand for organic rice is growing in most parts of India and exporters are increasingly adding organic rice to their product range.

Nine states (of the total 28) have drafted organic farming policies and four states (Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram) plan to achieve 100% organic cultivation in the coming years. The government says it supports organic farming to prevent soil deterioration due to use of chemical fertilizers.

The Indian government is providing cash subsidies and financial assistance to bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticide production companies to encourage organic farming in the country. The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries says that the government is providing Rs. 500 (about $8) per hectare to farmers to promote use of organic manure. The government also provides assistance of up to 25% and 33% of financial outlay up to a ceiling of Rs. 40 lakhs (about $65,650) and Rs. 60 lakhs (about $98,500) respectively for the establishment of bio-pesticides/bio-fertilizers production units and agro waste compost production units respectively.

 

    
Source: Oryza



Bengal’s aromatic Gobindo Bhog rice attracts more farmers

Dec 10, 2013

The premium aromatic variety Gobindo Bhog rice is attracting more farmers in West Bengal. More farmers are taking up its cultivation since its gives higher productivity and remuneration.

Some 600 farmers have sown the rice for the first time this crop season (August-November). This has increased the number of farmers opting for the aromatic rice to over 1,800.

The Bidhan Chandra Kishi Viswavidyalaya (BCKV), through a programme, launched since 2009, has extended cultivation of the rice to new areas and promoted it among a larger number of farmers.

“Until the last (2012) crop year, 1,261 farmers were included for adoption of cultivation of the variety on a total area of around 450 acres (1,326 bighas) across six districts of South Bengal,” Prasanta Kumar Biswas, one of the professors, who are involved in the initiative, told Business Line.

Growing area

According to a study by the BCKV, 80 per cent of the rice produced is consumed locally, while 20 per cent is exported. In fact, more can be exported if production increases in view of farmers being unable to meet rising demand.

“Hyderabad is one of the primary markets for Gobinda Bhog outside West Bengal. The finest quality is in demand in Andhra Pradesh for biriyani. Hindu festivities in the eastern and northen India also see rise in demand for the variety,” Biswas said.

The area under cultivation for this variety is expected to go up further by over 50 per cent this crop year compared with last year, Biswas said.

The agricultural university also plans to reach out to farmers in the backward regions of Purulia and West Midnapore districts.

“Apart from providing free seeds to the farmers, we also assist them in processing and sale of the premium rice variety,” Biswas said.

Having started the programme with less than 100 farmers in Nadia district in 2009, BCKV has brought in 1,800 farmers across 18 blocks of the South Bengal districts of Murshidabad, Burdwan, Hooghly, Nadia, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas.

The area under cultivation has increased 10-fold in 2012 from a mere 45 acres four years ago.

“A lone farmer in Sagar block of South 24 Parganas, who started growing Gobindo Bhog on three acres in 2012, influenced others this season.

According to Biswas, production at Sagar is expected to increase substantially this year with more area being added.

Better price

Gopinath Mukherjee, a farmer in Murshidabad, is one who has gained from growing the aromatic variety in terms of price and yield.

“There has been a 30 per cent increase in the market price of Gobindo Bhog since 2009,” he said.

Paddy productivity of this premium variety has gone up by more than 40 per cent to about 1.3 tonnes an acre, he said.

Currently, this variety fetches a price of Rs 2,800-3,000 for a 60-kg bag.

    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



India's rice exports seen at record 11 million tonnes: USDA

Dec 06, 2013

India's rice exports are estimated at a record 11 million tonnes in marketing year 2012-13 that ended in September this year on bumper production and strong overseas demand, according to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.

Rice exports of India, the world's second largest rice producer, stood at 10.38 million tonnes in marketing year 2011-12 (MY12), which runs from October to September.

"MY 2012/13 export estimate is raised to a record 11 million tonnes based on preliminary official statistics for October 2012 to August 2013, and shipping data compiled by a private source for September 2013," the report said.

The agriculture watchdog has also revised upwards the rice export estimates for MY 2013-14 to 10 million tonnes from earlier projection of 9.3 million tonnes. However, exports are still expected to be lower than the record 11 million tonnes in previous year.

"Based on the relatively strong export demand for Indian rice, both basmati and non-basmati, and sufficient domestic supplies, the MY 2013/14 rice export estimate is raised to 10 million tonnes," the report said.

"While exports of basmati rice are likely to grow further, total exports are likely to be lower than last year's record sales due to relatively tight domestic supplies of non-Basmati rice and food price inflation concerns in an election year."

Quoting market sources, USDA said exports of non-basmati rice have slowed down from in October 2013 due to the strengthening of the Indian rupee compared to the dollar (current 61.5 from 65 in August/September).

India had lifted the four-year ban on non-basmati exports in September 2011. It had emerged as the world's largest rice exporter in 2012 ahead of its Asian counterpart Thailand.

On production, USDA has projected an output of 105 million tonnes in 2013-14 as against 104.4 million tonnes in the previous year.

The department "continues to estimate MY 2013/14 rice production at 105 million tons from 43.5 million hectare".

The harvest of kharif rice is in full swing in northern states and initial harvest reports suggest good yields.

"Crop damage was reported due to Cyclone Phailin in coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, and ongoing floods due to heavy rains in some parts of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. With rice at the grain filling stage, crop damage is likely to be heavy in the flood-affected areas," it said.

The department said it continues to estimate MY 2013/14 production at 105 million tonnes till an assessment of crop loss is made.

"Market sources report that the crop loss due to cyclone and floods in the eastern coast could be in the range of 1-2 per cent of forecast production," the report noted.

    
Source: profit.ndtv.com



Cabinet exempts some agriculatural exporters from stockholding limit

Dec 02, 2013

To facilitate larger export of food and agriculture items, the Union has exempted exporters who have IEC Code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade () from imposed under the , 1955.

However, this exemption will be only available for exporters of edible oilseeds, edible oil and rice and will be limited only to the stocks meant for export and not domestic sale.

"This will help exporters benefit from economies of scale and bigger operation for optimally meeting export demands on a long-term basis," an official statement issued on Friday said.

India's agriculture exports rose to a record Rs 231,993 crore in 2012-13, up 24 per cent from the previous year due to the lifting of bans on various items. In 2012-13, India has emerged as the world's biggest rice exporter at 11 million tonnes.

    
Source: Business Standard



Typhoons could force Philippines to import 2 million tonnes of rice next year

Nov 29, 2013

The Philippines, one of the world's top rice consumers, may need to import as much as 2 million tonnes of the grain in 2014 as it looks set to miss self-sufficiency targets following two strong typhoons, traders and farming experts said.

That would mark the largest rice imports in four years by the Southeast Asian country, the world's biggest buyer in 2010, when it purchased a national record of 2.45 million tonnes.

Higher demand from the Philippines is unlikely to have a huge impact on global rice prices as world production is forecast to exceed consumption next year.

But Vietnam, traditionally the country's main supplier, and Thailand, which is sitting on record-high stocks, are expected to duke it out in bidding to supply Manila.

Just last month, Philippine farm officials were still optimistic about rice production, announcing an estimated 2.2 million tonnes of year-end inventory that would have helped limit imports in line with the country's goal of becoming self-sufficient in rice by 2014.

But this week it had to seek bids from three neighbours, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, for the emergency supply of 500,000 tonnes to boost government stocks depleted by relief work after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines on November 8.

Vietnam, the world's second-biggest rice exporter after India last year, bagged the government-to-government deal after offering the lowest price at a tender on Tuesday.

Prices of Vietnamese rice rose on Wednesday, with 5-percent broken rice nearing a one-year peak.

The Philippines is keeping the door open for more imports while awaiting the harvest from the first-quarter crop of 2014, state grains agency the National Food Authority (NFA) says.

NFA Administrator Orlan Calayag remains hopeful imports will be minimal next year. But he said the private sector would be allowed to bring in as much as 350,000 tonnes of rice in 2014, with a duty of 40 percent under a commitment to the World Trade Organisation.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the government had yet to estimate how much more rice may have to be imported next year.

But he said 2 million tonnes would be "too much", considering that some farmers hit by the typhoons have replanted, aided by the Department of Agriculture.

"That (import requirement) will be evaluated early next year," he told Reuters. "We will miss our targets and will have to make some adjustments, but we are still aiming for self-sufficiency."

Total imports approved this year by the NFA have hit 705,000 tonnes, including the latest emergency buy. Before Haiyan, the Philippines had aimed to limit 2013 imports to 350,000 tonnes.

FARM INFRASTRUCTURE A CONCERN

Traders and farm experts expect Philippine rice imports next year to range from 700,000 tonnes to 2 million tonnes.

"We are looking at anything between 1.5 to 2.0 million tonnes of imports in 2014, but it is hard to put a number on it just yet," said a Bangkok-based trader.

"They will definitely need more rice after the typhoon damage," the trader added. "The World Food Programme is coming up with a tender to supply rice as aid to the Philippines."

The WFP said it had reached agreement with the NFA to provide 10,000 tonnes of rice for Haiyan relief operations.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has predicted Philippine rice imports next year at 1.2 million tonnes, revising an earlier forecast of 900,000 tonnes.

The Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, which helped the Department of Agriculture assess crop losses, said damage to farm infrastructure was a bigger concern.

"The most serious issues will arise from extensive losses resulting from the storm surge - in farm machinery, storage, housing and damage to roads and irrigation," said Bruce Tolentino, an IRRI official.

It is far too early to put a figure on the Philippines' rice imports next year, a London-based trader said.

"We will know more about their import requirements in 2014 by the end of December when the planting is over and we have some idea about the crop."

SELF-SUFFICIENCY FAILURE

The Philippines' paddy rice output in the entire year is likely to be below a government forecast of 18.58 million tonnes, made before Haiyan struck.

That prediction was already 9 percent lower than the government's target of 20.4 million tonnes set under its rice self-sufficiency programme.

Because of Haiyan and Typhoon Nari, which hit major northern rice-producing regions in October, the FAO cut its 2013 aggregate forecast of rice paddy output - including the main 2013 season and the 2013/14 secondary season - to 18 million tonnes from previous estimates of a bumper crop of 18.9 million.

The Rome-based FAO expects world rice production in 2013/14 to rise 0.9 percent to 494.1 million tonnes. Total consumption is seen up 2.6 percent, at 489.0 million.

On Wednesday, the FAO said more than $11 million was needed to help clean and clear farmland and irrigation canals after Haiyan, which killed 5,500 people, the government estimates.

That is in addition to the $20 million already sought to help farmers fertilise, irrigate and maintain crops to ensure harvests in 2014.

"We were previously projecting a 4 to 5 percent growth in production, but now it looks like it is flat for this year," said economist Roehlano Briones of the government think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

"So we're way off the projection while our population continues to grow."

He said a 2-million-tonnes volume was a reasonable estimate for the maximum import requirement next year, especially for a country visited by an average of about 20 typhoons each year.

To plug the looming deficit, he said the Philippines should initially import at least 800,000 tonnes.

Missed production targets and typhoons that have become stronger should prompt the government to abandon hopes for self-sufficiency in rice, he said.

"There's no shame in withdrawing from an unrealistic policy. The government must have a more liberal policy on rice importation," he said.

    
Source: Reuters UK



Stock holding limit may be extended by a year for paddy, rice

Nov 28, 2013

 

The Centre is likely to extend the stock holding limit for some of the essential commodities such as paddy and rice by another year. The limit, imposed under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, is lapsing on November 30.

The Centre’s view to extend the stock limit is to check food inflation that increased to over 18 per cent in October. The Cabinet will take up the proposal on Thursday.

However, Gujarat, West Bengal and Assam have opposed the proposal.

 

Exemption

The Cabinet is also likely to consider granting exemption to exporters of some agriculture produce from the stock limit.

Since trading of commodities is a State subject, so views were sought from them.

A senior Government official told Business Line that 11 States and three Union Territories responded to the Centre’s proposal. Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Odisha and Tripura are among States supporting the the move. Among Union Territories, Delhi is in favour of extending the limit.

De-hoarding operations

The Essential Commodities Act provides for the issue of control orders by the Centre enabling States to undertake de-hoarding operations through fixing of stock-holding limits and licensing requirements on private traders.

Based on the order, every States fixes its own limit.

Any one holding beyond the limit can face action from the local authorities which include seizure of the goods and penalty.

Currently this mechanism is applicable for rice, paddy, edible oils, edible oil seeds and sugar.

Rice production is estimated at 92.3 million tonnes during the current kharif marketing season against 85.6 mt last year.

In fact, the total area under paddy increased to 381.47 lakh hectares this year against 373.26 lakh heatares in 2012-13.

Relief for exporters

In another proposal, the Cabinet is also likely to provide relief to exporters of agriculture produce.

“The proposal talks about providing exemption from the provision of stock limit with respect to exporters of rice, edible oils and edible oilseeds,” the official said.

Wholesale prices of edible oils have dropped in October on yearly basis, while oilseed prices have increased marginally by 1.4 per cent.

Prices are likely to be subdued on account of higher sowing in the current crop year ending June.

    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Nigeria May Reduce Rice Import Tariffs to Tackle Rampant Smuggling

Nov 28, 2013

Nigeria may lower high rice import tariffs in 2014 to check losses due to rampant smuggling of rice into the country, local sources say citing government officials.

Nigeria wants to strengthen its agriculture sector in preparation for a shift from an oil-based economy to an agrarian one due to depleting oil reserves. To encourage rice production, the government imposed rice imports tariff of around 110% in January 2013, up from 40% to 60% import tariff prior to that. However, the move has done more harm than good to the country’s economy.

Rice demand remains much higher than local production in Nigeria. According to the USDA, rice import requirements of Nigeria in 2013-14 stand at around 3 million tons, up from around 2.9 million tons in the previous year and against a production estimate of around 2.7 million tons in 2013-14.

Rice imports by neighboring Benin and Cameroon have increased sharply this year, signaling increased smuggling of rice into Nigeria. Local sources say that Benin has imported around two million tons of parboiled rice this year against a usual requirement of around 230,000 tons per year. Traders in Nigeria say the surplus rice in Benin is destined for Nigeria and hurting local rice sector. Smuggling undermines Nigeria’s aim to become self-sufficient in rice by 2015 and also causes loss of revenue of an estimated $1 billion per day to the government, traders say.

the tariff reduction will only help the lazy and uninterested local millers who are not ready tp partner with rice transformatiom agenda.we have surplus water for irrigation and with irrigation like australia or egypt,we can meet our target within two years.the issue is not of smuggle of rice but lack of sincere financing of the rice growing areas.

    
Source: oryza.com



Japan to phase out rice subsidies as part of farm reform

Nov 27, 2013

apan is to end a rice subsidy scheme designed to cut excess crops that dates back more than 40 years, the farming ministry said on Tuesday, as the government embarks on an overhaul of agriculture, one of the country's most protected sectors.

The move is unlikely to have an immediate impact on rice trade due to Japan's high import duties and cost of production, but it will help competitiveness of the farming sector as the government negotiates to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a US-led free trade area.

It may also help the country fend off pressure from the United States, Australia and others to lift tariffs and remove other barriers to trade in protected areas such as agriculture.

The government will abolish the long-standing "gentan" production adjustment system for rice by the year ending March 2019, an official in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.

It will begin phasing out the programme -- under which the government pays farmers subsidies in exchange for reducing rice output to adjust supply and protect prices -- by halving the payment from the fiscal year that starts in April 2014, the official said.

Under the programme, introduced in 1970, farmers who reduce sowing to government-set limits receive about 150,000 yen ($1,500) for each hectare (2.5 acres) under cultivation.

Rice in Japan is farmed on relatively small plots. The farming population is ageing and shrinking as young people move to the cities for alternative work.

"Exports are not likely to rise even if the government stops the subsidy to farmers as Japanese rice is extremely expensive," said a Tokyo-based trader. "They don't have any cost competitiveness."

The price of sticky or glutinous rice in Japan is about $2,000 per tonne, compared with $1,000 in the United States and $940 in China, the trader said.

Japan exports very little of its rice, with overseas sales totalling just 16,403 tonnes valued at 1.3 billion yen in the first nine months of this year, according to the ministry of finance. In 2012, the country harvested 8.5 million tonnes, according to the farm ministry.

In contrast, India, the biggest rice exporter in 2012, shipped about 10.5 million tonnes, while Vietnam exported 7.2 million and Thailand 7 million.

Japan imported 646,146 tonnes of rice in the first nine months of 2013 and has a minimum access quota of 770,000 tonnes per annum under an existing trade deal. The country imposes a tariff of 341 yen per kg on imported rice.

Many businesses are keen for Japan to join the TPP trade area so that exporters can compete with overseas rivals, but powerful agricultural lobbies oppose participation for fear that it will let in a flood of overseas farm products.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing economic reform along with aggressive expansionary policies aimed at ending deflation and two decades of stagnation.

    
Source: Times of India



Arunachal to get support for agricultural growth

Nov 27, 2013

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday offered the central government’s full support for fast growth in all areas of agriculture and food processing in Arunachal Pradesh.

He made the offer while laying the foundation stone of the state’s first agriculture college and inaugurated a 'krishi mela' at Pasighat on Tuesday.

Pawar appreciated the recent initiatives taken by the State Government towards fast growth of agriculture, rice procurement, new plantations, export of fruits, etc. He expressed the hope that the state will be able to exploit its vast potential in horticulture and floriculture.

Giving the details of the support given by Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Ministries to the State, Pawar said : “This year we have allocated more than 15 Cr for NFSM, 32 Cr for RKVY and 48 Cr for Horticulture Mission. I am extremely liberal while supporting this state and has told my officers that if state is ready to absorb more funds, we should readily provide the same. We also appreciated that some areas of Arunachal Pradesh can produce oil palm and hence this year we included Arunachal Pradesh also under oil palm development scheme."

"I am also of the considered opinion that Arunachal has tremendous potential in bamboo development. The state has not yet used its fullest capacity to harness the benefit from the national bamboo mission. The state also needs to work on a mission mode on other plantation crops like rubber etc," he said.

    
Source: India Blooms



India to retain top rice exporter rank, says CARE Ratings

Nov 22, 2013

India is expected to retain its top rank as rice exporter in 2012-13 marketing year on bumper production and strong export demand for Indian rice, both basmati and non basmati.

India's production of rice hit an all-time high in 2011-12 crop year (period from July to June) and crossed the 100 million tonnes level.

India has also emerged as the world's leading exporter of rice in 2011-12 (period from October to September) and is expected to retain its top rank as rice exporter in 2012-13 due to bumper production and strong export demand for Indian rice, both basmati and non basmati, CARE Ratings said in its report here today.

According to the first advance estimates released by the agriculture ministry, India's kharif rice crop output is expected at 92.32 tonnes during the 2013-14 crop season, which is more or less in line with the kharif rice output of 92.76 tonnes last year.

India is expected to retain its top rank as rice exporter in 2012-13 marketing year given the second-highest level of production during the 2012-13 crop year, large public stocks, liberal export policy and weak currency.

    
Source: The Economic Times



156 lakh tonne rice procured during ongoing kharif marketing season

Nov 21, 2013

Over 156 lakh tonne rice has been procured by the Government agencies during Kharif Marketing Season, 2013-14. As per data made available to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, total 156,99,858 tonne rice has been procured till November 20, 2013 during ongoing season.
 

Highest procurement has been made in Punjab ie 119,16,499 tonne followed by Haryana 35,58,022 tonne and Tamilnadu 75,152 tonne. Uttar Pradesh has also made significant procurement ie 65,519 tonne.
 

    
Source: economictimes



Rice exports seen at 11 mt, says USDA

Nov 06, 2013

India's rice exports are estimated at a record 11 million tonnes in the 2012-13 marketing year ended September on bumper production and overseas demand, said the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Rice exports of India, the world's second largest rice producer, stood at 10.38 million tonnes in 2011-12 marketing year (MY) that runs from October to September. "MY 2012/13 export estimate is raised to a record 11 million tonnes based on preliminary official statistics for October 2012 to August 2013, and shipping data compiled by a private source for September 2013," USDA said in a report.

USDA has also revised upwards the rice export estimates for MY 2013-14 to 10 million tonnes from 9.3 million tonnes. However, exports are still expected to be lower than the record 11 million tonnes in previous year.

"Based on the relatively strong export demand for Indian rice, both basmati and non-basmati, and sufficient domestic supplies, the MY 2013-14 rice export estimate is raised to 10 million tonnes. While exports of basmati rice are likely to grow further, total exports are likely to be lower than last year's record sales due to relatively tight domestic supplies of non-Basmati rice and food price inflation concerns in an election year."

Quoting market sources, the department said exports of non-basmati rice have slowed down from in October 2013 due to the strengthening of the Indian rupee compared to the US dollar (current 61.5 from 65 in August/September). India had lifted the four-year ban on non-basmati exports in September 2011. It had emerged as the world's largest rice exporter in 2012 ahead of its Asian counterpart Thailand.

On production, USDA has projected an output of 105 million tonnes in 2013-14 as against 104.4 million tonnes in the previous year. The department "continues to estimate MY 2013/14 rice production at 105 million tons from 43.5 million hectare." The harvest of kharif rice is in full swing in northern states and initial harvest reports suggest good yields.

"Crop damage was reported due to Cyclone Phailin in coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, and ongoing floods due to heavy rains in some parts of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. With rice at the grain filling stage, crop damage is likely to be heavy in the flood-affected areas," the report said.

The department said it continues to estimate MY 2013/14 production at 105 million tonnes till an assessment of crop loss is made. "Market sources report that the crop loss due to cyclone and floods in the eastern coast could be in the range of 1-2 percent of forecast production," the report said.

    
Source: business-standard.com



Agriculture department to promote new rice variety

Nov 01, 2013

The agriculture department is trying to promote the Makam variety of rice, the new high yielding variety of rice due to several advantages over the traditional and age-old Jyoti variety.

"We will distribute 500 kg of seed rice to farmers to begin with," an agriculture department source said.

The farmers in different areas will received a 3kg kit of the new rice variety.

ICAR research complex at Old Goa has also distributed the seed in various villages and farmers have already started cultivating the red kernel rice variety.

ICAR scientists lamented that farmers in Goa are not willing to accept new technology. "But this rice variety has advantages over the age-old Jyoti variety, which is preferred by farmers," the agriculture department official said.

The yield is a few times more than Jyoti variety while Makam has also better resistance to pests.

Farmers in Goa prefer Jyoti variety due to its taste but agronomists vouch for the equally good nutritive value and taste of Makam, besides a few advantages.

    
Source: timesofindia



Government agencies procure over 19 lakh tonne rice in 2013-14

Oct 17, 2013

Over 19 lakh tonne rice has been procured by the government agencies during Kharif Marketing Season in the year 2013-14.

As per data made available to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, total 19,76,806 tonne rice has been procured till October, 15, 2013 during the season.

Highest procurement has been made in Haryana i.e. 10,83,426 tonne followed by Punjab 8,74,761 tonne and Tamilnadu 14,934 tonne. Chandigarh have also made significant procurement by procuring 3,685 tonne.

    
Source: The Economic Times



India becomes leading rice supplier to Singapore

Oct 14, 2013

 India has overtaken Thailand as Singapore's biggest rice supplier for the first time, exporting 92,865 tonnes or 32.9 per cent of the total rice supply to the island nation in the first eight months of 2013.

Thailand shipped 85,816 tonnes or 30.4 per cent during the January-August period of this year to Singapore, reported The Straits Times today.

Vietnam supplied 77,459 tonnes or 27.4 per cent of rice supply during the period.

Indian rice exports to Singapore had risen to 29.5 per cent last year from 15.3 per cent in 2009.

Thailand has been the leading rice supplier to Singapore since 1998, accounting for over half of the total rice consumption of the city state between 1998 and 2011.

But its market share fell to 35.3 per cent last year while supplies from India and other countries have increased.

"Importers (are) taking advantage of the lower prices of Indian rice compared to Thai rice," the daily quoted a Trade and Industry Ministry spokesman.

The Singapore General Rice Importers Association said the shift in sourcing rice started when global rice prices began surging in 2008.

Other rice producing countries have also curbed exports to ensure sufficient domestic supplies while Thai crops have been hit by massive floods in the past.

Other rice suppliers to Singapore include Myanmar (2.5 per cent), Pakistan (2.4 per cent), the United States (2.2 per cent), Cambodia (0.9 per cent) and Australia (0.6 per cent) as well as others (0.7 per cent).

    
Source: economictimes



India offers help for Fiji Agriculture

Oct 14, 2013

The Minister for Agriculture, Inia Seruiratu met this month with his counterpart from India to look at ways of boosting cooperation between the two countries.

Seruiratu met the Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar in India and provided a brief on the shortage of expertise in the agriculture sector.

He’s requested an agronomist, veterinary specialist, and agricultural scientists to be deployed to Fiji through bilateral arrangements.

Seruiratu also expressed his interest in Coconut Farms and associated industries in India as Fiji tries to revive and grow the coconut industry with plans to commercialize at a larger volume.

Minister Pawar stated that India stands ready to support Fiji in areas such as research for cultivation of Potatoes, dairy industry, agricultural Research and training and developing of personnel in India.

India is also willing to send rice scientist to Fiji.

Minister Pawar assured the Minister that the Indian Government is willing to assist Fiji and suggested that Fiji submits a written proposal detailing requirements on specific areas.

    
Source: fbc.com.ft



Rice procurement target pegged at three million tonne

Oct 11, 2013

The state government has set rice procurement target at three million tonne for the kharif marketing season of this fiscal.

Out of the total target, at least 2.5 million tonne will be procured by government procurement agencies including Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the balance 0.5 million tonne is to be procured through levy.

The Government of India has fixed minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1310 per quintal for common paddy and Rs 1345 per quintal for Grade-A paddy during this kharif season.

The food & procurement policy for the kharif marketing season for 2013-14 was approved by the State Cabinet.

The state procurement agencies- Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd (OSCSC), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), Odisha State Cooperative Marketing Federation (MARKFED) and Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation (TDCC) will procure paddy in the state, either directly from the farmers or with the help of Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and pani panchayats.

The government agencies will be allowed to procure paddy from market yards of regulated market committees (RMC). Miller agents will also procure paddy from RMC yards and at their mill gates. Emphasis will be on opening a large number of paddy purchase centres to be run by PACS, SHGs and pani panchayats on behalf of state procurement agencies. The PPCs will be spread evenly through the state.

Superior quality paddy brought by the farmers will be auctioned in the RMC yards where millers, traders and other agencies will participate.

The district cooperative central bank (DCCB) will be appointed as the nodal agency for the PACS to coordinate with OSCSC Ltd. By using PACS, OSCSC Ltd will get Rs 31.25 per quintal of paddy as commission to societies which will be passed on to PACS through DCCBs. This is expected to strengthen PACS and DCCB as well as facilitate immediate payment to the farmers.

Payment to the farmers by government agencies and miller agents will be made through A/C payee cheques or online transfer wherever such facilities are avialable. The farmers will be identified through Kisan Credit Cards, land pass books, record of rights and farmer identity cards.

The state government agencies will submit a computerised list of farmers from whom paddy has been procured along with details on a daily basis to the concerned collectors.

The district collectors have been instructed to prepare a district procurement plan for ensuring even spread of PPCs, availability of equipment at PPCs, quality control training and publicity through media, pamphlets and hoardings.

    
Source: business-standard.com



Wayanad rice set to boil in Germany

Oct 09, 2013

A little known rice variety from the tribal district of Wayanad in Kerala might soon find itself competing with the best of exported rice varieties of Asia, the Basmati rice of India and Jasmine rice from Thailand. The potential for this variety of rice, traditionally known as Gandhakasala rice, which is to compete in the German markets, was brought through a study conducted in association with the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai.

The research carried out by a collaboration of Indian and German scientists under a project called Biodiva was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

The study analysed the marketing potential of the rice in Germany through research and interviews with key players in the industry. The study focused on sectors fair trade, organic foods and providers of gourmet foods, all based in Germany. The study revealed that there is an existing demand for Gandakasala in Germany.

It also pointed out that the rice market in Germany is as of now saturated with Basmati and Jasmine rice.

In order to compete, Gandakasala will have to be marketed as a niche product as an organic or fair trade product or as a delicatessen. There should also be value addition of the product.

Gandakasala has pest and disease resistant properties along with the advantages of high nutritional value, fine taste and cooking properties. Due to these properties, the rice is traditionally used for special occasions like wedding feasts, etc. Owing to its special characteristics, it has been protected under the GI  scheme (GI) by the Government of India.

The success of Gandakasala would mean lifeline not only for the tribals of Wayanad, but also for the conservation of traditional rice varieties in the area which is now under threat of changes in land use.

“Low returns from the land have forced many of the paddy fields to be converted into banana fields. This not only leads to drastic changes in land use patterns and hinders water conservation, but also leads to an increase in dependence on pesticides. A market that will ensure return for this organic variety of rice will ensure that people continue to produce the rice and it is conserved,” said N Anil Kumar, Director of the Biodiversity Programme of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation.

 

    
Source: newindianexpress.com



India set to retain its spot as top rice exporter

Oct 08, 2013

With the International Grains Council (IGC) revising rice production estimates for 2013-14, pegging India's production at record 107 million tonnes and exports at 8.5 million tonne, the country is set to retain its position as the world’s top rice exporter.

India had displaced its main competitors Vietnam and Thailand, to second and third position, respectively last year, mainly due to the lifting of a ban on the export of non-basmati rice in December, 2012.

“With an increase of three per cent in the area under paddy and farmers opting for high-yield varieties of rice, the production is bound to rise this year and may cross 110 million tonnes. Exports will also retain last year’s level of 10.4 million tonnes," says Vijay Sethia, former president of the All India Rice Exporters Association.

He said the estimates made by the IGC were premature and the authentic figures of production and exports would be available in the next four months. He said, "India is likely to export 3.4 million tonnes of basmati and 6.5-7 million tonnes of non-basmati rice. Already 1.8 million tonnes of basmati and 2.75 million tonnes of non-basmati have been exported and it is just the beginning of the season."

India produced 105.30 million tonnes of rice in the 2012-13 crop year which is likely to be increased to 110 million tonnes whereas there is no rise in demand which was 97.9 million tonnes last year. The total supply of the grain has been projected at 129.9 million tonnes this year and more rice would be available for export.

However, the IGC put the exports at 8.5 million tonnes, 10% less than last year, followed by Vietnam's 7.4 million tonnes and Thailand's 6.5 million tonnes.

After the notification of high yielding variety Pusa 1121 as basmati in 2010, farmers preferred growing this variety and area under basmati increased. However, another variety, Pusa 1509 developed by the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), has beaten Pusa 1121 as it takes 120 days to mature while the latter matures in 145 days.

Moreover, the farmers have been earning between Rs 90,000 and Rs 1 lakh per hectare from the Pusa 1509, which is less water consuming and has better cooking qualities as compared to Pusa 1121, Vijay Setia said.

The Pusa 1509 can be grown July to August 10, when monsoon is active and enough water is available from natural rains. It is being exported and sold as basmati and after a formal notification from the government in this regard, rice exports would get further boost.

    
Source: The Tribune



CRRI launches new unit to make rice farming profitable

Sep 26, 2013

In a bid to accord an entrepreneurial status to rice farming in Odisha, Central Rice Research Institution here has come up with an innovative unit to look into the aspects of business, planning and development of rice growers.


The unit called Business Planning and Development (BPD) unit was lunched here on Saturday. As agricultural land under rice cultivation is decreasing, farmers are turning away from rice cultivation as it is not profitable. But rice is staple food for over 65 per cent people of our country.

Lunching the unit, director of New Delhi-based National Agricultural Innovative Project ( NAIP) Dr Rama Rao said the BPD unit will go a long way in attracting rice farmers towards entrepreneurship.

Speaking on the occasion, CRRI director Dr T Mohapatra said BPD unit is a World Bank funded project.

While rice is the staple food of nearly 65 per cent of country's population, rice farmers end up as losers getting a meager price for their produce.

"The current Minimum Support Price ( MSP) of rice is only Rs 1320 per quintal which is not encouraging," project inspector Dr G A K Kumar said.

If such trends are not arrested, the ambitious food security bill will come as a cropper, opined the speakers on this occasion.

BPD also aims to impart training in setting up agri-enterprises and their management. This unit will also look into production, finance, personnel and marketing aspects to evolve successful agri-preneurs.

"Once unit is registered as a Company, it will provide legal assistances to agri-preneurs," Dr Kumar said.

With a view to popularize its inventions of farm techniques, CRRI also organized a brain-storming discussion on this occasion.

 

    
Source: The Economic Times



India may achieve 2nd highest foodgrain output this kharif

Sep 25, 2013

India is likely to achieve the second highest foodgrain production at 129.32 million tonnes this kharif season (summer crops) on better monsoon, but rice output is seen declining marginally.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said a record foodgrain production is expected in full 2013-14 crop year on account of good rain and "there will be a rebound in agriculture growth" from 1.9 per cent in the last financial year.

An improvement in the agriculture sector is vital for the government to contain food inflation and boost economic growth rate, which was a mere 4.4 per cent in the first quarter 2013-14, ahead of 2014 general elections in May next year.

Releasing the first forecast of foodgrain production in the kharif season, Pawar said: "We are poised to produce 129.32 million tonnes this kharif. This will be the second highest production."

Foodgrain output had touched all-time record of 131.27 million tonnes in the kharif season of 2011-12. It, however, fell to 128.20 million tonnes last year due to drought.

Higher levels of production in pulses and coarse cereals are projected to lift the overall kharif foodgrain output, while cotton and oilseeds production are set to be at all-time record levels.

Noting that the current year has been good for the farm sector, Pawar said: "With favourable weather condition, I am confident that kharif production will be substantially higher than what has been estimated at present.

"And there will be highest foodgrain production in the entire 2013-14 crop year (June-July). Definitely, there will be a rebound in agriculture growth."

Pawar also advocated use of new farm technologies, including GM crops, to sustain growth in the farm sector and meet extra foodgrain requirement under the food law.

According to the first estimates, rice production is expected to drop marginally to 92.32 million tonnes this kharif due to deficient rain in rice-growing eastern states. Last kharif, rice output was 92.76 million tonnes.

Sowing in kharif season begins with the onset of southwest monsoon in June and the harvesting starts from October.

    
Source: economictimes



CRRI launches new unit to make rice farming profitable

Sep 23, 2013

 In a bid to accord an entrepreneurial status to rice farming in Odisha, Central Rice Research Institution here has come up with an innovative unit to look into the aspects of business, planning and development of rice growers.


The unit called Business Planning and Development (BPD) unit was lunched here on Saturday. As agricultural land under rice cultivation is decreasing, farmers are turning away from rice cultivation as it is not profitable. But rice is staple food for over 65 per cent people of our country.

Lunching the unit, director of New Delhi-based National Agricultural Innovative Project ( NAIP) Dr Rama Rao said the BPD unit will go a long way in attracting rice farmers towards entrepreneurship.

Speaking on the occasion, CRRI director Dr T Mohapatra said BPD unit is a World Bank funded project.

While rice is the staple food of nearly 65 per cent of country's population, rice farmers end up as losers getting a meager price for their produce.

"The current Minimum Support Price ( MSP) of rice is only Rs 1320 per quintal which is not encouraging," project inspector Dr G A K Kumar said.

If such trends are not arrested, the ambitious food security bill will come as a cropper, opined the speakers on this occasion.

BPD also aims to impart training in setting up agri-enterprises and their management. This unit will also look into production, finance, personnel and marketing aspects to evolve successful agri-preneurs.

"Once unit is registered as a Company, it will provide legal assistances to agri-preneurs," Dr Kumar said.

With a view to popularize its inventions of farm techniques, CRRI also organized a brain-storming discussion on this occasion.

    
Source: economictimes



India’s Saudi rice import share reaches 63 percent

Sep 17, 2013

India's share in Saudi rice import is 63 percent with the basmati rice much in-demand, said the Indian delegation from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which is in Riyadh to participate in the ongoing international agriculture and agro-industry trade show, in which India is the largest participating country with 40 companies.
“Sixty three percent of rice import to Saudi Arabia comes from India with the Indian basmati much in demand,” said the Indian official.
The government is keen to increase export of basmati rice by providing assistance to Indian exporters with mounting trade delegations abroad and participation in international fairs, the official stated.
India, the largest supplier of rice to the Kingdom, is also getting more orders as Indian companies have renewed their efforts to fulfill the ever increasing demand from the Gulf country, which is one of the world’s largest rice importer.
Rice is a major staple food of the people in the Kingdom with an average annual per capita consumption of about 43 kg. The country is dependent on rice imports to meet its growing requirements.
According to statistics provided by the commerce and Industry ministry of India, the country's basmati rice export to the Kingdom till April-May this year was 138,704 million tons valued at $171.15 million, whereas the export of non-basmati rice during the same period was 22629.83 tons with its value to the tune of $13.58 million.
Rehan Zaheer, a top official from the Indian ministry of food processing industry urged Saudi businessman and agriculture companies to invest in India's food processing sector, especially in rice and meat processing.
He, however, clarified that India does not allow direct investment in farmlands.
India recently relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in a number of key sectors, including food processing and agro-based industries as the hike in caps with liberalizing routes will stimulate FDI inflows into the country.
Ajit Kumar, a high official from the Indian ministry of commerce and industry said that Saudi Arabia was an important market for Indian rice, especially basmati, and one of the largest market in GCC countries in terms of productivity.
“We look forward to the Saudi market for our services in value added products,” he said.
"There is a huge opportunity to look at food processing industry and we are looking forward to the growing demand of the industry,” he added.
He also disclosed that a Saudi delegation including some senior officials of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority will visit India this year to check the conditions of abattoir in order to grant licenses for meat processing in the Kingdom's interest.
Apart from rice, major Indian products being exported to Saudi Arabia include buffalo, sheep and goat meat, as well as fresh and preserved fruits and vegetables, confectionery and other processed foods that will be showcased at the Indian pavilion in the agro-industry trade show.
The four-day agro-food exhibition, which ends on Wednesday at Riyadh International Convention Center, features a dedicated Indian pavilion comprising 40 companies.
The pavilion will showcase export products from India’s major companies, which include APEDA represented by its General Manager S.S. Nair, Nutrilite agro products Pvt Ltd., Indian food tech Ltd. and Kabir foods apart from the ministries of food processing and commerce and industry.
India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), the premier trade promotion agency of the government of India, has organized India's participation in the India pavilion.
The visitors to the exhibition can visit the India pavilion to savor biryani, the Indian cuisine, made of basmati rice, and other processed foods from India.
They will also be benefited from the personal presence of selected and leading exporters of agro-products including rice, chutneys and pickles, ready-to-eat snacks, processed foods and other Indian delicacies.
Senior officials from ITPO, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, Ministry of Food Processing Industry, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the exhibitors are also available to explain the characteristics of Indian food in detail and hold extended discussions on matters related to the subject, including investment in Agro-food sector in India.
According to the Indian embassy, Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest trading partner of India and their bilateral trade crossed $43 billion in 2012-2013.
India’s huge agro resource base and host of natural advantages make it a chosen destination for sourcing a variety of agricultural products.
The embassy figures suggest that the total Indian agricultural exports were $221 billion during 2012-2013, of which Saudi Arabia accounted for $120 billion during this period.
The 32nd edition of this bi-annual event is the Kingdom’s leading food industry event providing an opportunity to introduce new products, equipment, and technologies.
Attended by the region’s food trade and business professionals, it is considered a unique platform to expand existing exports or establish new ones, at the center of the region’s fastest growing market.

    
Source: arabnews.com



Non-basmati rice exports to rise as Russia lifts import ban

Sep 11, 2013

India expects significant rise in export of non-basmati rice following Russia's lifting the ban on the commodity, a top government official said today.

"Now Russia has lifted ban on import of non-basamti rice from India and we hope to make significant gains in the Russian market. They have also removed ban on oilseeds," Commerce and Industry Secretary S R Rao told reporters here.

The Russian Federation had imposed the ban eight months ago due to the presence of khapra beetles pest in rice and aflatoxin contamination of peanuts.

Russia decided to remove restrictions after its officials visited processing units in India in June. The delegation was convinced about the safety measures that were put in place here while processing these food items, the official said.

The resumption of trade comes as the country seeks to boost exports to address the current account deficit.

India is the world's second largest rice producer, with an output of 104.40 million tonnes in the 2012-13 crop year (July-June). The country exports significant quantity of basmati and non-basmati rice in the overseas markets.

International Grain Council (IGC) has recently projected that the country may export 8.5 million tonnes in 2013-14, down by almost 10 per cent from 9.4 million tonnes shipments made in the last year.

    
Source: economictimes



UP eyes 2.5 mn tonnes paddy procurement in 2013-14

Sep 10, 2013

In spite of lack of preparations, the Uttar Pradesh government is targetting procurement of 2.5 million tonnes (mt) of paddy during 2013-14.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) would procure 10 per cent of the 2.5 mt target, while the rest would be procured by the state agencies.

The rice procurement season would be effective for six months — from October 1 to March, 2014 — and about 3,250 procurement centres would be set up.

According to the agriculture department, paddy acreage this year stands at 5.964 million hectares (MH) as compared to the target of 5.947 MH. The preliminary paddy production is estimated at 15.30 MT.

The food department’s procurement centres are mandated to pay farmers through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, which directly credits money to their bank accounts. The remaining centres would pay by means of account payee cheques.

UP Food Commissioner Archana Agarwal said the total warehousing capacity in UP stood at 3.765 mt. FCI is tasked to prepare an action plan for storage of rice.

The government would accord priority to modernised rice mills in custom milling and levy obligations.

In UP, rice millers have the obligation of 25 per cent rice levy, which is collected by the state for public distribution system (PDS). Under custom milling, the government procures paddy from farmers and gets it milled by paying incidental charges.

“The mills incur Rs 60 in milling per quintal of paddy, while the state has been paying only Rs 10 per quintal as milling cost for the last 10 years. This is grossly inadequate and a loss making proposition. For this reason, the millers are not excited about custom milling,” Uttar Pradesh Rice Millers Association President Rakesh Kumar Agarwal told Business Standard .

The millers have also demanded abolition of rice levy, citing lower realisation.

Paddy is cultivated across UP, while seven districts fall under high productivity, including Bijnore, Kushingar, Pilibhit, Chandauli, Baghpat, Ambedkar Nagar and Varanasi.

Paddy is highly dependent on south-west monsoon, which occurs over the subcontinent from June through September. The kharif crop is chiefly sown between March and August and harvested between June and December.

There are about 1,000 large rice mills in UP, while the number of smaller units is about 3,000. A large mill has a capacity to mill three to four tonnes paddy per hour.

The main elements in mills’ modernisation are dryer and sorting machines, which cost about Rs 20 lakh and Rs 50 lakh respectively. Only about 10 per cent of the state rice mills are equipped with these machines.

The millers have been urging the government for a five year window for modernisation and providing 25-30 per cent subsidy on the cost.

    
Source: business-standard.com



FDA probes arsenic presence in rice from India, other nations

Sep 09, 2013

The US health watchdog FDA is conducting a detailed inspection of the arsenic level in rice being sold in the American market, including those of basmati variety imported from India.

While an analytical study of more than 1,300 samples of rice and rice products, including basmati from India, did not show any alarming levels of arsenic presence, the FDA will now conduct a "comprehensive risk assessment" study to determine the long-term impact of the arsenic found in rice.

Arsenic is a chemical element present in the environment from both natural and human sources and its inorganic forms have been closely associated with long-term health effects such as higher rates of skin, bladder and lung cancers.

While most crops don't readily take up much arsenic from the ground, rice is different because it takes up arsenic from soil and water more readily than other grains.

In a latest consumer update, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) said it has "increased its testing of rice and rice products" to determine the level and types of arsenic found in these products, usually a life-long dietary staple.

The regulator said its next step will be "to conduct a risk assessment", wherein it would analyse the health risk associated with eating rice and rice products to determine the steps required to minimise the risks for consumers, including vulnerable groups like children and pregnant women.

The draft risk assessment will be made available for public comment following peer review, it said.

Agency scientists have so far determined that amount of detectable arsenic is too low in rice and rice product samples to cause any "immediate or short-term" adverse effects.

US rice imports have been increasing in the last 25 years. Most US rice imports are aromatic varieties from Asia--jasmine from Thailand and basmati from India, the world's largest producer of the aromatic grain.

Total US rice imports for 2012/13 was projected at 19.5 million cwt (centum weight). Indian basmati is one of the most expensive rice in the US as it commands 2-3 times higher price than American domestic long-grain rice.

The results of the analytical study of about 1,100 samples of rice and rice products were released last week, while a preliminary set of results for nearly 200 samples were released in September 2012.

The study of more than 1,300 samples of rice and rice products, which included more than 30 from India, found 0.1-7.2 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per serving in them.

The study of samples from India showed that fully cooked basmati contained up to 0.9 units of inorganic arsenic per serving, boil-in-bag variety had 2.3 units, aged variety had up to 3.9 units, white variety had up to 3.9 units and the brown variety had up to 6 units of arsenic presence.

    
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Kharif set to register record rice output this year

Sep 09, 2013

After an erratic monsoon affected plantings last year, kharif rice output is set to rebound to a record this year. This, in turn, is set to boost exports with a weak rupee aiding the Indian grain’s competitiveness in the global market.

The general consensus among the rice trade, Agriculture Ministry officials and exporters is that the production this kharif would touch a new high, exceeding the record 92.78 million tonnes in 2011. This is despite deficient rainfall affecting transplantation in States such as Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand.

The timely arrival of the South-West Monsoon and the excess precipitation across the country prompted farmers to bring more area under rice, mainly in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The total area under rice is up 3.7 per cent at 365.50 lakh hectares this year against 352.49 lakh hectares during the corresponding period a year ago.

Though flooding in several areas of Andhra Pradesh affected the crop to some extent, officials say that it would be made up by other States. Also, in some of the affected areas replanting has been taken up by farmers, they said. “The crop is definitely better than last year in the State,” an AP Rice Millers’ Association official said.

Until the first week of this month, the country received eight per cent excess rainfall from the monsoon’s influence. Rains which were deficient in the early part of the season in Bihar and Jharkhand revived last week. This should boost transplantation over the next couple of weeks. Also in Orissa, where rice is the only crop planted by farmers, the transplantation can go on till September-end, officials at the Directorate of Rice Research Institute said.

The crop conditions are satisfactory and no major cases of endemic or epidemic disease has been reported so far anywhere in the country.

Officials in the Agriculture Ministry expect the output to be higher than last year, though they are not putting a figure on the actual crop size. In the recent past, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and his deputy Tariq Anwar have expressed confidence that the bounteous monsoon this year would help the country produce record foodgrains, including rice.

A bumper output would help the Government implement the Food Security Programme.

The Government is expected to procure 34.5 million tonnes of rice this year.

The London-based International Grains Council, in its latest estimate, has pegged India’s rice output at 107 million tonnes, up 2.5 per cent from last year. Last year, production, both kharif and rabi seasons, was 104.40 million tonnes, according to the Government’s 4{+t}{+h} Advance Estimates.

Added aroma

Also, in the case of Basmati, the initial field surveys point to a good crop. “The rains have been good and transplanting was done on time. The crop is currently in the flowering stage in some areas. Overall, we expect a higher yield this year,” said Rajen Sundaresan, Executive Director of the All-India Rice Exporters’ Association. Basmati production in 2012 was a little over 7.1 million tonnes. In the current year, the production is expected to be higher by 10-40 per cent.

While basmati exports have taken off on a positive note, non-basmati rice shipments have been sluggish.

According to the Directorate-General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, basmati exports during April-June this year were up 17 per cent at 11.16 lakh tonnes.

In terms of value, shipments were up 67 per cent at Rs 7,756 crore compared with last year.

Non-basmati exports were down by a tenth in volume for the April-June period to 14.16 lakh tonnes against 15.84 lakh tonnes.

In value, the non-basmati rice shipments were estimated at Rs 3314.12 crore against Rs 3365.06 crore.

According to IGC, rice exports this year are estimated at at 8.5 million tonnes, down 5.5 per cent from last year.

 

    
Source: Business Line



India tops in rice export through subsidised stock

Jul 22, 2013

Pakistan has already lost its market share in rice exports to India during the last couple of years due to subsidised Indian exports to the world market while it is again seeking huge flexibility to distort rice production as well as trade on the excuse of food security.
Market sources say India has once again started aggressive lobbying to get legal shelter for subsidy on rice exports to the world market, affecting Pakistan’s rice exports.
They said that Pakistan lost its position because of the aggressive exports from the stocks maintained by Food Corporation of India, as Pakistan exported rice worth $1.76 billion in July-May period in 2012-13 against $1.91 billion over the corresponding period last year, reflecting a decline of over seven percent.
They suggested Islamabad to uphold WTO disciplines to protect Pakistan rice exports worth $2 billion and invest in research, pest eradication, storage, improvement in yield and develop varieties which consume less water.  They said that impact of the trade distorting subsidy was not limited to Pakistan’s exports of rice because Thailand and Vietnam were also no more the first two exporters of the world as this position was taken over by India, they said. India has already taken number one position in exports by releasing stocks which are highly subsidized, they claimed. 
They said that agriculture exporters should compete on the price and quality of their produce and not on the availability of subsidies.
REAP vice chairman Samee Ullah Ch expressed apprehensions over Indian demand for subsidy on rice from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and said that granting facility will create distortion in the region. He said that the member nations during the Doha Round agreed to ensure elimination of all forms of subsidies and now the Indian demand for rice subsidies were highly trade distorting and direct form of agricultural support, he said.
Pakistan is the world’s fourth largest rice producer, after China, India and Indonesia. Pakistan is responsible for supplying 30 percent of the world’s paddy rice output. Millions of farmers relying on rice cultivation as their major source of employment. Considering the Indian request for subsidy on rice will hurt directly millions of farmers who are already facing various challenges due to the two consecutive floods in Pakistan in the recent past. This will create a serious food security problem for the country, he added.
Rice production in Pakistan holds an extremely important position in agriculture and the national economy. It is the second most important crop, which brings economic prosperity to the growers, as well as earns billions of rupees through its exports.

    
Source: nation.com.pk



India’s move on rice to hurt Pakistan

Jul 17, 2013

Ahead of the next World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting, India has begun aggressive lobbying to get legal shelter for subsidy on rice exports to the world market, a move likely to affect Pakistan’s rice exports.

The issue of seeking more protection for Indian rice exports came up during the G-33 countries recent consultations in Geneva as part of the proposals on agriculture reforms for Bali meeting to be held in December.

“Pakistan is in the middle ground with China and Indonesia, which are in favour of enlarging the green box subsidies — non-prohibited subsidies — but no exemption to trade distorting support”, a trade official told Dawn.

India is seeking huge flexibility to distort rice production and trade in the name of food security, but trade experts says it will take away food security of rest of the small countries whose farmers depend on the production and export of rice.

As a result of trade distorting subsidies in India, Pakistan has already lost its market share in rice exports to India in the last couple of years owing to subsidised Indian exports to the world market.

Pakistan lost its position because of the aggressive exports from the stocks maintained by Food Corporation of India, a state-owned organisation.

Pakistan exported rice worth $1.756 billion in July-May period in 2012-13 as against $1.908bn over the corresponding period last year, reflecting a decline of over seven percent.

The impact of the trade distorting subsidy was not limited to Pakistan’s exports of rice because Thailand and Vietnam were also no more the first two exporters of the world as this position was taken over by India. India has already taken number one position in exports by releasing stocks which are highly subsidised.

“Indian stocks are much higher than what they need. The result is that government warehouses were over utilised and finally the stocks are exported at subsidised prices,” the source further said.

Contrary to this, government of Pakistan came out of the business of rice export two decades ago and the rice exports have become a steady source of foreign exchange for the country and the whole business was carried out the private sector.

Experts says it was a need of the time, that Islamabad should uphold WTO disciplines to protect Pakistan rice exports worth 2bn dollars and invest in research, pest eradication, storage, improvement in yield and develop varieties which consume less water.

G-33 proposal is demanding exemption from domestic support (aggregate measurement of support) on this assumption that it is minimally trade distorting and it is linked with the food security of the country. The objective of stock holding programs is to ensure food security of your own population.

    
Source: dawn.com



Mango diplomacy: Alphonso mango likely to land in Mauritius

Jul 08, 2013

India's king of fruits Alphonso mango could soon be available to Mauritians, many of whom have ancestral links with India. The island nation and Indian government have agreed to harmonise norms governing trade of fruits.

Commerce and Industry Ministry Anand Sharma had taken up the issue of Mauritius not allowing import of Indian mangoes with his Mauritius counterpart Sayyad Abd-Al-Cader Sayed Hossen during their discussions on trade issues.

Anand Sharma is in Mauritius to attend the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) Economic and Business Conference.

India cannot export its mango to Mauritius as the fruit has not received the sanitary and phyto-sanitary clearance, allowing countries such as Pakistan to have cashed on the situation and have captured large market share.

"APEDA and the Mauritius SPS authority officials will soon meet and work for harmonisation of standards," said an Indian commerce department official.

Sharma also raised the issue of export of basmati rice to the island nation. Shipments have dropped because of certification issues.

Sharma pressed for early conclusion of the agreement for recognition of export inspection and certification system of Export Inspection Council of India for export of basmati rice to Mauritius. The Mauritian minister has assured that there is a broad agreement on the draft and they will soon respond to it.

Basmati rice is a unique Geographical Indication (GI) product under the World Trade Organization (WTO).

India has already nominated the Export Inspection Council as the nodal agency which will issue a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for all basmati rice exports from India to Mauritius.

Sharma also allayed apprehensions of the Mauritius government over the supply of oil to the country.

India's exports to Mauritius comprise largely of petroleum products. India supplies fuel to the country through an agreement between Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd and the State Trading Corporation of Mauritius.

The three-year agreement that was first signed in July 2007 is expected to be renewed later this month.

Hossen conveyed that most of the issues regarding renewal of contract with MRPL had been sorted out and the contract was being given the final touches.

    
Source: articles



China, India roil global rice market

Jul 08, 2013

For the past four decades, the global rice market has been dominated by a few exporters, namely, Thailand, Vietnam, the United States, and Pakistan, accounting for 60-70 percent of total exports. During this period, Thailand has remained the top rice exporter in the world. Unlike the export side, the import side looks quite fragmented, with many countries each importing a small amount of rice. The top six importers account for only 20−30 percent of the market share.

New roles for China and India

Through the years, both China and India, the top two rice producers and consumers in the world, have played a minor role globally with occasional exports and imports. Despite India’ s rise as an exporter since the mid-1990s, both these countries, which account for half of global rice production, have largely focused on domestic food security. Trade is an afterthought for these two giants and it is mostly used to manage occasional surpluses and deficits.

But, with India’s meteoric rise to the top of the export chart and China’s unexpected rise to near the top of the import tonnes in 2012, this might be a thing of the past. In 2012, India displaced Thailand from the top spot by exporting 10.4 million tonnes of rice vis-à-vis 6.9 million tonnes for Thailand. India’s removal of its export ban on the non-basmati market in late 2011 after a gap of four years, burgeoning domestic stocks, and a weak rupee definitely increased India’s export prospects in 2012.

But Thailand’s mortgage scheme should get most of the credit for India’s rise to the top by making India’s broken and parboiled rice fly off the shelves like hotcakes.

Like India, nobody expected China to come close to displacing Nigeria as the top importer in 2012, with 2.9 million tonnes of imports compared with 3.4 million tonnes by Nigeria. A majority of these imports have come from Vietnam and Pakistan. Apart from rice, China also imported large amounts of wheat and corn (maize) in 2012. Altogether, Chinese grain (wheat, rice, and corn) imports increased from 2 million tonnes in 2011 to 11 million tonnes in 2012. Tight corn supplies and greater demand for wheat from the feed sector increased their imports.

But, it is still intriguing to many why China is importing so much rice because domestic production has no apparent shortfall in the past few years, and the carryover stocks (according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Office and the US Department of Agriculture suggest that these stocks have been steadily rising since 2007.

    
Source: asiancorrespondent.com



Punjab millers want rice delivery period extended till August

Jul 04, 2013

With over 5 lakh tonnes of rice yet to be delivered to the central pool, millers in Punjab have asked the state government to seek extension for delivery till August from the Centre.

Millers under the banner of Punjab Rice Millers Association raised this demand during a meeting with state Food and Civil Supplies Adesh Partap Singh Kairon yesterday.

“We have urged from the state government to seek extension in rice delivery period from the Centre till August 31 so that we can deliver the balance 5.5 lakh tonne of rice to the central kitty,” Association’s President Tarsem Saini said on Wednesday.

Punjab rice millers were supposed to deliver 85.69 lakh ton custom milled rice by June 30 to the Central pool for 2012-13 paddy season. However, 5.50 lakh tonne is still to be delivered by the millers.

Millers attributed the non-delivery of balance rice to shortage of labour due to paddy sowing and space crunch for storing the crop.

They feared that they would be heavily penalised if the delivery period was not extended. Last month, Punjab government had asked the millers to deliver rice by June 30 and if they failed to deliver their quota of rice to the central kitty, then state government would be charging whopping Rs 2,600 per quintal from defaulting rice millers.

It had also warned that defaulting millers would not get paddy for coming season if they failed in delivering rice for the 2012-13 period.

    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Rice Harvest in India Seen at Record as Early Rains Spur Sowing

Jun 13, 2013

Rice output in India, the world’s second-largest grower, is set to climb to a record as early arrival of monsoon rains over the biggest growing regions spurs planting, potentially boosting exports.

The monsoon crop may increase 2.4 percent to 95 million metric tons from 92.75 million tons a year earlier, said P. Chengal Reddy, secretary general of the Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations. The rain-fed crop is planted from June and harvested from October and accounts for almost 90 percent of the nation’s total production.

A bigger harvest may help India retain its position as the top exporter and further lower global food costs tracked by the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization, which fell in May for the first time in four months. While rice prices are poised for a third year of gains in Chicago, corn and wheat have tumbled into bear markets after surging last year when the worst drought since the 1930s wilted crops in the U.S.

“Given the forecast for a normal monsoon, the area under rice will certainly be more than last year,” Trilochan Mohapatra, director of the Central Rice Research Institute, said in a phone interview from Delhi. “The production of rice is going to exceed” last season’s levels, he said.

Farmers have sown rice in 523,000 hectares (1.29 million acres) as of June 7, compared with 622,000 hectares a year earlier, according to data from the Agriculture Ministry. The monsoon, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the country’s annual rainfall, covered Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal states a day earlier than normal, according to the India Meteorological Department.

Exportable Surplus

Showers have been 23 percent more than a 50-year average since June 1, with Andhra Pradesh getting at least 70 percent more rains, bureau data showed. Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are the nation’s top growers, representing about 29 percent of the crop.

India may continue to export as a normal monsoon and reserves of 33.3 million tons will leave enough for shipments, Angel Commodities Broking Pvt. said June 10. Exports totaled 10.25 million tons in 2012, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rough rice for delivery in July fell 0.2 percent to $16.26 per 100 pounds on the Chicago Board of Trade at 8:27 a.m. in Mumbai. Futures have advanced 7.2 percent this year after gaining in the past two years. Global rice production may expand to 470 million tons in 2012-2013 from 466 million tons a year earlier, according to the International Grains Council.

“We have asked farmers to increase use of hybrid seeds,” Mohapatra said. The high-yielding varieties can boost output by about 1 ton per hectare compared with the normal varieties, he said. Farmers planted about 39 million hectares under rice during the monsoon season in 2012-2013, the farm ministry says.

    
Source: Bloomberg



Qatar to invest $500m in Indian agriculture

Jun 13, 2013

The agricultural investment unit of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is to invest up to $500m in India, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Nasser Mohamed Al Hajri, chairman of Hassad Food Company, said that the investments would be in production of rice, coffee, cardamom and “ready-made foods”.

In early April the company said it had agreed to acquire a majority stake Bush Foods Overseas, an owner of several basmati rice brands.

Hassad has ventures in Asia and Africa, as well as owning sheep farms in Australia. Qatar imports most of its food and is increasingly seeking to secure supplies by investing in land and food companies overseas.

Al Hajri told Bloomberg that Hassad was looking for its next investment to be in either the Americas or Europe, and would likely be this year or early 2014. “There will be something invested in Canada for grain production,” he told the news agency.

Hassad produces about 260,000 tonnes of rice per year, as well as 150,000 tonnes of grain and 100,000 sheep.

    
Source: Arabian Business



FCI asked to lift monthly 1.2 lakh tonnes of kharif rice to store rabi harvest

Jun 05, 2013

With a bumper crop of rice this kharif, the Government has requested the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to lift at least 1.20 lakh tonnes of rice every month from the State to make space for rabi procurement.

According to a review by the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department in the last week of May, the Government has procured nearly 46 lakh tonnes of paddy which is equivalent to over 31 lakh tonnes of rice.

“Paddy procured till the end of May is 41 per cent more and the custom milled rice (CMR) delivery is 44 per cent of the kharif marketing season last year,” Food Supply Secretary Madhusudan Padhi said.

The Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC), the nodal agency for paddy procurement, has purchased 42.35 lakh tonnes of paddy (equivalent to 28.8 lakh tonnes of rice) by the end of May. The corporation has, however, delivered 12.4 lakh tonnes of rice out of which nearly 3 lakh tonnes have been delivered to FCI.

Bulk of the rice procured by the corporation goes to the public distribution system to meet the BPL rice quota of the State. The total annual requirement of BPL rice in the State is about 22 lakh tonnes.

The latest estimate of the State said that over 13.88 lakh tonnes of rice have been delivered till the end of May. The CMR so far delivered is more than 16 lakh tonnes which is likely to rise due to bumper rabi harvest, Padhi said. Official sources said over 5.05 lakh tonnes of rice have been delivered to FCI during the current kharif marketing season (KMS) and utilisation of storage space is 88 per cent.The State Government has requested the Central agency to evacuate at least 1.20 lakh tonnes of rice from the State every month. Accordingly, FCI has been shifting rice stock from the State to make space for rabi procurement.

The Government has planned to deliver 1.78 lakh tonnes of rice to FCI in June, the sources said. In view of the bumper production of rice, the State had to revise its procurement target from 30 to 35 lakh tonnes for 2012-13 kharif season.

 

    
Source: newindianexpress.com



Karnataka exploring nation-wide tenders to implement rice scheme

Jun 03, 2013

To meet the July 1 deadline to implement the flagship scheme of giving 30 kg rice at Re 1, the state government is exploring the possibilities of purchasing rice from other states through inviting national tenders.

"Some states have enough and more stocks or rice. One of the option is that Karnataka can procure rice by inviting country wide tenders," food and civil supplies minister Dinesh Gundu Rao told TOI on Sunday. Allaying fears that, the minister said, not only southern states, options of other states will also be explored in coming days. Sources in the CM's office said Union food minister K T Thomas has assured to release requisite quantity in installments.

Siddaramaiah's first announcement after taking over as chief minister May 13 was that the scheme would be implemented from June 1. The newly-elected Congress government, which returned to power on its own after nine years in the May 5 Karnataka assembly polls, had promised in its election manifesto 30 kg rice a month to the below poverty line (BPL) families at Re1 a kg. However, he was forced to put off the plan by a month as the Centre has not supplied the required quantity of rice.

The state needs 180,000 tonnes of PDS (public distribution scheme) rice more to fulfill the promise made by the Congress in its manifesto to give 30 kg rice to each family at Re1 per kg. "As the time was too short for the Centre to meet state's demand by June 1, time was extended yo July 1. Supply would be received this month and the scheme will be definitely implemented from starting next month," sources said.

Dinesh said a meeting has been convened by the chief minister on Monday to discuss the modalities on taking the scheme forward.
The scheme may face little hurdles till the Food Security Bill is passed in the parliament. Once the bill is approved, food grains including rice are expected to available in abundance. The Congress core group which met for over three-hours on Saturday to discuss various issues including Food Security Bill was said to have contemplating of calling a special session, bringing an ordinance or introducing the measure through an executive order or wait for the next monsoon session to implement its flagship scheme.

Party leaders have been maintaining that the government will have to take an early decision on food security as its a major exercise for the UPA that has to be completed before the next Lok Sabha polls. However, final decision is expected on the bill is expected to be taken on Monday.

    
Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com



Mizoram to produce 60 per cent of rice need

May 29, 2013

Mizoram was making efforts to produce 60 per cent of its rice requirement during the 12th Plan, state Agriculture Secretary Lalram Thanga said today.


Addressing Farmers' meet organised by Agriculture department here, Thanga said that Mizoram could produce only 20 per cent of its rice requirement during the eleventh plan period and efforts were now made to produce 1.06 metric tonne which would be 60 per cent of the requirement of the staple food of the Mizos.

Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla also said that fund allocation for covering 1.35 lakh families in the state under the flagship programme of the present government, New Land Use Policy (NLUP), was already in place.

Lal Thanhawla claimed that there has been 48 per cent reduction of jhum cultivation areas after implementation of the NLUP in the state since 2011.

He also said that fund for different departments were not diverted for NLUP as alleged by the opposition parties.

    
Source: timesofindia



Punjab rice millers to invest Rs 350 crore in the state

May 22, 2013

Punjab Rice Millers Exporters 'Association today firmed up a massive investment plan of Rs 350 crore for setting up ultra modern rice mills in the state to boost the export prospects of Basmati and give impetus to the much-needed agriculture diversification program.

Expressing gratitude to the chief minister for recently extending a slew of incentives to rice millers for the promotion of Basmati cultivation and boosting its export potential in the global market. The delegation assured the minister they would continue to help the state pursue its mission of crop diversification.

Reciprocating the goodwill gesture of the state government to ensure level playing field to the Basmati growers as well as millers and exporters, the delegation also promised to run two state-of-art ITIs at Ferozepur and Tarn Taran after upgrading them to train manpower required in the Rice mills.

The Chief Minister also called upon the Rice Millers to go for Power cogeneration from Biomass to make their units financially viable and self sustainable.

    
Source: business-standard.com



China expected to become world's largest importer of rice

May 15, 2013

China, the world's largest rice consumer, is expected to become the largest rice importer this year, according to a new report.

China's rice imports this year will surge to three million metric tonnes from 2.34 million tonnes a year ago, according United States Department of Agriculture report featured prominently in the Chinese media today.

Imports of rice have increased since 2012 as "consumption demand for rice in China has exceeded the supply", it said.

If the forecast holds true, it would represent a sharp increase as the country's rice imports hovered around 450,000 tonnes per year over the five-year period that ended in 2011, official data showed.

It would also make China outstrip Nigeria to become the world's largest rice importer, state-run China Daily reported.

Analysts said that China has no shortage of rice supplies and blamed the expected surge in imports on the price discrepancy between the domestic and global markets.

The discrepancy is a result of the government's minimum grain purchase price, which aims to shore up domestic grain prices after they declined in the global market due to weak demand and increased rice yields in recent years, the Daily report said.

The global rice output this year is expected to increase two per cent year-on-year to 479 million tonnes, making 2013 the eighth consecutive year of increased rice yields, according to the USDA.

Meanwhile, global rice stocks are expected to hit 107.8 million tonnes, the highest level since 2002, it added.

"The government should allow the purchase price to have some flexibility, so that it fluctuates according to the international market," said Ma Wenfeng, a senior analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Ltd, one of the industry's largest specialist consultancies.

Meanwhile, rising labour costs and other factors are supporting rice prices in the domestic market, placing upward pressure on imports.

Lured by the low global prices, "Chinese companies are very willing to import", Ma said.

During the first three months of the year, China's rice imports jumped by a staggering 192 per cent from a year ago to 690,000 tonnes, Chinese official trade data showed.

Because of the price discrepancy, imported rice will always be attractive to domestic companies, Ma said.

"The government should continue increasing its investment in the agricultural sector to drive down prices in the long run," he added. Imports of other agricultural commodities are also expected to increase.

Also China's soybean imports are expected to rise by 10 million tonnes from a year ago to 69 million tonnes, according to the USDA forecast.

China's grain output reached 589 million tonnes in 2012, the ninth consecutive year of increased harvests, according to the official data.

    
Source: timesofindia



Record global cereal harvest likely this year

May 13, 2013

Two key reports — one by the US agricultural department and the other from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) — have predicted record global output of cereals and oilseeds in the coming days, sending futures tumbling and raising hopes of snapping the trend of worryingly rising food prices.

It may be good news also for the world's hungry, estimated at 870 million by FAO, provided global mechanisms for getting the food for the needy are made.

The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report by the USDA predicts a record 701.1 million tonnes for 2013-14 (September to August cycle), up by 45.5 million tonnes over 2012-13. This is despite a 7% decline in US production due to continuing drought and an April freeze. The dip is more than compensated by increases in EU, central Asia, Argentina and Australia. The report predicts consumption of 694 million tonnes, higher than last year but lower than the 2011-12 record of 696 million tonnes.

In India, the third advance estimates from the government peg this year's wheat output at 93.6 million tonnees, just short of the 2012 record.

According to FAO data, wheat prices are $324 per tonne, up 16% from one year ago. However, its own prediction of a wheat harvest of 695 million tonnes for the calendar year 2013 has raised hopes that the prices might ease up.

This was indicated in wheat future prices dipping across all futures exchanges. At the Chicago exchange, wheat futures declined by 2.7% to $7.0425 a bushel. The price has dropped 9.5% this year, according to Bloomberg.

Rice production was also predicted by USDA to reach a record level of 479.3 million tonnes, up 9 million from 2012/13 on the back of record to near-record rice crops in India, Thailand and Vietnam. Rice consumption, too, will hit a record 476.8 million tonnes, up by 1% over last year. China is expected to emerge as the world's largest rice importer with an estimated 3 million tonnes purchased from international markets. India is expected to export 8.5 million tonnes rice. Rice prices are averaging $586 per tonne, about 3% higher than a year ago, according to FAO data.

Coarse grains, which include corn, millets, sorghum, barley, oats etc, are also predicted to hit a new global production high in 2013-14 as per USDA. Output is estimated at 1,407.6 million tonnes, up 113.8 million from 2012/13. Corn prices have been volatile in the past few weeks although FAO says that in April they had dropped to $282, just 3% higher than last year. Yesterday's predictions sent corn futures 1.9% down to close at $6.3625 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. The grain has declined 8.9% this year, as per Bloomberg.

The USDA report also predicts global oilseed production to increase 4.7% to a record 491.3 million tonnes in 2012/13, mainly due to increased soybean production. Brazil and Argentina are on course to increases in production which will compensate for a 0.6 million tonne decline in Chinese soya production.

    
Source: articles



India to be world’s top rice exporter for second straight year

May 08, 2013

India could export 8.3 million tons of rice this year, making it the world’s leading rice exporter for two years in a row, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said today.

India last year surpassed Thailand as the top exporter for the first time in three decades, shipping 10.3 million tons of milled rice compared with Thailand’s 7.0 million.

“We estimate that at he end of this year, India will remain the number one rice exporter, with Vietnam and Thailand slightly behind with 7.8 and 7.7 million tons, respectively,” said Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO’s regional representative for Asia.

The FAO’s Rice Market Monitor report projected Asia’s rice production in 2013 to rise 2.2 per cent, to 452 million tons of milled rice.

“This will be the third year of bumper harvests for rice in Asia,” Konuma said.

The FAO attributed the increased production to good weather and Government price supports for farmers in India and Thailand.

It estimated that India’s stockpile would reach 22 million tons by year-end 2013, down 7.6 per cent from 2012, while Thailand’s will reach 16.3 million tons, up 29 per cent from 2012.

Thailand, which offers farmers a fixed price of about $ 500 per ton of rice, was hoping its price support scheme would boost international rice prices while bolstering farmers incomes.

But the FAO said benchmark international rice prices had fallen 4 per cent in the first four months on 2013.

“The large stocks accumulated by the Thai Government through the paddy-pledging programme weighed on market sentiment,” the FAO said.

    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Total Rice Production Estimated at 104.22 million tonnes, Foodgrain Production Likely to be 255.36 million tonnes

May 07, 2013

The third advance estimates of production of major crops grown in the country have been released today. As per the estimates, the total foodgrain production is likely to be 255.36 million tonnes. The foodgrain production was earlier estimated at 250.14 MT (as per II advance estimates released in February.)

Production of rice is likely to be 104.22 million tonnes. Wheat production is likely to be 93.62 million tonnes.

The foodgrain production this year is the second highest production ever achieved despite low and erratic rains in many parts of the country during the monsoon season. In 2011-12, India had produced 259.32 MT foodgrains.

    
Source: business-standard.com



65,398 quintals of rice sold at special counters

May 06, 2013

Rice millers in the state had sold 65,398 quintals of superfine preferred varieties of rice like Sonamasuri, BPT etc to the consumers through 1,260 special counters, rythu bazaars, mill points etc.

The millers, on the directions of the state government sold the superfine varieties of rice at `30 per kg. Civil supplies commissioner Sunil Sharma had directed the joint collectors to ensure that adequate  number of centres are opened and rice supplied to consumers.

Joint collectors are supervising the sale being made by the rice millers to the consumers through the special counters. Sale of superfine rice at the special counters, mill points and others places had an impact in the open market, he said.

 

    
Source: newindianexpress.com



Iran imports 1.2 million tons of rice

Apr 17, 2013

The latest reports published by Iran's customs administration shows that Iran imported 1.289 million tons of rice worth over 1.3 billion dollars in the past Iranian calendar year, which ended March 20.

The figures show 14.96 percent decrease in terms of weight, and 4.21 percent increase in terms of value, the ISNA News Agency reported.

Importing rice accounted for 2.03 per cent of Iran's total imports.

India with 870,000 tons worth 943 million dollars was the main exporter of rice to Iran. India's share of exports accounted for 67.46 percent of Tehran's total rice imports.

The United Arab Emirates and Pakistan with 13.15 percent and 10.45 percent respectively were the other main exporters of rice to the country.

    
Source: blackseagrain.net



Rice exports from India set to soar

Mar 28, 2013

Rice exports from India, the world's second-largest producer, are poised to set a record for the second year with the harvest expected to rebound on normal monsoon rain, potentially widening a global surplus.

Shipments will climb 5% to 10.5 million metric tonnes in the year beginning April, according to the median of estimates from six exporters, a government official and an industry executive compiled by Bloomberg.

Output may jump to an all-time high of 110 million tonnes in the season beginning July, according to Vijay Setia, a former president of the All India Rice Exporters Association.

Surging exports from India may add to global food supplies as farmers from Vietnam to China are preparing to plant a record rice crop. Stockpiles in Thailand have surged to an all-time high as the government buys supplies from farmers, while exports from Myanmar and Cambodia have expanded. The glut may further curb world food costs which tumbled for five straight months through February.

"Prices may be depressed if Thailand starts putting a lot of supply in the market and India continues its exports," said Concepcion Calpe, the secretary of the United Nations' Food & Agriculture Organisation's inter-governmental rice group, who has tracked the market since 1998. "Vietnam has a lot of supplies and Myanmar is also trying to gain more markets."

Global Surplus

Global production of rice, the staple for half the world, will climb 1.2% to 472 million tons next year, while stockpiles in five largest shippers are estimated at 38 million tonnes, equals to one year of imports, according to International Grains Council data. World inventories are forecast at a record 171 million tonnes in 2012-2013 as supply beats consumption for an eighth season, according to the FAO.

The monsoon, which accounts for more than 70% of India's annual rainfall, will be normal for the third time in four years in 2013 and chances of a drought are only 4%, according to Jatin Singh, chief executive of Skymet Weather Services Pvt, who correctly predicted a drought in 2009. That may boost rice planting, according to Setia.

"There is no reason why we cannot boost exports next year when monsoon will be normal," Setia said. Shipments reached a record even after a drought cut output in 2012-2013, he said. Production may drop to 101.8 million tonnes in the year ending June from 105.3 million tonnes a year earlier, according to the farm ministry.

Shipments from India may fall if Thailand decides to offload its stockpiles, said R Sundaresan, executive director at the rice exporters association.

Thai Inventories

Stockpiles in Thailand jumped after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government started buying from farmers in 2011, fulfilling an election pledge to boost rural incomes. The country may run out of warehouse space as reserves jump 40% to a record 18.2 million tonnes, according to the United Nations.

Prices in Vietnam, an Asian benchmark, will drop 6.6% by December to US$377.50 a tonne, the lowest level since 2010, based on the median of 10 trader estimates published by Bloomberg on March 5. Rough-rice futures traded on the Chicago Board of Trade, which have declined 1.4% this year, traded 0.3% higher at $14.965 per 100 pounds on Tuesday.

"If prices fall, the African countries and the Near East markets will benefit and it could even be that there will be increased flow of Asian rice into Latin America," Calpe said.

Exports from Myanmar, formerly the largest shipper, gained to 600,000 tons in 2012-2013 from 388,000 tons a decade ago, according to the United States Department of Agriculture data. Cambodia’s overseas trade may total 975,000 tonnes this year from 10,000 tonnes in 2002-2003.

Food Bill

India is exporting rice mainly to Africa and Bangladesh at about $395 a tonne, while the premium basmati rice is sold at about $990 per ton to the Middle East, Iran and Europe, according to data from state-run Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. Basmati exports account for about 25% of total sales, the data showed.

India’s exports will depend on monsoon and domestic requirement to run a food security bill, said Samarendu Mohanty, a senior economist at the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute. Any decline in shipments from India will be met by increased sales from Thailand, which will nullify the impact on prices, he said.

India’s cabinet on March 19 approved changes to the food security bill that grants 67% of the population the right to buy grains at subsidized rates. The government will need 61.2 million tonnes of grains to implement the bill, which seeks to guarantee five kilogrammes (11 pounds) of grain a month per person.

    
Source: Bangkok Post



Rice Exports From India Seen at Record as Harvest Set to Rebound

Mar 26, 2013

Rice exports from India, the world’s second-largest grower, are poised to reach a record for a second year as the harvest may rebound on normal monsoon rain, potentially widening a global surplus.

Shipments will climb 5 percent to 10.5 million metric tons in the year beginning April, according to the median of estimates from six exporters, a government official and an industry executive compiled by Bloomberg. Output may jump to an all-time high of 110 million tons in the season beginning July, according to Vijay Setia, a former president of the All India Rice Exporters Association.

Surging exports from India may add to global food supplies as farmers from Vietnam to China are preparing to plant a record rice crop. Stockpiles in Thailand have surged to an all-time high as the government buys supplies from farmers, while exports from Myanmar and Cambodia have expanded. The glut may further curb world food costs which tumbled for five straight months through February.

“Prices may be depressed if Thailand starts putting a lot of supply in the market and India continues its exports,” said Concepcion Calpe, the secretary of the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization’s inter-governmental rice group, who has tracked the market since 1998. “Vietnam has a lot of supplies and Myanmar is also trying to gain more markets.”

Global Surplus

Global production of rice, the staple for half the world, will climb 1.2 percent to 472 million tons next year, while stockpiles in five largest shippers are estimated at 38 million tons, equals to one year of imports, according to International Grains Council data. World inventories are forecast at a record 171 million tons in 2012-2013 as supply beats consumption for an eighth season, according to the FAO.

The monsoon, which accounts for more than 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall, will be normal for the third time in four years in 2013 and chances of a drought are only 4 percent, according to Jatin Singh, chief executive of Skymet Weather Services Pvt., who correctly predicted a drought in 2009. That may boost rice planting, according to Setia.

“There is no reason why we cannot boost exports next year when monsoon will be normal,” Setia said. Shipments reached a record even after a drought cut output in 2012-2013, he said. Production may drop to 101.8 million tons in the year ending June from 105.3 million tons a year earlier, according to the farm ministry.
Shipments from India may fall if Thailand decides to offload its stockpiles, said R. Sundaresan, executive director at the rice exporters association.

Thai Inventories

Stockpiles in Thailand jumped after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra started buying from farmers in 2011, fulfilling an election pledge to boost rural incomes. The country may run out of warehouse space as reserves jump 40 percent to a record 18.2 million tons, according to the United Nations.

Prices in Vietnam, an Asian benchmark, will drop 6.6 percent by December to $377.50 a ton, the lowest level since 2010, based on the median of 10 trader estimates published by Bloomberg on March 5. Rough-rice futures traded on the Chicago Board of Trade, which have declined 1.4 percent this year, traded 0.3 percent higher at $14.965 per 100 pounds today.

“If prices fall, the African countries and the Near East markets will benefit and it could even be that there will be increased flow of Asian rice into Latin America,” Calpe said.
Exports from Myanmar, formerly the largest shipper, gained to 600,000 tons in 2012-2013 from 388,000 tons a decade ago, according to the United States Department of Agriculture data. Cambodia’s overseas trade may total 975,000 tons this year from 10,000 tons in 2002-2003.

Food Bill

India is exporting rice mainly to Africa and Bangladesh at about $395 a ton, while the premium basmati rice is sold at about $990 per ton to the Middle East, Iran and Europe, according to data from state-run Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. Basmati exports account for about 25 percent of total sales, the data showed.

India’s exports will depend on monsoon and domestic requirement to run a food security bill, said Samarendu Mohanty, a senior economist at the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute. Any decline in shipments from India will be met by increased sales from Thailand, which will nullify the impact on prices, he said.

India’s cabinet on March 19 approved changes to the food security bill that grants 67 percent of the population the right to buy grains at subsidized rates. The government will need 61.2 million tons of grains to implement the bill, which seeks to guarantee 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of grain a month per person.

    
Source: eximguru.com



Rice rules flat on lukewarm trading

Mar 26, 2013

With not much trading taking place in the market, prices of aromatic and non-basmati rice varieties remained unchanged on Monday.

Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company, told Business Line that the market is moving at snail’s pace. Trading has been lukewarm over the last 10 days. Not only the buyers but sellers are also not participating actively in the market at present, he added.

Being the last week of current financial year, it is unlikely to see much trading in the market and prices may continue to rule around current levels, said Amit Chandna.

In the physical market, after witnessing a fall last week, Pusa-1121 (steam) sold at Rs 7,600 a quintal while Pusa-1121 (sela) quoted at Rs 6,700-6,750.

Pure basmati (raw) quoted at Rs 8,500. Duplicate basmati (steam) traded at Rs 6,450.

Similarly, non-basmati varieties ruled flat. Sharbati (steam) quoted at Rs 4,940, while Sharbati (sela) was at Rs 4,800 .

PR-11 (sela) sold at Rs 3,200-3,220 while PR-11 (Raw) quoted at Rs 2,850-2,880 . Permal (raw) sold at Rs 2,400 while Permal (sela) went for Rs 2,320 a quintal.

For the brokens of Pusa-1121, Dubar quoted at Rs 3,300, Tibar sold at Rs 4,300 while Mongra was at Rs 2,600 .

Meanwhile, paddy arrivals have stopped completely at the Karnal Grain Market Terminal. There will be no more arrivals in the market as farmers are now busy with their wheat crop, said market sources.

    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Govt can save Rs 1,000 cr in subsidy by shifting rice area to east India

Mar 22, 2013

The government could save at least Rs 1,000 crore in subsidy if 1 million hectare of rice area is shifted from Punjab to eastern states, the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) said today.

It suggested focusing on cultivation of maize and soyabean in Punjab and pitched for stable trade policy for agricultural crops to ensure adequate farm income.

"At least Rs 1,000 crore subsidy can be saved if one million hectare of rice area in Punjab is shifted to eastern states which has plenty of water," CACP Chairman Ashok Gulati said on the sidelines of an event here.

It is estimated that Rs 12,000/hectare is given as subsidy to provide cheaper electricity and farm inputs to Punjab farmers, he said.

"This subsidy can be saved if the state seriously takes up crop diversification and start focusing on growing maize and soyabean," said Gulati of CACP, which advises the government on pricing policy for major farm produce.

Expressing concern about depleting groundwater level in the state, he said: "To grow one kg of rice, as much as 5400 litres of water is required in Punjab, whereas it is only 2700 litres in West Bengal. It is better to grow other crops."

He also suggested that the country's maize production can rise from the current 20-21 million tonnes level if the same subsidy is given to maize growers in the state.

CACP emphasised that the government is making serious efforts toward crop diversification in Punjab and Haryana. The budget allocation of Rs 500 crore for 2013-14 fiscal is the first steps towards right direction.

On maize crop, the CACP chairman expressed concern about lower yields at 2.5 tonnes per hectare as compared to the global average of 5 tonnes per hectare.

There is scope for enhancing yield levels through new technologies like genetically modified (GM) crops. However, its adoption in India is a debatable issue.

"Much of maize yields in developed countries have risen to 10 tonne per hectare only through GM crops. Is India ready to accept? This is an issue and needs to be debated," he said.

That apart, Gulati said, "Technological breakthrough is not going to do wonders unless there is demand driven market. Let the technology flourish through stable and steady trade policy."

India has seen revolution in cotton, maize and pusa basmati 1121 variety rice in the last 10 years. "The revolution in these crop would remain flat if trade policy is not stable and export is banned on maize, cotton or rice."

    
Source: economictimes



Rice exports jumps to 74.67 lakh tonnes during Apr-Dec 2012

Mar 14, 2013

Rice exports were at 74.67 lakh tonnes during April-December 2012 against 71.75 lakh tonnes in the full fiscal year of 2011-12, Parliament was informed today.

"As the export price of Indian rice was more competitive than the Thai rice, India has displaced Thailand from the position of top exporter of rice during 2011-12," Minister of State Commerce and Industry D Purandeswari said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

She said that export performance of both the countries in coming years would depend upon quantum of production of rice in India and Thailand as also the overall global supply scenario and other nuances of internal trade in agricultural commodities.

In 2010-11, the rice exports stood at 24.71 lakh tonnes from 21.56 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal.

In a separate reply, the minister said that the customs department has detected import of sub-standard cheap products from China.

In 2010-11, the customs department has detected only three cases in which value of goods involved are worth Rs 0.74 crore. In 2009-10, it had detected 49 cases in which value of goods involved are Rs 2.8 crore.

"The government acts in case goods imported from any source are found to violate these regulations and threaten human, animal or plant life or health," the minister said.

In specific cases where customs detect import of sub-standard and hazardous goods, they are empowered to seize the goods and initiate penal action.

"In the recent past, the government has taken steps to prevent/restrict import of toys, milk and milk products (including chocolates and candies/confectioneries/food preparation with milk) from China," she added.

    
Source: business-standard.com



Rice exports set to cross 10 million tonnes this fiscal

Mar 12, 2013

Rice exports are set to cross 10 million tonnes in the current financial year on robust demand from West Asia, Africa and South-East Asian countries. Last year, the total rice exports stood at 7.3 million tonnes.

“Till January-end, the total shipments stood at 8.2 mt. We will exceed 10 mt by March 31,” said R. Sundaresan, Executive Director, at the All India Rice Exporters Association.

Basmati shipments, which have gained momentum in the past two months on rising demand from Iran, would cross 3.5 mt over the last year’s 3.21 mt.

Till January-end, the exports stood at 2.8 mt. Iran is the largest buyer of Indian basmati rice and accounts for close to 30 per cent of the country’s shipments.

In value terms, the basmati exports may cross Rs 17,000 crore on better realisations. Last year, the basmati exports stood at Rs 15,450 crore. The average realisations are up by about 20 per cent at around $1,200 a tonne against last year’s $1,000 a tonne, Sundaresan said.

Besides, the depreciating currency, which has made the Indian rice competitive in the world market, has boosted the rupee-term realisations.

The non-basmati rice shipments are expected to register an increase of 58 per cent at around 6.5 mt against last year’s 4.09 mt. This is mainly on account of huge demand from African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana and also from Indonesia. The average realisations for non-basmati rice are around $400 a tonne.

“The overall growth in shipments is good, but the non-basmati rice continues to fetch a lower price than our competitors. There is a need to create awareness on our quality,” said Vijay Setia, Director at Chamanlal Setia Exports Ltd, Amritsar-based exporter.

The growth in rice export volumes is expected to help India retain the top slot as the world’s largest exporter. Last year, India had emerged as the world’s largest exporter displacing Thailand.

“The consistent production of over 100 mt of rice in the past four years has helped us boost our exports. About 80 per cent of our non-basmati shipments have been to Africa, where we compete heavily with the parboiled variety from Thailand,” said S. Venkatesh, Head of International Trade at LT Foods Ltd. India had lifted the four-year ban on exports of non-basmati rice in September 2011.

    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



India trumps Pakistan's Iran rice trade boom with oil rupees

Mar 08, 2013

Iran's oil export revenues are helping Indian rice exporters to claw back some of the lucrative business lost to cross-border truckers in Pakistan as a result of Western sanctions.

Rice exports direct to Iran have bounced back, thanks to shippers being paid up front in rupees from a huge pool of oil money owed to Iran by refiners.

"Now business is being done directly because Iran is allowed to open letters of credit in Indian rupees because the government has to pay money to Iran for the oil," said Suresh Manchanda, marketing director of a Delhi-based company which exports rice, wheat and sugar globally.

"For the importers back in Iran, Indian rupees are easily available to them via the government, so they can do business in a much easier way than doing business in any other currency," Manchanda told Reuters at the Gulf Food trade show in Dubai.

"For all practical purposes the money never leaves anywhere, the money is already in India."

India is Tehran's biggest rice supplier but shipments were held up in early 2012 after Iranian buyers defaulted on payments. Many suppliers then stopped sales on credit.

Tightened sanctions on shipping and bank transfers between Iran and India started a boom in Pakistani rice trucked across the remote border into Iran by groups based in Quetta, grains traders from Pakistan and India said at the world's biggest food show last week.

Problems getting paid by private Iranian buyers hit by a slide in the value of the rial also saw the rice flow from India being routed through Dubai, with wholesalers there taking on the payment risk in return for a mark-up.

Before Western sanctions aimed at stopping Tehran's disputed nuclear programme began to bite, official data show rice sales to the Islamic Republic were surging.

They more than doubled in the financial year of 2009-2010 and also rose in value by nearly 35 per cent to over $600 million from April 2011 to the end of March 2012, but this was a period when India's overall rice export earnings almost doubled in value globally.

Dubai's role in the India-Iran rice trade has withered since oil pool payments started.

From April 2011 to the end of March 2012, $821 million of rice was shipped to the United Arab Emirates, more than anywhere else. But in just nine months from April to December last year Iran imported over $725 million of rice, up 20 per cent on the previous 12 months, while exports to the UAE slumped to $287 million, official figures show.

There is effectively no limit to how much rice exports to Iran can be funded by the oil money pool, because even when oil imports from Iran fell more than 40 per cent from January 2012 to 2013, their value was still nearly $1 billion in one month.

"The new payment mechanism has been helping rice exporters. Competitors in Pakistan don't have any such facility," M P Jindal, president of the All India Rice Millers Association said.

    
Source: economictimes



Rice market to see good levels in coming days

Mar 04, 2013

Some buying support coupled with limited arrivals in the market kept rice and wheat prices in positive territory while a drop in demand at higher rate pulled poultry items down last week.

WHEAT

In the physical market, after ruling flat for almost 10 days, dara wheat and flour prices improved by Rs 10 and Rs 5 a quintal, respectively, on account of limited arrivals and good consumer demand. Dara wheat ruled firm at Rs 1,540-1,545 a quintal while flour was at Rs 1,750-1,760 a quintal.

On the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, there was too much volatility in the futures and spot market throughout the week. Wheat contracts from March to June ended on a negative note.

Similarly, spot market remained bearish and went down by Rs 5, last week.

Wheat futures may trade rangebound with upside getting capped. According to market experts, bulk buyers have reduced their purchases from government stocks under the OMSS. In the second half of this month, offtake may fall further as new crop is round the corner.

Rice

Restricted arrivals in the market coupled with steady domestic demand kept aromatic and non-basmati rice prices firm.

Rice millers are not showing much interest in selling at current levels and have started to hold onto their stocks. According to the experts, the market is already ruling around the highest levels of the season and it may witness some good levels in the coming days.

Poultry

Higher supplies in the market and decline in buying support at higher rates dragged poultry items down last week.

Egg prices decreased by 47 paise over the last one week and settled at Rs 3.30.

Broiler prices went down by Rs 27 to Rs 85 a kg while chick dropped by Rs 9 to Rs 24. Poultry items may witness some recovery in the coming days, said trade experts.

    
Source: thehindubusinessline.com



Rice production gets leg up in Assam

Mar 01, 2013

For witnessing steady increase in rice production, Union Finance minister, P Chidambaram has proposed to allocate Rs 1000 Crore for Green revolution in Eastern India states, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Chattisgarh. Assam has performed well.

Assam has performed particularly well.In 2010-11 the state produced 50.54 lakh MT of rice. In 2009-10 Assam has produced 44.08 lakh MT. The state is looking to touch 75 lakh MT by next year.

    
Source: economictimes



Green Revolution in South Goa's hinterlands

Feb 19, 2013

 

Green Revolution in South Goa's hinterlands

 

A silent revolution in the field of paddy cultivation is brewing in the hinterlands of South Goa. Take a ride or a drive down the hamlets of Netravali in Sanguem and swathes of green fields tilled by a new technique of rice cultivation-termed as System of Rice Intensification (SRI)- greet the visitor. A village which had been ravaged by mining is poised to take a modest leap into the innovative method of paddy cultivation-at least that's the promise the innovators hold.

The SRI is a new scientific technique in paddy production which aims at increasing the yield of rice produced in farming. The principle behind this technique includes applying a minimum quantity of water and the individual transplanting of very young seedlings in a square pattern.

 

Already, 150 farmers from the nine hamlets are reaping the benefits of the increased yield in paddy crop cultivated by means of SRI which was first introduced in South Goa in the Netravali village panchayat in 2010.

Sources informed that 50ha of agricultural land has already been brought under SRI method of cultivation in the pilot project undertaken by the department of agriculture at Netravali and efforts are on to motivate more farmers to adopt the new method which promises nearly twice the yield of that obtained from the traditional method.

NABARD has provided financial assistance for the project for which Mineral Foundation, an NGO, has been roped in to provide technical support for the farmers. Stakeholders of the project converged at Netravali on Wednesday to review the progress of the project so far, and they were apparently pleased with the results.

Farmers who shared their experience at the meet disclosed that their initiatives have paid multiple dividends. The average production had gone up from 3.5tonnes/ha (from traditional method) to 6-7tonnes/ha (from SRI method) thus registering an increase of 70 to 100%. What's significant is that the increase in output was achieved with considerably less inputs in terms of seedlings and manpower. While the traditional methods require 40kg of seedlings per hectare, the SRI method needs just 8-10kg of seedlings, a saving of nearly 70%. Farmers averred that they used less quantity of fertilizers and also deployed less manpower.

T Geetha, district development manager, NABARD, proffered a suggestion for the farmers using SRI to make their venture more remunerative - go in for the cultivation of at least one pulse crop after harvesting one paddy crop and before attempting the next one. "Pulses fetch more money," she reasoned.

For the managers of the pilot project, however, it was not an easy task to convince the farmers to tread on to the SRI path. "The response of the farmers ranged from being outright dismissive to being very receptive and proactive. Changing the mindset of the farmers to switch over to the new method continues to be a challenge. We are now focusing on taking the farmers to the fields and showing them the success stories. What's encouraging is that many youngsters have taken to the SRI paddy cultivation and they can turn out to be role models for other agro-entrepreneurs," Sachin Tendulkar, senior program manager, Mineral Foundation, told TOI.

Nelson Figueiredo, assistant director, department of agriculture, exuded confidence that SRI would prove to be the way ahead for the farmers of Goa. "We had to overcome many challenges in reaching out to the farmers and convincing them to adopt SRI. Building the trust of the farmers in the agricultural officers is of paramount importance. Farmers of Netravali who placed their trust in the agricultural officers of Sanguem are now reaping the benefits," Figueredo said.

 

Tendulkar was of the view that the agriculture department needed to strengthen its extension system (farmer education) for the SRI project to translate into success.

"Farmers are ready to adopt the technique provided they are exposed to the new method. A strong extension along with regular support to the farmer can help in promoting this technique. An area approach wherein few selected places are targeted on a regular basis will help in spreading this technique in more areas," Tendulkar stressed.

The efforts of the team of officers headed by Dattaprasad Desai, zonal agriculture officer (ZAO) of Sanguem, nevertheless, came in for a lot of appreciation at the meet for their important contribution to the area expansion under SRI in Netravali.

    
Source: timesofindia



Non-basmati rice drives agri exports up 97%

Jul 19, 2012

Exports of agricultural and processed food products nearly doubled in a year, thanks mainly to the freeing-up of non-basmati rice exports, but also reflecting the country’s potential as a destination for farm products.

Exports of these items rose 97% to R82,480 crore during 2011-12 from R41,794 crore in the previous year, show data from Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda). Key export drivers include basmati and non-basmati rice, guar gum, groundnut, meat and organic products. Gulf countries, US, UK, Germany, Vietnam and Indonesia were leading export destinations for Indian products.

“There has been a rise in demand for non-basmati rice from African and South Asian countries,” Apeda chairman Asit Tripathy told FE.

Non-basmati rice saw the sharpest rise after curbs were lifted on rice exports last September. In 2010-11, India exported only R222 crore of non-basmati rice, which rose to R8,668 crore in 2011-12. Exports of flagship agri-product basmati rice rose 46% to R15,450 crore last fiscal, thanks mainly to demand from Gulf countries, the EU and US.

Iran and Saudi Arabia account for more than half of India's basmati rice exports. This implies cumulative rice exports were Rs 23,118 crore, which is more than 28% of all exports. Shipments of guar gum shot up 481% to Rs 16,357 crore. Other export drivers include meat products, maize, groundnut,onion, fresh fruit and processed fruits and juices.

“The government's intention is to allow exports of agricultural commodities which are plentiful in the country,” Tripathy said.

The country exported processed food products worth Rs 40,242 crore in 2010-11. Apeda has identified 20-odd clusters located across the country for maintaining healthy growth in the country's food product exports during the current fiscal as well.

These clusters include basmati rice (Haryana & Punjab), buffalo meat (western Uttar Pradesh),

grape and grape wine (Nasik region, Maharashtra), pomegranate (Satara and Pune regions of Maharashtra), dehydrated onions and garlic (Gujarat), poultry or egg (Namakkal) and mango pulp (Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra).

Although India exports agricultural products to 80 countries, India's share in the global trade of agri-processed products is only about 2 %. Only 15 countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK, Bangladesh and South Africa account for more than 65% of the country's export of fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products.

    
Source: financialexpress.com



2013 rice imports may reach only 100,000T: Philippine’s official

Feb 10, 2012

The Philippines, one of the world's major rice buyers, may cut its rice imports to 100,000 tons next year as it aims to become self-sufficient in the grain by the end of 2013, a senior government official said on Wednesday. The Southeast Asian country, which plans to import 500,000 tons of rice this year, will limit next year's purchases to cover its buffer stock needs, Assistant Secretary Dante De Lima told reporters. Falling demand from the Philippines may weigh on export prices of Vietnam and Thailand, the world's biggest rice exporters. The Philippines usually buys about 75% of its annual rice import needs from No. 2 exporter Vietnam and small volumes from the biggest seller Thailand.     
Source: www.abs-cbnnews.com



Indian rice steaming ahead

Feb 10, 2012

India's rice exports will reach 4 million tonnes next month, putting even more pressure on Thailand to manage the government's paddy mortgage scheme and stockpiles. Raven SunDare an, executive director of the All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) in New Delhi, said when his country lifted the ban on shipments of non-basmati rice last Feburary, exporters were told they could ship a total of 2 million tonnes. But after exporters shipped 2.4 million tonnes, the Indian government approved another 2 million tonnes on top of the original amount, and the full quota of 4 million tonnes is expected to be met by March 31. The amount of rice shipped by India to the world market is far greater than the projection for Thai rice exporters.     
Source: www.bangkokpost.com



Thai rice exports plunge, India to sell more grain

Feb 07, 2012

Thai rice exports slumped by more than half in January from a year earlier, which traders blamed on a government intervention scheme, while India continued to sell more grain after its government eased export curbs. Thailand, the world's biggest rice exporter, sold just 350,000 tonnes of rice in January, down 52 percent from a year earlier, when it exported 730,000 tonnes, Commerce Ministry data show. "The sharp fall in January is clear evidence that our prices are uncompetitive, and exports will continue to fall," one trader said. Thailand's benchmark 100 percent B grade white rice was steady at $550 per tonne on Wednesday, propped up by the government's buying as demand remained thin.     
Source: www.brecorder.com



Centre to allow further exports of non-basmati rice

Feb 03, 2012

Union minister of state for food and civil supplies, KV Thomas, on Thursday said that the Centre will allow export of further quantities of non-basmati rice, in addition to the 2.2 million tonne that has so far been exported, to ensure minimum support price (MSP) for farmers in the open market. “We are even willing to consider the state government’s request for an additional Rs 120 per quintal as a bonus over and above the MSP to farmers. However, our request is that the state government should ensure that farmers get the MSP,” the minister said after a meeting with Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on issues of price, storage and public distribution system.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



Export enquiries raise hopes for non-basmati varieties

Feb 02, 2012

Aromatic and non-basmati rice were firm on Wednesday because of some buying. With the weather turning favourable, demand is picking up in the domestic market, said Mr Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company. Traders expect brokens and Permal to remain firm and Sharbati and aromatic varieties to increase in near future, he added. Indian exporters are getting good enquiries from Nigeria, South Africa and Bangladesh, and a panel of Ministers will meet on February 7 to consider allowing further exports of non-basmati rice. In the physical market, after rising earlier this week aromatic varieties were almost unchanged. Pusa-1121 (steam) quoted at Rs 4,000- 4,100 a quintal while Pusa-1121 (sela) sold at Rs 3,500. Duplicate basmati was at Rs 3,150-3,250 a quintal.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Rice procurement set to top 20 mt

Jan 20, 2012

The rice procurement drive of the Food Corporation of Indian (FCI) and state-owned agencies for the current year has seen an increase of more than 14% till now, notwithstanding the decline in rice purchase from farmers in Punjab. The expectation of a bumper rice production this kharif season has boosted the chance of achieving a record 35 million tonne procurement target in the current year. The latest FCI data indicates that the rice procurement during 2011-12 season is all set to cross 20 million tonne (mt) during next few days which is about 14.33% more than last year. The government lifted 16.68 mt of rice during the same period last year. The decline in procurement in Punjab has been compensated by increase in rice lifting in states, such as Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



Aromatic rice eases as traders offload stocks

Jan 17, 2012

Prices of a few aromatic rice varieties eased further by Rs 20-125 a quintal, while other aromatic and non-basmati varieties remained almost unchanged on Monday. After the recent price rise, huge stocks were offloaded by traders, despite a steady demand, and that led to lower prices, said Mr Amit Chandna, Proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company. The payment issue with Iran continues to be a big problem for aromatic rice exporters, said market sources. Bumper production, huge carryover stocks and uncertainty over the payments are pressurising prices in a big way, he said.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Rice exports likely to surge on bumper output

Jan 10, 2012

Rice exports from India, the world’s second-largest producer, may more than double this year on a record crop and as importers seek alternatives to expensive supplies from Thailand, a shippers’ group said. Shipments, including aromatic basmati rice, may total six million tonnes (mt) in the year ending March 31, compared with 2.2 mt a year earlier, said Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters’ Association. Traders have exported more than 1.8 mt of non-basmati rice since India ended a three-year ban in September, he said. Rising Indian exports may weigh on futures, which posted the first annual gain in three years in Chicago in 2011, and fill a shortfall in supplies from Thailand. Cheaper rice, staple for half the world’s population, may further cool global food prices, which dropped for a fifth month in November, according to the United Nations.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



Aromatic rice rallies; non-basmatis rule flat

Jan 03, 2012

With some buying emerging in the market, prices of aromatic rice rallied, while non-basmati varieties ruled flat on Monday. Prices of aromatic rice rose by Rs 70-150 a quintal. Mr Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company, told Business Line that due to moderate buying, aromatic rice varieties witnessed an uptrend over the last two days, whereas non-basmati varieties' prices were steady despite lacklustre trade. Aromatic varieties were ruling at the lowest levels of the season last week and bulk buyers have taken good advantage by buying at those levels, he added. Prices of Pusa-1121 (steam) increased by Rs 100 and quoted at between Rs 4,100 and Rs 4,200 a quintal while Pusa-1121 (sela) was at Rs 3,250-3,350 a quintal, Rs 150 up. Pure basmati (sela) went up by Rs 100 and sold at Rs 3,800-3,850 a quintal, while Basmati (Raw) increased by Rs 70 at Rs 4,170 a quintal.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



India should export non-basmati rice to give farmers a better deal

Dec 29, 2011

This is a report card of how lifting the embargo on export of Indian non-basmati rice from private inventories in September 2011 has rattled competing Asian origins. Policymakers dithered for over three years, and later, judicial intervention in the allocation procedure, perhaps, led to the presumption that ban on exports may not be lifted. Thailand and Vietnam that dominate 50% of international rice trade (32 million tonnes) complemented each other in hiking export prices to unsustainable levels. Had India been absent from the market, rice from these two countries along with Pakistan would have by now quoted prices of $800-1,000 per tonne (free-on-board) - a situation reminiscent of 2008 when African countries were forced to switch from expensive rice to maize and other cheaper substitutes.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Aromatic rice continues to fall

Dec 15, 2011

Prices of aromatic rice varieties continued to tumble on Wednesday while non-basmati varieties remained unchanged. Domestic demand remained sluggish. Ample stocks in a weak demand scenario led prices of aromatic rice down, said Mr Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company. Aromatic varieties may decrease further, he added. Pusa-1121(steam) eased further by Rs 50 and ruled between Rs 4,150-4,200 a quintal while Pusa-1121(sela) was at Rs 3,250 a quintal, Rs 120 down from previous level. Duplicate Basmati was at Rs 3,100-3,300 a quintal.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Government allows export of non-basmati rice to 3 African nations

Dec 14, 2011

The government has allowed the export of 10,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice to three African nations -- Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti -- through state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) at economical rates. "Export of 10,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice to Horn of Africa (Kenya, Somalia & Djibouti) from central pool stock of FCI at an economic cost has been permitted," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Kharif rice procurement crosses 12 million tonne

Dec 13, 2011

Anticipating a bumper paddy crop, the government’s kharif rice procurement drive has picked up pace in the last few weeks. The latest data from Food Corporation of India (FCI) say the government has lifted 12.46 million tonne (mt) of rice till date for the season against 12 mt of purchase reported during same period last year. Most of the purchase was from Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. Since October 1, when rice procurement started for 2011-12, FCI and state government-owned agencies have picked up 7.6 mt from Punjab, 1.9 mt from Haryana and 2.61 mt from Tamil Nadu.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



Good rice harvest means Philippines to import less

Dec 09, 2011

The Philippines, the world's largest rice importer, expects a good harvest in the next dry season and will import less in the coming year. Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said at least 551,155 tons (500,000 metric tons) will be imported next year. The government will allow private traders to import half of the total volume and farmers' groups the remainder from Cambodia, Myanmar or Vietnam. Alcala said Tuesday the Philippines is expecting a good harvest due to a "quick turnaround" in production after recovering from two devastating typhoons this year. The National Food Authority, which buys rice abroad to cover shortages, will not make purchases in 2012. The Philippines imported 947,987 tons (860,000 metric tons) for this year. That was a third of its rice imports in 2010.     
Source: www.cbsnews.com



India may cap rice exports on surge in shipments: Thomas

Dec 09, 2011

India, the world’s second-biggest rice producer, may consider banning exports of non-basmati grain after shipments reach 2 million tonne, food minister KV Thomas said. “Exports totaled 1.1 million tons as of November 28 after the government lifted a three-year ban on exports on September 9,” according to Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association. Sales may total 2 million tonne by January 31, he said. “We will examine the issue when exports reach 2 million tonne,” Thomas said in an interview in New Delhi on Thursday. “We may consider imposing a ban.” Reduced supplies from India may help a rebound in rice prices, which fell 12% last month in Chicago, and bolster global food costs that the United Nations predicts will stay at historically high levels this year. “India must allow exports of premium non-basmati rice without any price cap and refrain from imposing a blanket ban on shipments,” Setia said. Exporters from the South Asian nation were selling rice at rates as low as $350 a tonne, he said.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



Higher arrivals drag aromatic rice varieties

Dec 07, 2011

An increase in arrivals pulled full grain and broken aromatic rice prices down by Rs 25-100 a quintal while non-basmati rice prices managed to maintain previous levels on Monday. Arrival of new stocks at a time of sluggish domestic demand dragged aromatic rice prices, said Mr Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company. Domestic demand for rice falls during this time of the year. Full grain rice prices may continue to rule around current levels for the next few days while that of broken rice may decrease further, he added. Pusa-1121(steam) eased Rs 25 to Rs 4,300 a quintal while Pusa-1121(sela) ruled around Rs 3,440 a quintal, Rs 30 down from previous level. Among the brokens of Pusa-1121, Tibar decreased by Rs 100 and sold at Rs 3,100; Dubar was at Rs 2,850 while Mongra was trading at Rs 2,150 a quintal, Rs 50 down from previous level. Pure Basmati (raw) fell by Rs 50 and sold at Rs 4,500 a quintal while Basmati Sela sold around Rs 3,500 a quintal.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Paddy arrivals dry up as traders try to buy cheap

Nov 22, 2011

Paddy arrivals dropped drastically to just around 80,000 bags of different paddy varieties on Monday. Following lower prices offered by millers for the paddy of aromatic varieties, farmers were not interested in bringing their produce to the market while the arrivals of a few non-basmati varieties have dried up, said Mr Tara Chand Sharma, proprietor of Tara Chand and Sons. According to the reports, the Government is unlikely to pay any incentive over the Minimum Support Price for paddy farmers for current year procurement. In the rice market, trade continued to witness low buying. Prices of aromatic and non-basmati rice were unchanged.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Rice market looks for direction

Nov 21, 2011

The rice market saw a steady trend with prices of aromatic and non-basmati varieties unchanged on Friday. After dropping to their lowest levels of the season earlier this week, aromatic rice prices were ruling flat, said Mr Amit Kumar Chandna, Proprietor, Hanuman Rice Trading Company. Pure basmati (raw) sold at Rs 4,600 a quintal while basmati (sela) sold at Rs 3,500-3,550 a quintal. Pusa-1121 (steam) quoted at Rs 4,340-4,400 a quintal while Pusa-1121 (sela) ruled at Rs 3,450-3,500.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Ample stocks keep rice down

Nov 17, 2011

Prices of aromatic varieties continued to tumble on Wednesday, while non-basmati varieties were quoted with marginal variations. Mr Amit Kumar Chandna, Proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company, told Business Line that sluggish domestic demand, coupled with ample stocks, pulled prices down. Retail traders are placing orders according to demand as prices are falling continuously, he added. Pure basmati (raw) decreased by Rs 200 and was sold at Rs 4,600 a quintal while basmati (sela) was sold at Rs 3,500-3,550 a quintal.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Philippines sees rice output below target

Nov 16, 2011

The Philippines' rice output in 2011 is forecast to reach 16.68 million tonnes, below the record 17.3 million tonne target, due to crop damages in typhoon-hit regions, raising the prospect of higher imports next year than originally planned. Manila, the world's biggest rice buyer before this year's slashed purchases, was likely to announce towards the end of November its rice import plans for 2012, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has said. An ongoing review of the import plan would take into account the third-quarter output, post-typhoon standing crops, and validation of typhoon damage reports.     
Source: www.brecorder.com



Export offtake to keep non-basmati rice steady

Nov 15, 2011

Pure basmati rice and paddy prices dropped to the season's lowest on Monday. Prices of aromatic rice decreased by Rs 50 to Rs 500 a quintal, while non-basmati varieties remained unchanged. Pure basmati is going through its worst phase at present, said Mr Tara Chand Sharma, proprietor of Tara Chand and Sons. There is hardly any demand for aromatic varieties and prices may continue to fall, he said. On Monday, pure basmati (raw) decreased by Rs 500 at Rs 4,800, while basmati (sela) sold at Rs 3,500-3,550, Rs 150 down.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



More paddy with less money, water

Nov 15, 2011

Chandrashekhar Rao, a traditional paddy farmer is a happy man after adopting a new technology of cultivating paddy. Known as ‘drill sown paddy', the technique has helped him save at least Rs. 7,500 an acre. The technology has gained rapid acceptance among paddy farmers in north India, with more than 25,000 hectares of land under the new practice. It has now been introduced in Karnataka in the paddy growing areas of Koppal, Gulbarga and Raichur districts by scientists of the University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS), Raichur, and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra.     
Source: www.thehindu.com



Global rice production - rising against the odds

Nov 15, 2011

Despite adverse weather conditions in many of the worlds leading rice producing countries, global rice production is forecasted to reach 720.7 million tons - the highest level ever. The "Rice Market Monitor" report for November issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN has noted that both yield per hectare and total area under cultivation have witnessed significant improvements during CY11. Higher than expected production in Bangladesh, China and other Asian countries along with the return of India to the global rice scene are the main contributors to improved rice production. Meanwhile production in Pakistan, Indonesia and some other regions is expected to be stymied this year.     
Source: www.brecorder.com



114.91 lakh tonnes of paddy procured in Punjab this season

Nov 14, 2011

More than 114.91 lakh tonnes of paddy has been procured by government agencies and private millers in Punjab during the ongoing kharif season till last evening, as against 120.81 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period of the previous year. An official spokesman here today said that out of the total procurement of 114.91 lakh tonnes of paddy, government agencies have procured 110.93 lakh tonnes (96.5 per cent) and private traders have lifted 3,97,797 tonnes (3.5 per cent) of paddy till date.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



World paddy rice output to grow three percent

Nov 14, 2011

World paddy rice output is expected to grow 3 percent year-on-year to a record 721 million tonnes in 2011 thanks to increased planted areas and improved yields, the United Nation's food agency said on Friday trimming its previous estimate. "At the current forecast of 721 million tonnes (481 million tonnes, milled basis), world paddy production would be 3 percent larger than in 2010 and breach last year's record," the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in its regular rice market update. FAO said in its Food Outlook earlier this month global rice output was expected to rise 3.4 percent to 482.4 million tonnes (723 million tonnes of paddy).     
Source: www.brecorder.com



Asia’s rice bowls

Nov 11, 2011

IN ASIA kingdoms are said to rise and fall with the shifting price of rice. So the continent’s rulers presumably ought to be worried by the effects of disastrous floods in Thailand, the world’s biggest exporter of the white grains (see chart). Last year Thailand provided about a third by volume of all internationally traded rice—around 10m tonnes. Thailand’s government reckons that some 5m-6m tonnes (nearly a fifth of the country’s total production) might have been destroyed by the deluge. Some analysts say that the damage could be even more severe. Pessimists worry that Thailand’s exports could be cut by 3m-4m tonnes. With the world trade in rice expected to hit over 33m tonnes in 2011 this could take around 10% out of the market. If the same thing happened with oil or wheat the results would be calamitous.     
Source: www.economist.com



India, Indonesia negotiate rice trade deals

Nov 11, 2011

Indonesia, the world's third-biggest rice consumer, has asked India for supplies of the staple food grain after floods hit top rice exporter Thailand, potentially disrupting shipments. India, the world's second-biggest producer and consumer of rice, is willing to sell 500,000 tonnes from government stores as warehouses are overflowing after bumper harvests. But it has also sought a cut in Indonesia's export tax on crude palm oil, which threatens to hurt local refiners. India is the world's biggest vegetable oil importer.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



RI's govt mulling rice imports from India

Nov 09, 2011

The supervision is deliberation importing 500 thousand tons of rice from India following weeks of flooding in Thailand, the Trade Ministry central said. ”India has offering to sell 500 thousand tons of rice to us. We have been still deliberation the suggest, ” Director General of Foreign Trade during the Trade Ministry Deddy Saleh was quoted by News Kerala as saying.     
Source: www.antaranews.com



Rice procurement to start in 4 more states by month end

Nov 08, 2011

With Punjab and Haryana approaching the kharif 2011-12 target for the government’s rice procurement drive, Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state-owned agencies in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are set to start rice purchase operations by the end of this month. According to the latest food ministry data, rice procurement during the ongoing kharif marketing season (October-September) has crossed 9 million tonnes with the bulk of purchases in Punjab (6.9 million tonne), followed by Haryana (1.8 mt) and Tamil Nadu (1.7 mt) . The government expects a record procurement of 35.31 mt in the 2011-12 season.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



Govt to export rice via diplomatic channels

Nov 08, 2011

The Centre will export rice through diplomatic channels to Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Union Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, said on Monday. However, Indonesia, which had sought a similar arrangement, will have to buy the food grain for its needs from private traders, he told reporters on the sidelines of the World Cotton Research Conference here. India has already begun exporting three lakh tonnes of rice to Bangladesh on government-to-government account at Rs 20,000 a tonne from September.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Thai Rice Exports Seen Plunging 50% on Government Buying Program, Flooding

Nov 04, 2011

Rice shipments from Thailand, the largest exporter, will drop by half from November to January as a state-buying policy raises costs and flooding disrupts transport, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Exports may slump to 500,000 metric tons per month from an average of 1 million tons in the first nine months as the state purchases lift local prices and make Thai rice less competitive, Honorary President Chookiat Ophaswongse said yesterday. Thailand implemented the rice-buying policy at guaranteed prices last month to lift rural incomes even as the worst floods since 1942 wreak damage on farms. Lower Thai exports may benefit Vietnam and India, the second- and third-largest shippers.     
Source: www.bloomberg.com



FCI makes direct payment to paddy farmers in Punjab

Nov 04, 2011

Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state-level agencies have procured 11.95 million tonne paddy till Tuesday. For the first time in India's history, the central agency made an effort to make direct payment to paddy farmers in Punjab and Haryana bypassing commission agents before it was stalled midway. In the 2010-11 marketing season, the strong lobby of commission agents did not allow FCI pay farmers directly. However, FCI was able to make direct payments into paddy grower's bank accounts for a fortnight this year before a Union agriculture ministry directive withdrew the programme. This year, FCI made direct payments of over Rs 20 crore to farmers in Punjab and Rs 5 lakh in Haryana.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



UAE rice prices likely to rise 20% next year

Nov 04, 2011

Experts in consumer protection agree with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that expects food prices to rise next year due to climate changes, which could reduce production of cereals, especially rice. Another reason for the likely rise in rice prices is the ban on rice export by Egypt. Experts said measures such as long-term contracts with foodstuff exporting countries are needed to curb rising food prices in the Arab World. Raising awareness of consumers to reduce food consumption is also needed. They also felt that the gap between universities and co-operative societies needs to be bridged and universities should conduct research into local food security. Meanwhile, Farid Shamandi, Director-General of the Union Co-operative Society in Dubai, expects a 20 per cent rise in rice prices next year due to floods in Pakistan and Thailand, which are major rice producers.     
Source: www.emirates247.com



FCI makes direct payment to paddy farmers in Punjab

Nov 03, 2011

Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state-level agencies have procured 11.95 million tonne paddy till Tuesday. For the first time in India's history, the central agency made an effort to make direct payment to paddy farmers in Punjab and Haryana bypassing commission agents before it was stalled midway. In the 2010-11 marketing season, the strong lobby of commission agents did not allow FCI pay farmers directly. However, FCI was able to make direct payments into paddy grower's bank accounts for a fortnight this year before a Union agriculture ministry directive withdrew the programme. This year, FCI made direct payments of over Rs 20 crore to farmers in Punjab and Rs 5 lakh in Haryana.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Rice exports via Kakinada port gather momentum

Nov 03, 2011

Rice exports from Kakinada old port, languishing for the past few years without cargo, have gathered momentum and till the end of October, 3,91,485 tonnes of rice have been shipped to African and other countries, according to sources.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



India plans rice diplomacy with Indonesia

Nov 03, 2011

Rice seems to have emerged as a favourite diplomatic tool for India to build strong ties with its east- and south-Asian neighbours. The commodity is the staple diet for most people in countries like Indonesia, Thailand and also neighbouring country Bangladesh. Months after India okayed export of 300,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh at a standard price of Rs 20,000 per tonne on a diplomatic basis, the government has once again showed its keenness to export rice under the same channel, this time to Indonesia.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



Can't we go back to hand pounding of rice and wheat?

Nov 01, 2011

The Industrial Revolution was responsible for subtraction of nutrients from the food chain, leading millions to constipation and diseases. Cannot we have a mechanical system that simulates hand pounding of rice and wheat to ensure that nutrients are not leached out? If our mechanical engineers design a system small enough for a village to handle, a lot of value addition can be done at the gram panchayat or village level employing local youth.     
Source: www.thehindu.com



Paddy arrivals plummet

Nov 01, 2011

Paddy arrivals dropped drastically to around 1 lakh bags on Monday against the arrivals of around 1.5 lakh bags till last weekend. A major fall was seen in the arrivals of PR varieties as these varieties are now drying up. The fall in arrivals has helped a few paddy varieties get better prices. Paddy of pure basmati entered the market for the first time this season on Monday. It managed to fetch just Rs 1,660-1,870 a quintal.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Government may provide bonus to paddy growers instead of higher MSP

Oct 31, 2011

Paddy growers may soon have a reason to cheer. The Andhra Pradesh government has been pressing the Union government hard for an upward revision in the minimum support price and is hopeful of a bonus, a senior state government official from the agriculture department said. The bonus of Rs 120 that could be doled out may provide temporary relief by minimising losses of the growers. This bonus is in lieu of a higher minimum support price for rice that was expected from the Centre. However, the state is yet to receive an official communique from the Centre notifying the bonus.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Fears of Food Shortages Rise With Thai Floods

Oct 28, 2011

Southeast Asia’s battle with some of the worst floods in decades is far from over, with waters seeping deeper into the Thai capital of Bangkok. But the United Nations is already warning that parts of Southeast Asia affected by the floods are facing “serious food shortages,” a problem caused by destroyed crops and compounded by the difficulty in delivering food assistance.     
Source: blogs.wsj.com



Rice procurement up 7% at 34 mt

Oct 28, 2011

Procurement of rice by various Government agencies for the current kharif marketing season that began this month increased seven per cent. As on Thursday, the amount of rice procured stood at 34.18 million tonnes against 31.88 million tonnes in corresponding period a year ago.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Poor rice storage affects exports

Oct 28, 2011

The lack of proper facilities at the Kakinada anchorage port has affected the export of rice. By handling only 1 lakh metric tonnes of rice during the last month, when the port has to export 30 lakh metric tonnes in 3 months, the port has effectively disrupted the procurement of paddy as well. “The procurement of paddy will be difficult if godown space is not created and we have to export the rice to do so,” a senior civil supplies official said. The civil supplies commissioner, Mr Harpreet Singh, visited Kakinada recently to supervise the exports and cautioned the infrastructure department, which handles the anchorage port, against the delay having an adverse impact on the procurement of paddy, which ultimately lead to unrest among the farmers.     
Source: www.deccanchronicle.com



Govt may impose 70% import duty on rice

Oct 25, 2011

After a gap of almost two years, the government has decided to bring back imports of rice under the duty regime. The finance ministry has proposed to impose 70 per cent duty on the import of semi- and wholly-milled rice from November. The import of the commodity has been under the zero-duty regime since October 2009, when international prices were very high. The import duty had been lifted to facilitate imports, since the production of rice in India had remained muted in 2009-10 due to drought-like conditions and weak monsoon, officials said.     
Source: business-standard.com



Rice Prices Set to Keep Rising

Oct 25, 2011

Global rice prices may move up further in the next few months as flooding in Thailand continues to affect the crop and damage existing inventories. Importers are looking for alternative supply, but the perception gaining ground is that despite cheaper rice available from sources such as India and Pakistan, they won't be able to do without any supply from Thailand and Vietnam. The two control more than half of the rice moving in global trade, which amounts to around 32 million tons a year. Vietnamese prices have moved up in tandem with Thailand's, hitting three-year highs with more expected. The price for a ton of Thai 5% broken grade rice, currently about $600, free-on-board—up 20% since the start of the second quarter—is forecast to hit $700 to $800 by the end of the year.     
Source: online.wsj.com



Demand for Indian rice up on higher Thailand price

Oct 24, 2011

As rice prices rise and supply tightens in Thailand, the world's largest exporter, buyers are increasingly turning to India to meet their needs though infrastructure bottlenecks may slowdown shipments, trading executives said. Thailand controls close to a third of global rice exports but India has started eating into that share after resuming shipments last month after the government relaxed a more than three-year-old ban on exports of ordinary rice. Even traditional buyers of Southeast Asian grades of rice are now eyeing the Indian grain. In a recent tender, Iraq purchased 30,000 metric tons Indian 5% broken white rice at $573/ton, basis cost, insurance and freight, one of the first such sale of ordinary rice to the Middle East country in several years.     
Source: www.marketwatch.com



Punjab government demands Rs 500 bonus over the MSP on paddy

Oct 19, 2011

Punjab deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal demanded Rs 500 bonus over and above minimum support price of Rs 1110 on paddy as with increased price of diesel and fertilizers, the farmers cannot sustain in this profession. Mr Badal said that it was matter of great regret that Congress led UPA Government was giving freehand to multinational fertilizers companies to double the price of fertilizers within a span of three months on other hand it had raised the MSP of paddy by meager Rs 80 only.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



India, Pakistan top rice sources

Oct 19, 2011

The UAE's position as the world's biggest re-exporter of rice can be reinforced by an increase in imports from Southeast Asia whose rice exports to the UAE are quite low, according to industry reports. Figures from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade showed that in 2010 the biggest exporters of rice to the UAE were India ($908.4 million/Dh3.3 billion) and Pakistan ($354.8 million), comprising 67 per cent and 26 per cent of the total received from 33 countries. Rice imports from Vietnam amounted to just $1.8 million, while Cambodia had yet to begin sending rice to the UAE after ending a 30-year export hiatus caused by war, political isolation and a decimated agricultural sector. Vietnamese companies earned $3 billion by exporting around 6.7 million tonnes of rice last year.     
Source: gulfnews.com



Rice exports from India may rise on Thai supply cut

Oct 19, 2011

India, the world’s second-largest rice producer, may ship 2 million tonne before March as African buyers seek cheaper alternatives to supplies from flood- hit Thailand, according to KRBL, an exporter. “Today the cheapest rice is available in India, and that is why there is a lot of demand,” Anil Kumar Mittal, chairman of the New Delhi-based exporter, said in a phone interview. “Indian supplies of white rice are at least $135 a tonne cheaper than those from Thailand, the biggest exporter,” he said.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



FCI plans record rice procurement

Oct 17, 2011

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) aims to procure a record 35.30 million tonnes (mt) of rice in 2011-12 on expectations of a bumper crop. During the previous financial year (2010-11), it had procured 32.70 mt of rice. The procurement data include those by FCI, state agencies (which procure for central pool) and levy rice (procured by millers). A senior FCI official said the procurement target for 2011-12 had been kept on the higher side in view of high production estimates. The agriculture ministry is expecting a record 102 mt rice production in the 2011-12 crop year, against 95.32 mt last year. If the food ministry achieves the procurement target, this would help the government meet the requirement under the proposed National Food Security Act.     
Source: business-standard.com



Malaysia turns to South Asian rice

Oct 17, 2011

Malaysia will source rice cargoes from India and Pakistan to meet its import needs after floods swamped farms and mills in Thailand, the world's largest exporter of the grain, the Star newspaper reported on Friday. It quoted Deputy Agriculture Minister Johari Baharum as saying that while Malaysia has a stockpile of close to one million tonnes of rice that can last more than five months, it was awaiting a consignment from Bangkok where water levels were still rising.     
Source: www.brecorder.com



Support price for rice likely to be increased

Oct 17, 2011

India is likely to raise the price it pays to local farmers to buy rice in the new season which began this month, the food minister said on Thursday, a move that could help the government win political support but also stoke inflation. The world’s second-biggest rice producer is expected to harvest at least 87 million tonne of summer-sown rice, adding to existing stocks of 22.7 million tonne. The government procures grain for its various welfare programmes. “We have agreed to give a bonus to farmers for rice procurement. The government will take a decision soon,” K V Thomas told reporters.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



FCI plans record rice procurement

Oct 14, 2011

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) aims to procure a record 35.30 million tonnes (mt) of rice in 2011-12 on expectations of a bumper crop. During the previous financial year (2010-11), it had procured 32.70 mt of rice. The procurement data include those by FCI, state agencies (which procure for central pool) and levy rice (procured by millers). A senior FCI official said the procurement target for 2011-12 had been kept on the higher side in view of high production estimates. The agriculture ministry is expecting a record 102 mt rice production in the 2011-12 crop year, against 95.32 mt last year. If the food ministry achieves the procurement target, this would help the government meet the requirement under the proposed National Food Security Act.     
Source: business-standard.com



U.S. rice production forecast declines

Oct 14, 2011

U.S. rice production in 2011/2012 is forecast at 186.9 million cwt, down 4.0 million from last month and the smallest crop since 1998/1999. The decline is entirely due to a decrease in yield, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report . Average yield is estimated at 7,123 pounds per acre, down 150 pounds from last month. Harvested area is unchanged at 2.62 million acres. Long-grain production is forecast at 116.8 million cwt, 2.5 million below last month and the smallest crop since 1996/1997. Combined medium- and short-grain production is still a record forecast at 70.1 million cwt, down 1.5 million from last month.     
Source: westernfarmpress.com



Asian rice fund comes not a moment too soon

Oct 14, 2011

Storms and floods that have wreaked havoc on rice farming throughout Asia during the past month are a challenge to the region. Solutions are needed more than ever. Many crops and mills throughout the region were submerged in flood water from continuous storms in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Viet Nam, India, and Pakistan. The nations that suffered the most were those along the Mekong River, including Viet Nam and Thailand and southern China - the world biggest rice producers and exporters. Swollen rivers hampered the movement of barges, while ships in port were unable to load cargo because of heavy rains. This is bound to push up rice prices.     
Source: vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn



Rice procurement starts on a slow note as crop arrives late

Oct 13, 2011

Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state-level agencies have kicked off this year's rice procurement season on a slow note, with 1.4 million tonne picked up since October 1, which is 6% below the figure for the previous year's corresponding period. An food ministry official attributed the weakness to delayed kharif harvests, due to unseasonal rains and flooding in some rice-growing regions. FCI and state-level agencies buy rice at minimum support price (MSP) from farmers, which goes into buffer reserves and the targetted public distribution system. FCI also keeps grain stocks under the strategic reserves norm and for distribution to armed forces.     
Source: www.expressindia.com



SE Asia ‘can boost UAE’s rice re-exports’

Oct 13, 2011

The UAE’s position as the world’s biggest re-exporter of rice can be reinforced by an increase in imports of the grain from South East Asia, said the organisers of a major industry event taking place in Dubai next month. Dr Faisal Ali Mousa, chairman of event organiser Ideal Idea Events Management, believes Dubai Rice 2011 can help persuade Vietnam and Cambodia to make the UAE their regional hub for rice exports into the Mena region.     
Source: www.tradearabia.com



Rice Production Down 4.0 million from Last Month

Oct 13, 2011

U.S. rice production in 2011/12 is forecast at 186.9 million cwt, down 4.0 million from last month and the smallest crop since 1998/99. The decline is entirely due to a decrease in yield. Average yield is estimated at 7,123 pounds per acre, down 150 pounds from last month. Harvested area is unchanged at 2.62 million acres. Long-grain production is forecast at 116.8 million cwt, 2.5 million below last month and the smallest crop since 1996/97. Combined medium- and short-grain production is still a record forecast at 70.1 million cwt, down 1.5 million from last month. The import forecast is unchanged at 19.0 million cwt.     
Source: www.agweb.com



Global rice production may hit record in 2011: FAO

Oct 12, 2011

World rice production is expected to touch a record 480.5 million tonnes (mt) this year on the back of higher output in Asia, Egypt, Argentina, Mozambique, the US and Russian Federation, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. “The outlook for global rice production in 2011 has improved over the past two months and the latest FAO forecast has been raised by 1.6 mt to 480.5 mt (milled rice basis), three per cent up from 2010 and a new record,” FAO said.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



Bihar, UP, MP head for bumper kharif crop

Oct 12, 2011

IF THE weather remains conducive for another fortnight, a bumper kharif crop, after a well-distributed good monsoon, is getting ready for harvest. Rice crops in Bihar, UP , MP and Maharashtra are fine with enough water in the field. A senior official in the ministry of agriculture told Financial Chronicle that “kharif crop prospects this year is very good, barring one or two states where there has been flood in certain areas.“ Chief economist at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch in India Indranil Sengupta said he expects rural demand to hold up on a good kharif crop. “This should stand India well in coping with any potential global shock. Besides, agflation should also come off as the harvest hits markets in coming weeks. We also expect the winter rabi crop to do well as the Indus, which irrigates the wheat fields in the north is filled to the brim,” Sengupta told Financial Chronicle.     
Source: e.mydigitalfc.com



Mixed trend in rice market

Oct 11, 2011

The rice market witnessed a mixed trend on Monday; prices of PR and pure basmati varieties witnessed a decline while all other non basmati and aromatic varieties managed to maintain their previous levels. Slack buying pulled pure basmati and PR prices down, said Mr Tara Chand Sharma, a rice trader. Prices of non basmati varieties may decrease further in the coming days while aromatic varieties may maintain their current levels till the end of October, he added.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Rice procurement starts on a slow note as crop arrives late

Oct 11, 2011

Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state-level agencies have kicked off this year's rice procurement season on a slow note, with 1.4 million tonne picked up since October 1, which is 6% below the figure for the previous year's corresponding period. An food ministry official attributed the weakness to delayed kharif harvests, due to unseasonal rains and flooding in some rice-growing regions. FCI and state-level agencies buy rice at minimum support price (MSP) from farmers, which goes into buffer reserves and the targetted public distribution system. FCI also keeps grain stocks under the strategic reserves norm and for distribution to armed forces.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



IRRI begins trials on GM iron-rich rice that helps combat nutrition deficiency

Oct 10, 2011

Scientists have made a breakthrough in developing a rice variety rich in iron and zinc, brightening the prospect of combating nutrition deficiency among millions of people in poor countries across Asia. Iron and zinc are the most common mineral nutrients needed for a balanced human diet. It would take 10 years before the new rice variety could be released for human consumption, because of the need for evaluation in the field over several seasons, and the need for bioavailability studies to discover whether animals actually absorb the iron.     
Source: http://www.fnbnews.com



1.25 lakh bags of paddy arrive in Karnal

Oct 07, 2011

The paddy procurement season is in full swing with more-than 1.25 lakh bags of different varieties of paddy arriving in the Karnal Grain Market Terminal on Thursday. Around 82,000 tonnes of paddy varieties were received at the various grain markets in Karnal district till October 5. The rice market is range-bound in negative territory, said Mr Amit Chandna, proprietor of Hanuman Rice Trading Company. This situation was anticipated as bulk buyers are keeping away from the market expecting a drop in prices in the near future, he added.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



ASEAN+3 to sign deal for emergency rice reserves

Oct 07, 2011

The 10 ASEAN members plus the three nations of Japan, China and South Korea are set to sign the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserves (APTERR) agreement on Friday in Jakarta. The signing will be the main agenda of the 11th ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) Plus Three meeting. Vice President Boediono, who officiated the meeting on Friday, said he hoped that APTERR would serve as groundwork for future cooperation on food security between the ASEAN+3 nations. “Cooperation in the food sector has become one of the most vital agendas for countries in the region, because of the world’s recent condition,” he said. “We have all seen the gap between food production and consumption.”     
Source: www.thejakartapost.com



Punjab to export rice worth Rs.2500 crores: Kairon

Oct 05, 2011

Out of two Million tonne of non basmati rice being exported from the country, Punjab was all set to export one Million tonne to the tune of Rs.2500 crore during the Kharif marketing season - 2011-12. Addressing the media persons here today at Punjab Bhawan this afternoon, Food & Civil Supplies Minister Mr. Adesh Partap Singh Kairon said that the GoI lifted the ban on the export of non basmati rice in the month of September and now the export of rice had only been permitted from private trade and not from the central pool.     
Source: www.punjabnewsline.com



Rice output may cross target on rains and higher sowing

Oct 05, 2011

Rice output in India, the world’s second-largest grower, is likely to cross the record target of 102 million tonne in the crop year through June 2012, aided by higher planting and plentiful monsoon showers, driving overall grain supplies to a record, although pulses production may lag last year’s level, government and industry sources said Tuesday. The country expects to produce 87.10 million tonne of rice during the summer. It produced 95.3 million tonne of rice in 2010-11.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



TN hikes paddy procurement price for kharif

Oct 04, 2011

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday announced a hike in procurement price of paddy. T N Ramanathan, secretary, (co-operation, food and consumer protection department, said the government decided to grant an incentive of Rs 50 per quintal for common variety and Rs 70 per quintal for Grade 'A' variety paddy during the procurement / kharif marketing season 2011-12 that started from October 1, 2011, over and above the minimum support price fixed by the Centre. The procurement price per quintal would be Rs 1,100 for Grade 'A' or fine variety and Rs 1,050 for common variety during the kharif marketing season 2010-11 (Kuruvai 2010 season and Samba 2010-11 season).     
Source: www.business-standard.com



Indonesia, India may explore palm oil, rice pact

Oct 04, 2011

Indonesia and India discuss trade this week with rice and edible oils likely to be on the agenda as Jakarta faces cuts in supplies of the grain from Thailand and New Delhi considers retaliation for a hike in crude palm oil prices. India, the world’s biggest buyer of vegetable oils, is sending Trade Minister Anand Sharma to visit Jakarta, capital of the world’s biggest palm oil producer, on Tuesday, barely a month after Indonesia moved to boost its refined palm oil exports by reducing taxes on the product, and hiking tariffs on crude palm oil. India’s own refining industry said the step was a potential “death blow”. The visit comes only days after Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Pangestu said the country would seek alternative shipments of rice after the reported cancellation of a proposed sale of 300,000 tons of rice from Thailand.     
Source: www.thenews.com.pk



Banks queue to open shop in Dhaka, cater to non-Basmati traders

Sep 30, 2011

Indian banks are knocking the regulator's doors, seeking approval to open branches in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, as they sense an opportunity to cater to the business community involved in the trade of non-Basmati rice. Earlier this month, the government had lifted a four-year ban on the shipment of wheat and non-Basmati rice to provide a way out of the space crunch in warehouses. The government had said it would review the decision, and that it may put a few curbs, once shipments of both the grains cross two million tonnes each.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



FCI told to set paddy procurement centres

Sep 29, 2011

To save the farmers from distress paddy sale, Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Hassan Mir today asked the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to setup adequate paddy procurement centres in Jammu province. The Minister was chairing a high level meeting convened this afternoon to take the stock of Paddy procurement in three districts of Jammu. The Meeting was attended by Secretary CA&PD, Director Agriculture, Jammu, Special Secretary CA&PD, Deputy Manager FCI and other officers. Regarding, the setting up of procurement centers, the Meeting decided that the Government would take the matter with the Union Minister for food and Supplies for giving approval to FCI to procure the Paddy through agent system as is in vogue in Punjab.     
Source: www.greaterkashmir.com



Indonesia to import rice from Pakistan, India

Sep 29, 2011

The Indonesian government sought to import rice from Vietnam, Pakistan and India after a halt of the negotiation with Thai government on rice import plan after it increased the commodity prices, Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa said here on Wednesday. Indonesia has signed deals with Vietnam and Thailand, which both are committed to sale one million ton of rice to Indonesia annually, after the new Thai government failed to fulfill its commitment, which was made with the previous government, as its plan to favor its farmers increased the prices for exports, according to the minister.     
Source: pakobserver.net



Paddy arrival in Punjab estimated at 130 lakh tonne: FCI

Sep 27, 2011

With crop procurement season getting underway from October 1, Centre’s procurement agency Food Corporation of India (FCI) expects 130 lakh tonne of paddy to be available in Punjab for lifting, almost the same level of last season. "We think paddy arrival in Punjab will not be more than 130 lakh tonne in coming Kharif marketing season, a senior official of FCI said here. FCI's estimates come in the wake of reduction in overall acreage and growth in area under basmati especially PUSA 1121 variety crops. "The total area under paddy this season is estimated to be lower than last year and cultivation under basmati varieties has also grown," he said. Punjab this year brought 27.50 lakh hectares under paddy crop, down by 81,000 hectares achieved during last season.     
Source: ibnlive.in.com



Cheaper Indian rice to harm local exports:Pakistan

Sep 26, 2011

Pakistani rice specially the non-basmati has started facing stiff competition in the international market after devaluation of Indian currency causing reduction in price of its rice. The Indian non-basmati rice is now being sold at a lower price by 4 to 5 percent as compared to the products exported by Pakistan, Thailand and others in the international market, sources in the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) told profit on Saturday. As the devaluation of Indian currency has affected the price of export items like rice in the international markets, the foreign buyers were now more interested to place orders for the cheaper rice from India; they said adding “it’s a competition to not only Pakistan but also Thailand, the biggest exporter of rice”. Thailand’s rice export to African countries has also reportedly declined after the entrance of Indian rice.     
Source: www.pakistantoday.com.pk



Govt nod to non-basmati rice export by PSUs to Maldives

Sep 26, 2011

The government today allowed export of non-basmati rice to Maldives by public sector undertakings (PSUs) under food aid programme and bilateral trade agreement. "Export of non-basmati rice under food aid programme is permitted freely by PSUs or by government organisations," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. The export of non-basmati rice under bilateral trade agreement between India and Maldives will be permitted, it added.     
Source: news.in.msn.com



India rice court case withdrawn, exports seen unchanged

Sep 22, 2011

A court case seeking to stop the exports of one million tonnes of rice from India has been withdrawn, the chief of the trade body which filed the petition said on Wednesday, but this may not lead to the consignment being shipped. As a result exports of common rice from India will remain for now at 2 million tonnes announced by the food minister this month. In July, the government allowed 82 firms to export one million tonnes of rice, but the All India Rice Exporters Association went to a court to block the shipment terming the award of contracts to these companies faulty.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Rice to Drop as Indian Exports Intensify Export Competition

Sep 22, 2011

Rice, which has beaten corn and soybeans in the past year, may drop as India restarts non- basmati exports after lifting a ban, buyers including Indonesia purchase less than expected and global harvests gain to a record. The Indian shipments will have a bearish impact and futures may average $16 per 100 pounds in Chicago in the fourth quarter, according to Abah Ofon, an analyst at Standard Chartered Plc. That compares with $16.988 so far this quarter. Prices may fall as India’s shipments cut Thailand’s market share in Africa, said Mohammad Ismet, a senior adviser to Indonesian food agency Bulog.     
Source: www.businessweek.com



Rice May Slump, Easing Global Food Inflation

Sep 21, 2011

Rice, which has beaten corn, wheat and soybeans in the past year, may drop as India restarts non- basmati exports after a ban was lifted, boosting global supplies as buyers including Indonesia take less than expected. The Indian shipments will have a bearish impact and futures may average $16 per 100 pounds in Chicago in the fourth quarter, according to Abah Ofon, an analyst at Standard Chartered Plc. That compares with $16.987 so far this quarter. Prices may fall as India’s shipments cut Thailand’s market share in Africa, said Mohammad Ismet, a senior adviser to Indonesian food agency Bulog.     
Source: www.bloomberg.com



Govt to monitor non-basmati rice exports each fortnight

Sep 19, 2011

The government will monitor exports of wheat and non-basmati rice every fortnight in order to keep a tab on the quantity being exported, considering the sensitivity of these food items. Last week, the government had allowed exports of wheat and non-basmati rice under Open General License (OGL). Although, the notification issued by the Commerce Ministry did not mention about any quantitative restrictions, Food Minister K V Thomas had said that exports of these two commodities would be stopped once shipments reaches 20 lakh tonnes.     
Source: www.moneycontrol.com



Rice shipment returned to India from LA after beetle larvae found in inspection

Sep 19, 2011

A 20-foot shipping container of rice has been returned to India after customs authorities in Los Angeles found evidence of a destructive beetle in the shipment. Customs officials said Friday that dead larvae were found on the outer seam of a bag of rice in an inspection earlier this month. Testing came back from the federal laboratories on September 7 that confirmed the dead larvae were Kharpa beetles. The Kharpa beetle is a very destructive pest that eats stored grain, dried plants and dog food.     
Source: www.washingtonpost.com



Rice production in 2011-12 kharif season likely to be 87.10 mt

Sep 16, 2011

Rice production in 2011-12 kharif season is likely to be 87.10mt compared to 80.65mt last year, the first advance crop production estimates for the country say, holding out promise of ample foodgrains and lower food inflation, Total food grain output has been pegged at 123.88 mt compare dto 120.20mt in the fourth advance estimates for last year, which is higher by 3.68mt. However, the pulses import bill may not buck significantly. Output has been pegged at only 6.43mt compared to 7.12mt last summer. Pulses output has been on an upswing yearly for the last two years showing good progress under the RKVY and triggering expectations of sustained hikes in domestic production, briging down costly annual imports.     
Source: articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com



India's rice exports to ease food inflation fears

Sep 15, 2011

Indian rice exports will hit global markets with a bang, regaining not just market share lost in three years of absence but also challenging the world's top rice exporter Thailand, whose plan to lift prices threatens to stoke food inflation. India, which has also allowed wheat exports for the first time since 2007, will add to the global oversupply of wheat, pressuring the benchmark US market, although high domestic prices will cap exports. Last week, India allowed unrestricted exports of two million tonnes each of wheat and common rice, as the country's stocks reach unmanageable levels, forcing the authorities to allow overseas sales.     
Source: www.tradearabia.com



India rice exports kick off at $470/T-sources

Sep 13, 2011

A leading Indian trading firm has sold 100,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice to Nigerian buyers at $470 per tonne, undercutting Thai and Vietnamese competitors in the first deals since the food minister gave a nod to 2 million tonnes of exports. The company also sealed deals to export 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh at $280 per tonne free on board (fob), said one of the trade sources who was directly involved with the deal but could not be identified due to company policy.     
Source: af.reuters.com



Asia Grain Outlook: India's Exports May Weigh On Rice Prices

Sep 13, 2011

Asian rice prices may come under pressure this week due to India's decision to allow exports of at least 2.0 million metric tons of ordinary rice over the next several months. India's rice exports can offset part of the reduction in exports from Thailand, where from next month the government will start procuring rice that will likely languish in stockpiles, said an exporter in Singapore. "India is highly competitive in exports of parboiled rice," so it will capture a significant portion of the market from Thailand given the former's wider-than-$150/ton discount to the latter, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, the former president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.     
Source: online.wsj.com



India resumes rice export through Benapole

Sep 13, 2011

Rice export from India through Benapole land port has resumed after nearly three and a half year's hiatus. Following the withdrawal of ban on Sunday, some 770 tonnes have been shipped in until Monday, officials said. The ban over rice export-import was imposed on Mar 27, 2008 by the Indian commerce ministry. Customs officials said that trucks carrying at least a thousand tonnes of rice were still waiting at the Petrapole land port on the other side of the border.     
Source: bdnews24.com



Govt will continue rice imports for price stability: Indonesia

Sep 08, 2011

State logistics agency Bulog says it will continue importing rice until the end of the year to maintain supplies during the dry season — a move meant to ease the pressure on rice prices. Bulog president director Sutarto Alimoeso said on Wednesday that the agency would receive 200,000 tons of rice from Vietnam in September and that 300,000 tons of rice would be ready for delivery from Thailand in October. “Rice imports will continue until this December,” he told reporters after a food security meeting at the Office of Coordinating Economic Minister. Bulog was “assessing” less expensive rice imports from Pakistan and India to minimize dependence on Vietnam and Thailand, he said. “We have got to seek the best quality for the best price.” Indonesia planned to import 800,000 tons of rice this year, including 500,000 tons from Vietnam and 300,000 tons from Thailand, to maintain a 1.5-million ton stock for market operations to stabilize prices, Sutarto said, adding that rice supplies would be enough for the next four to five months.     
Source: www.thejakartapost.com



Govt aims to procure 35.3-mt rice in 2011-12 marketing year

Sep 06, 2011

The Government aims to procure a record 35.31 million tonnes of rice in 2011-12 on the back of an expected bumper paddy crop, a top Food Ministry official said today. “Food Corporation of India (FCI) has procured more than 33 mt of rice so far in 2010-11 marketing year (October-September). Our procurement target is 35.31 mt for the next marketing year,” the Food Secretary, Mr B.C. Gupta, told PTI. The previous rice procurement record of 34.1 mt was achieved in 2008-09, he said, adding that the procurement target for 2011-12 was kept on the higher side after taking into account higher production estimates.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Thomas clarifies Centre's stand on allowing export of non-basmati rice

Sep 06, 2011

K V Thomas, minister of state for consumer affairs, food & public distribution, informed in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha that as per the current export policy, export of non-basmati rice, wheat, pulses and edible oils are prohibited. However, exemptions are given from time-to-time for export of these items with the approval of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) / Cabinet Committee on Prices (CCP). He further informed that in the July meeting of the EGOM, a decision was taken to allow export of 10 lakh MT of non-basmati rice from the privately held stocks and accordingly a notification was issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to allow these exports.     
Source: www.fnbnews.com



Asia Grain Outlook: Rice Prices May Hold Steady In September

Aug 29, 2011

Asian rice prices are likely to hold steady next month due to concerns over export availability despite bumper harvests in most producing countries, trading executives said Friday. Prices may ease slightly only if India starts exports of non-Basmati rice, currently on hold due to litigation in a New Delhi court, they said. "There is not a shortfall in production, but supply is still tight because many growers and millers are holding back stocks," said a trader in Ho Chi Minh City.     
Source: online.wsj.com



Pakistan - Rice exports likely to miss $2.5bn target

Aug 26, 2011

Pakistan’s rice exports are likely to remain below the target of $2.5 billion as rains in lower Sindh have damaged the crop worth billions of rupees, an agriculture expert said on Thursday. Rains hit Badin, Thatta, Golarchi, Tando Bago, Matli, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Tando Ghulam Ali, Mirpurkhas, Mithi, Hyderabad and some parts of Matiari districts. Some areas received more than 300 mm rainfall, which damaged the irrigation and transport infrastructure, as well. The rain-affected areas grow paddy on 900,000 acres, of which around 100,000 acres in West of Thatta were saved, while other crops were damage. The cost of one acre of paddy is nearly Rs60,000.     
Source: www.thenews.com.pk



Heat, Asians Stir Rice Market

Aug 23, 2011

Rice prices aren't out of steam, even after surging 30% this summer. Starting in July, futures have soared. They recently approached three-year highs, as excessive heat threatened the crop in the southern U.S., fueling concern that the autumn harvest would fall short of expectations. A further push came from Thailand and India, major exporters of the grain, where government policies increasingly favor keeping rice at home, rather than exporting it to the global market.     
Source: online.barrons.com



Rice demand to go up by 10,000 MT – Ghana

Aug 23, 2011

The country’s rice imports will increase to 330,000 metric tonnes in the 2011/2012 market year, up from an estimated 320,000 metric tonnes for the 2010/11 market year, the latest report says. “This is due to increases in demand for rice and the shortfall in domestic production,” said USDA Foreign Agricultural Service report. This volume of exports will bring the total rice imports bill to some US$300million -- although it could be higher if global prices breach current stable levels.     
Source: business.myjoyonline.com



Export of Non-Basmati Rice

Aug 19, 2011

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) has allowed the export of 10 lakh tons of non-basmati rice, subject to a Minimum Export Price(MEP) of USD 400 per Ton, in its meeting held on 11th July, 2011. It was also decided that the export of non-basmati rice would be done by private parties from privately held stocks on purely commercial basis.     
Source: www.indiainfoline.com



Rice Prices To Be Steady On Tight Supply

Aug 18, 2011

Asia's rice prices will likely hold steady for the next few weeks due to tight supply and concerns over a Thailand government scheme that may boost prices. Thai and Vietnam 5% broken rice prices are hovering around $550 a metric ton, free on board. Many growers and millers are already holding back grain in anticipation of the government scheme, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, managing director of major Thai exporter Huay Chuan Rice Co. He said the government plans to implement the scheme in November, at the time of the next harvest. Under the program, the government will purchase rice from growers at THB15,000/ton, compared with THB10,000/ton now.     
Source: online.wsj.com



Asian rice production pushes world output to record high

Aug 17, 2011

Asia's rice production is expected to reach 649.8 million tons this year, helping to push the world output to a new peak, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Wednesday. Global rice output is forecast to hit 718.3 million tons, 'exceeding by 18 million tons the world record set in 2010,' the FAO said in its latest update on the food situation in Asia.     
Source: www.monstersandcritics.com



Asia Inflation May Rise With Thai Rice Price

Aug 17, 2011

Yingluck Shinawatra became Thailand’s first female prime minister by pledging to lift rural incomes through higher rice prices. The rest of Asia may now have to pay for her campaign promise. Yingluck has said the government will buy unmilled grain from farmers at 15,000 baht ($502) a ton at harvest in November, above current market rates of 9,900 baht. With Thailand the world’s biggest exporter, that may raise rice prices across a region that accounts for 87 percent of global consumption. The leader presented her economic policies to Cabinet yesterday and is scheduled to announce them publicly by Aug. 24.     
Source: www.bloomberg.com



541 ton of rice, wheat damaged till July this year: Thomas

Aug 17, 2011

A total of 541 tonnes of foodgrain was reported as damaged across the country till July this year, Parliament was informed today. Out of this, 359.07 tonnes was rice and the rest 182.26 tonnes wheat, Food and Consumer Affairs minister K V Thomas said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. Giving region-wise break-up of the damage up to July 1, 2011, the minister said that West Bengal accounted for maximum (355 tonnes) quantity of rice damaged.     
Source: news.in.msn.com



More non-basmati rice exports may get nod

Aug 16, 2011

More export of non-basmati rice may be allowed to prevent a storage crisis when summer crops start flooding the market by October. The food ministry, whose recommendation is crucial to grain exports, is in favour of more non-basmati rice shipments, as the country is expecting a record harvest of grain for a second straight year, an official source said. The commerce and the agriculture ministries, too, have expressed their willingness for more non-basmati rice exports than the 1.15 million tonne already approved, he added.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



North Korea seeking rice deal with Myanmar

Aug 12, 2011

North Korean trade officials visited Myanmar this week to discuss a possible deal to import Burmese rice to ease major food shortages at home, a government official said on Wednesday. A meeting was held on Tuesday in the country's biggest city, Yangon, but the terms of the agreement and how North Korea planned to pay for the rice were not known, the official told Reuters, requesting anonymity. A North Korea-flagged cargo ship named Tumangang has been docked in the port city since Monday. Witnesses and a Reuters photographer said the vessel appeared empty and no cargo was seen being loaded or unloaded.     
Source: af.reuters.com



Government may consider more exports of non-basmati rice: Khullar

Aug 12, 2011

The government may consider allowing more exports of non-basmati rice, a top commerce ministry official said today. Last month, the government had allowed exports of one million tonnes of non-basmati rice, lifting over three-year old ban. But later, the Delhi High Court stayed the process of allocation of export quota to 82 exporters as some traders went to the court alleging faulty terms and conditions imposed by the Commerce Ministry for undertaking shipments. The Court has fixed the next date of hearing on September 7.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Delhi HC extends stay on non-basmati rice export

Aug 11, 2011

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday extended the stay on export of non-basmati rice after several firms appealed in the court to be made party to the suit, challenging the licences to 82 exporters by the government,alleging lack of transparency in quota allocation process. A Bench of Justice S K Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdhar while extending the stay on the export today, allowed the plea of other rice firms, including All India Grain Exporters Association, to raise their objections by making them party to the Kannu Aditya Ltd suit and listed the matter for further hearing on September 7.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



Andhra Pradesh CM requests centre to permit export of rice

Aug 11, 2011

The Chief Minister Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy today requested the Government of India to consider whether there is any possibility to permit export of rice by adopting any other procedure like Open General License (OGL) or any method adopted in earlier period without any violation of the stay order in force as the present procedure has been stayed by the High Court of Delhi. In a letter to Union Minister for Commerce, Mr Anand Sharma, the Chief Minister said unless the rice on hand is disposed of by the rice millers through exports and create godown space, it would have an adverse effect on the purchases of paddy from the farmers at remunerative prices.     
Source: www.orissadiary.com



India's rice yield nearly half of world's average

Aug 10, 2011

Despite being the second largest producer and consumer of rice in the world, India's yield of the staple crop is only nearly half of the world's average productivity, Parliament was informed Tuesday. Yield of rice in India was 2.17 tonnes per hectare as compared to the world average yield of 4.21 tonnes/hectare in 2008, Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. The minister attributed this to factors such as soil condition, low area coverage under irrigation, low expansion of hybrid rice and improved varieties and non-judicious use of fertilizers/nutrients.     
Source: zeenews.india.com



Rice production may surpass last year level: Pawar

Aug 09, 2011

Rice production in India is likely to be higher in the 2011-12 crop year as compared to 95.32 million tonne in the last year, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today. "We will be able to produce more rice than last year," Pawar told reporters here. Unlike last year, the minister said rice producing states of the country -- Bihar, Chattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh -- have received good rainfall and this will boost paddy yields. Area under paddy cultivation increased by 6% to 26.03 million hectares up till August 5 this year as against 24.47 million hectares in the year-ago period. Kharif Paddy is sown during June-July and harvested by September-October.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



World rice crop, trade expected to hit new records

Aug 04, 2011

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reduced its April forecast of global paddy production in 2011 by 1.5 million tonnes to 718.3 million tonnes (478.9 million tonnes, milled). Still, world production will be 2.5 per cent over last year’s outcome, striking a new high. Thailand is expected to especially benefit from increased exports, with world market price recovery mainly reacting to the growing likelihood of a reintroduced rice pledging programme at higher prices in Thailand, which could cut the country’s availabilities for export.     
Source: www.mcot.net



Indonesia: More Pakistani rice and Indian rice needed

Aug 02, 2011

Indonesia is seeking to purchase more Pakistani rice and Indian rice so far. The head of Indonesia, Bulog claimed risks are easy to occur in gain production, especially in rice production. Though Thailand and Vietnam are big rice exporters, some other countries like Pakistan, India, Vietnam and Cambodia also have surplus rice for export. If Indonesia takes great effort to cooperate with these countries in rice purchase, rice risks may disappear.     
Source: www.21food.com



DGFT decides to put exports of non-basmati rice on hold

Aug 01, 2011

The government continues to flip-flop on the issue of exports of one million tonne of non-basmati rice recently approved by the Empowered Group of Ministers after a three-year ban on its exports. Within a few weeks of allowing exports of non-basmati rice by private traders at a low minimum export price (MEP) of $400 a tonne, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has decided to put exports of non-basmati rice on hold.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



Govt assures HC of following its order on rice export

Jul 29, 2011

The Centre today assured the Delhi High Court that its direction, restraining allocation of quota for non-basmati rice for export, would be complied with strictly in accordance with the order. The assurance to this effect was given by the Ministry of Commerce to a bench of justices S K Kaul and Rajiv Shakdhar when a private rice company alleged that the July 26 order to stop allocation of export quota was not complied with by the government. When the issue was mentioned before the court, Additional Solicitor General A S Chandioke informed the bench that the export quota was allocated because the order had not been communicated to the department concerned.     
Source: news.in.msn.com



82 firms to export 10 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice

Jul 28, 2011

State-owned trading firm STC is among the 82 exporters that have been allowed to export 10 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice at a fixed export price of USD 400 per tonne, the commerce ministry today said. "The document submission to DGFT for export of 10 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice would commence on Thursday and will close on August 18," Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said. A maximum of 12,500 tonnes were allowed to be exported by an individual.     
Source: www.moneycontrol.com



Thomas asks Pranab to hike rice MEP to $500/tonne

Jul 28, 2011

Food Minister K V Thomas has requested Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to consider hiking the minimum export price (MEP) for non-basmati rice by at least $100 a tonne from the current $400 a tonne. After an over three-year ban, the government recently allowed the export of one million tonnes of non-basmati rice on private account at a low MEP of $400 a tonne. "I have brought this issue (MEP of non-basmati rice) to the notice of the Finance Minister as well as the Cabinet Secretary. I have informed them that the MEP cannot be lower than the procurement cost," Thomas told reporters here.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



Bangladesh to import 50,000T of rice

Jul 28, 2011

Bangladesh's state grains buyer issued a tender on Wednesday to import 50,000 tonnes of non-basmati parboiled rice to replenish reserves, a food official said.The last date of submission of offers is Aug. 8, with validity up to Aug. 16 and the rice is to be shipped in 40 days after signing the deal.In its previous tenders for 50,000 tonnes each of rice and wheat that opened on July 21, Bangladesh received the lowest offers at $429.71 and $309.11 a tonne respectively, including CIF liner out.     
Source: www.brecorder.com



Non-basmati rice up as govt allows export

Jul 25, 2011

Buoyed by government''s decision to allow export, non-basmati rice prices rose up to Rs 50 per quintal in the wholesale grains market today. Jowar yellow and white also showed some strength on pick-up in demand. Traders said stockists buying, triggered by government''s decision to allow export of one million tonnes of non-basmati rice by private trade, supported the rise in its prices. In the national capital, non-basmati rice permal raw, wand and IR-8 were up by Rs 50 each to Rs 1,850-1,900, Rs 2,000-2,100 and Rs 1,750-1,800, respectively, while Sela gained Rs 25 to Rs 2,125-2,175 per quintal. Jowar yellow and whites moved up by Rs 20 and Rs 25 to Rs 940-1,010 and Rs 1,750-1,875, respectively, and maize edged up by Rs 20 to Rs 1,160-1,170 per quintal.     
Source: news.in.msn.com



Enough time for rice exporters to register with DGFT: Govt

Jul 22, 2011

A day after rice exporters alleged that insufficient time for registration for shipments and low export price would favour a few, the government today said that it has given adequate time and traders are free to sell the commodity at higher prices as agreed with buyers. "There is at least one clear day as gap between the issue of notification (allowing 10 lakh tonned of non-basmati rice and sending e-mail (applying for exports)," an official release said. Notification was issued on July 19 and emails were to be sent on July 21 and July 22, it added. Traders yesterday had alleged that the first-come-first- serve basis registration for export of non-basmati rice will remain open only for two working days and it would favour a few.     
Source: news.in.msn.com



Rice exporters flay $400 floor, say it may lead to diversion from PDS

Jul 22, 2011

The government's decision to allow exports of non-basmati rice at a minimum export price of $400 per tonne would lead to diversion of rice from the public distribution system (PDS), rice exporter have said. “The MEP of $400 is unreasonable and is anti-farmer... Such a low MEP will lead to diversion of PDS rice for exports,” Vijay Setia, president, All India Rice Exporters Association told FE. “Export of 10 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice has been permitted on private account... This export will be subject to an MEP of $400 per tonnes,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification issued on Tuesday.     
Source: www.financialexpress.com



Govt allows export of non-basmati rice at USD 400 per tonne

Jul 21, 2011

The government has allowed export of one million tonnes of non-basmati rice through private trade and fixed the export price at USD 400 per tonne. The Empowered Group of Ministers on food, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had on July 11 decided to lift the over three-year old ban on non-basmati rice. The ban was imposed in April 2008 to check inflation. "Export of 10 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice has been permitted on private account...This export will be subject to an MEP (minimum export price) of USD 400 per tonnes," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification issued late yesterday.     
Source: www.moneycontrol.com



Indian exporters eyeing 30% rise in overseas aromatic rice shipments to 3-million tonnes

Jul 19, 2011

Indian exporters are looking for more than 30% surge in the international aromatic rice exports to 3-million tonnes in the present fiscal year, said Mr Vijay Setia, President of All-India Rice Exporters Association. Last year, India has exported 2.2-million tonnes of basmati rice, out of which more than 80% was exported to Gulf countries, consisting of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and Yemen. Exporters are of the opinion that Iraq imports 1.5-million tonnes of the premium variety of rice.     
Source: news.indiamart.com



Imported Rice to Arrive in September – October : Indonesia

Jul 19, 2011

The Trade Ministry has estimated that imported rice will arrive this September – October, confirming that imports will be lower than last year’s 1.8 million tons. “We still hope for a good supply in the second and third plantation season,” domestic trade director-general Gunaryo said in Bogor yesterday. He said the imported rice would be used to support the State Logistics Agency’s (Bulog) supply. “We want the government to have enough reserves when needed,” he added. Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said imported rice was needed to secure Bulog’s supply of two million tons. The supply is currently 1.6 million tons.     
Source: www.tempointeractive.com



Rice exporters now look at Kakinada as key sourcing belt

Jul 18, 2011

Rice traders are looking at the Kakinada belt of Andhra Pradesh as the main sourcing point to ship out non-basmati grain, following the Empowered Group of Ministers' (EGoM) decision to allow up to 10 lakh tonnes (lt) of export. According to trade sources, double-polished parboiled rice with five per cent broken content is available within 100 km of Kakinada port today at about Rs 17,000 a tonne. Adding various expenses of around Rs 3,500 — towards packing, transportation, clearing and forwarding, bank and insurance charges, port labour, etc — would take the total cost to Rs 20,500 or $461 a tonne.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Bangladesh keen to import rice from India

Jul 14, 2011

Bangladesh is keen to import rice from India after it recently lifted the longstanding ban on the export of the commodity, officials said here. The ban on export of rice was imposed by India in April 2008 during the 2008 global economic meltdown. The Indian government decided to allow export of up to one million tonnes of non-basmati rice to countries including Bangladesh, the Daily Star reported. On February 12, 2008, Bangladesh and India agreed that the latter would export three lakh tonnes of rice and two lakh tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh to help it cope with the cyclone Sidr ravage.     
Source: news.in.msn.com



Chattisgarh registers 50% growth of rice production

Jul 14, 2011

Chhattisgarh’s rice production has registered a whopping 50 per cent growth in the kharif season 2010-11 as compared to the output recorded during the corresponding period in 2009-10. The state, which is also known as ‘rice bowl of India’, had produced 6.15 million tonnes (MT) of rice in kharif season 2010-11. During the corresponding period in the kharif 2009-10, 4.11 MT of rice was produced in the state. “Based on the outstanding performance in the rice (paddy) production, Chhattisgarh had been selected for the ‘Best Performing State' award in rice production during 2010-11 in the category of individual crop,” deputy director (agriculture) R K Chandravanshi told Business Standard. The state government had given presentation for the award last month.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



Indonesia considering rice imports from Pakistan,India

Jul 14, 2011

Indonesia is considering importing rice from India and Pakistan , as well as from traditional suppliers Thailand and Vietnam via government-to-government deals, Trade Minister Mari Pangestu said on Wednesday. "We are exploring all possibilities. India is one of our source alternative, and also Pakistan," Mari told reporters. Mari also said Indonesia would import rice to maintain state procurement agency Bulog's stockpile at 1.5 million to 2.0 million tonnes, but has yet to issue the permit.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Dhaka keen as Delhi lifts ban

Jul 13, 2011

Bangladesh is working out modalities of importing rice from India as it lifted its longstanding ban on export of rice on Monday, officials in Dhaka said. Withdrawing the ban imposed in April 2008, the Indian government decided to allow export of up to one million tonnes of non-basmati rice to countries including Bangladesh. On February 12, 2008, Bangladesh and India agreed that the latter would export three lakh tonnes of rice and two lakh tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh to help it cope with the cyclone Sidr ravage.     
Source: www.thedailystar.net



Technology of making biscuits and bread from black rice transferred

Jul 06, 2011

Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) today transferred technology of making biscuits and bread from black rice, the variety which is widely consumed in China and is also known for its health benefits. Dr P.R Bhatnagar, Project Coordinator (APA), today transferred the technology to V.Gowthaman of Chennai. The technology was standardized on his request. With growing consciousness regarding health foods, entrepreneurs are looking for the opportunities by introducing products in the niche segment. The biscuits and bread developed from the black rice would be rich in anti-oxidants , fibre and anti-aging properties.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Indonesia Bulog gets green-light to import more rice –officials

Jul 06, 2011

Indonesia's Bulog will be allowed to import more rice this year and is awaiting an import permit from the trade ministry, a senior official at the state procurement agency said. "It was a government decision to allow Bulog to import rice," said the official who declined to named. "But until now, we have not gotten an import permit from the trade ministry. "We still need to have an import permit from the trade ministry to realise the government decision." Bulog is analysing whether to import rice from Vietnam, Sutarto Alimoeso, Bulog CEO told Reuters in a text message response to the green-light given for more imports.     
Source: www.forexyard.com



Haryana targets increased paddy this year

Jun 30, 2011

With paddy sowing in full swing and good rainfall in recent days, Haryana is targeting paddy plantation in over 12 lakh hectares of agricultural land with production target of 3,250 kg per hectare, an official said here Wednesday. "Paddy plantation in Haryana has touched the three lakh hectare-mark and the target set for the current year is likely to be achieved soon. Farmers have been advised to complete plantation of paddy before July 15 so as to avoid the spread of Badra disease," a spokesman of the agriculture department said. Even though the target area under paddy plantation is 12 lakh hectares against the target of 12.45 lakh hectares in 2010, production target has been enhanced to 3,250 kg per hectare against last year's target of 2,789 kg per hectare, he said.     
Source: mangalorean.com



Thai Polls Outcome May Spike Rice Price

Jun 29, 2011

The price of rice in the region benchmarked against Thailand's may spike if the country's opposition party, Pheu Thai, which favours higher rate for the grains wins the Sunday poll. Yingluck Shinawatra, who is leading the favoured party and expected to be named as the first woman Prime Minister in Thailand, plans to restore a policy introduced by her elder brother, former Thailand Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, to buy unmilled rice at 15,000 baht (RM1,500) per metric tonne, twice higher than the current price.     
Source: www.bernama.com



Agri ministry for 3-5 mt rice exports

Jun 17, 2011

The ministry of agriculture has recommended allowing export of three-five million tonnes (mt) of rice, following a bumper crop this year. This is based on the recommendation of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) in its report on minimum support price (MSP) for kharif crops. “The buffer stock of foodgrain is around 65 mt as against a desired level of 30-35 mt,” official sources said. The country banned shipments of wheat in early 2007 and non-basmati rice in April 2008 to bolster domestic supplies. The central pool collected a total foodgrain stock (wheat and rice) of 65.6 mt in June this year, almost triple the quantity collected five years ago, according to the Food Corporation of India (FCI).     
Source: www.business-standard.com



Rains so far good, will help produce 102mn tonnes of rice: Basu

Jun 14, 2011

Buoyed by initial progress of the monsoon, the government expects to achieve a record rice production of 102 million tonnes in the 2011-12 crop year, a top official of the Agriculture Ministry said today. "This year, the starting of monsoon rains has been good. If this kind of rains continues, I am confident that the country's rice production will touch 102 million tonnes," Agriculture Secretary PK Basu said. The progress of southwest monsoon and its spread across the country is "perfect" till date, he said, adding that he hoped that the area under paddy and other Kharif crops will be better than last year.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



EU flags up defects in Indian rice export system

Jun 10, 2011

Flaws in administrative arrangements and the lack of legal basis for controls mean there is no guarantee that Indian basmati rice exports comply fully with European Union aflatoxin limits, said a report from Brussels. The Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) announced its findings after a carrying out a nine-day visit to India to assess aflatoxin control measures on exports. The European Commission safety watchdog also found positives in India’s oversight systems - including a raft of administrative procedures, as well as mandatory sampling and analysis measures that met European standards.     
Source: www.foodproductiondaily.com



Rice output in kharif season to cross 90 mn tonne: Rawat

Jun 08, 2011

The rice crop in the ensuing kharif season (2011-12) is expected to surpass 90 million tonnes, Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat today said. "The crops prospects are very bright, already we have had a record rabi crop and wheat has touched 84 million tonnes," Rawat told reporters here. Speaking on the on the sidelines of the mayor's conference on the meat and poultry sector, Rawat said "monsoon this time is normal so far. Already Kerala and the southern parts of the country are witnessing good rain and we hope the northern areas will have sufficient rain, too".     
Source: www.business-standard.com



Govt likely to reduce minimum export price of non-basmati rice

Jun 08, 2011

The commerce ministry may reduce the minimum export price (MEP) of non-basmati rice after exports failed to pick up, said a ministry official who declined to be named. The government had allowed limited exports of non-basmati rice after a bumper crop in 2010-11. India had banned exports of rice, except the costlier basmati variety, to beef up supplies in the domestic market and cool down soaring prices in April 2008.     
Source: www.livemint.com



Indian Rice Growers Fear Glut, Want Government To Lift Export Ban

Jun 07, 2011

Fearing rising rice stockpiles in the country, Indian rice growers worry it would create a glut and urged the government to lift a two-year old ban on exports to protect cash-strapped farmers. Existing stockpiles plus the prediction of good monsoon rain this season could spur better yields and may only dampen the domestic rice market, with excess stocks pushing down prices, say experts. The 2008 global "food crisis" spooked by rising rice prices, forced India to ban exports of non-basmati rice, fearing it would destabilise food security in the country, where over a billion people rely on rice as a staple diet.     
Source: www.bernama.com



Rice export prices go down, exporters lose contracts

May 26, 2011

Myanmar plans to export 500,000 tons of low quality rice this year. Thailand, Pakistan and India are pushing up the sale of inventory rice. All those factors have put a hard pressure on Vietnam’s rice export prices. MRIA, the rice association, has informed that the government of Myanmar has removed the ban on rice export. This means that from May, the world market would have 500,000 tons of rice supply from Myanmar, which have the prices more competitive than any other exporters. Forecasts say that low income countries in Africa, Iraq and the Philippines would seek rice sources from Myanmar instead of buying rice from Vietnam, Thailand or Pakistan like they did in the first months of the year.     
Source: english.vietnamnet.vn



Decision soon on hike in paddy MSP

May 24, 2011

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is likely to take a decision soon on raising the support price of kharif crops such as paddy for the 2011-12 crop year, the Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, has said. “Everything (proposal) is ready. I think, next Cabinet (meeting) will be able to take a final view on support price,” Mr Pawar told reporters on the sidelines of an ICAR-CII industry meet here today.According to official sources, the Agriculture Ministry has proposed a Rs 160 hike in the MSP of paddy (common variety) to Rs 1,160 a quintal for the 2011-12 crop year (July-June) against Rs 1,000 a quintal in 2010-11.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



AP govt seeks export of 2.5 million tons of non-basmati rice

May 19, 2011

The Andhra Pradesh government has requested the Union Food Ministry to allow export of 2.5 million tonnes of non-basmati rice from the state. The export of non-basmati rice has been banned since April, 2008 in the wake of high food inflation. "I request you to kindly consider permitting export of 1.5 lakh tonnes of boiled rice and 1 million tonnes of non-basmati raw rice from Andhra Pradesh to other countries through normal trade channels," State Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said in a letter written to Union Food Minister K V Thomas. The export of boiled rice, which is not consumed in the state, should be permitted to clear off the space occupied with levy rice in millers'' godowns and encourage them to buy paddy briskly for further milling, he said.     
Source: news.in.msn.com



Thai scientists try to develop super-rice strains

May 18, 2011

For Thai rice researchers, there's nothing like a natural disaster to test a new variety. In October, when widespread flooding left 640,000 hectares of agricultural land under water for weeks in central Thailand, farmers who had planted Hom Cholasit rice emerged Noah-like from the disaster, their crops intact.     
Source: www.chinapost.com.tw



Philippine's NFA says rights for 660,000T rice imports fully awarded

May 18, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' National Food Authority (NFA) has awarded import rights for the entire volume of 660,000 tons of rice allocated to the private sector this year, an agency official said on Wednesday. The state grain procurement agency has awarded import rights to a total of 66 traders after three state auctions between March and May. The tariff-free rice shipments are expected to come from top exporters Thailand and Vietnam.     
Source: www.abs-cbnnews.com



Govt likely to hike paddy MSP by Rs. 160 to Rs. 1,160/qtl

May 12, 2011

The government is likely to increase the support price for paddy soon by Rs. 160 to Rs. 1,160 per quintal for the 2011-12 crop year as it wants to encourage farmers to produce more to meet higher demand under the proposed National Food Security Act.According to official sources, the Agriculture Ministry has proposed a Rs. 160 hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy (common variety) to Rs. 1,160/quintal for the 2011-12 crop year (July-June), against Rs. 1,000 a quintal in 2010-11.The proposal to increase the MSP of rabi crops is likely to be placed before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) next week, sources said.     
Source: www.livemint.com



Andhra Pradesh govt allows export of rice for two months

May 05, 2011

Andhra Pradesh today decided to permit export of raw rice from the state for a limited period of two months with periodic monitoring of price.The government also decided to permit export of boiled rice without any conditions, in a step aimed at ensuring minimum support price to farmers on their Rabi produce. The decisions were taken at a high-level review meeting chaired by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy here today.     
Source: www.dnaindia.com



‘Abundant’ Thai Rice Supply to Keep Cap on Global Prices, UN Agency Says

May 04, 2011

Increased rice supplies from Thailand, the biggest shipper, may help to boost global stockpiles and cap prices, the Food and Agriculture Organization said, mitigating record food costs that have pushed millions more into poverty. “There is enough production in the world to keep prices down,” Concepcion Calpe, a senior economist at the United Nations’ agency, said in an e-mail interview. Thai supplies may be “abundant” this year, with rising output helping to boost reserves, Calpe wrote, without giving precise forecasts.     
Source: www.bloomberg.com



Farmer's association meet Chief Minister on export of paddy

May 03, 2011

A delegation of Federation of Independent Farmers Association, an umbrella organsiation of politically non-affiliated farmers' bodies under the aegis of Lok Satta Party president Jayaprakash Narayan, today met Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy at his camp office and urged him to take necessary steps for procurement of paddy from the farmers and export it to other countries where there was good demand for Indian foodgrains.     
Source: www.newkerala.com



Morocco seeks rice, wheat supply from India

Apr 29, 2011

Aiming to enhance bilateral trade with India, the Morocco Foreign Trade Minister, Mr Abdellatif Maazouz today sought supply of rice and wheat from India, which is sitting on huge stocks of the foodgrains.India has banned exports of wheat and non—basmati rice.However, the country has shipped small quantity of wheat and rice via diplomatic route.“Our trade with India is not at same level. We want to push them because we believe we have lot of synergy between our economies,” said Mr Maazouz after meeting the Food Minister, Mr K V Thomas here.     
Source: www.thehindubusinessline.com



Selected varieties of non-basmati rice may be exported

Apr 20, 2011

Almost 10,000 tonnes of selected varieties of non-basmati rice may finally be exported after lying in ports for around two months. An empowered group of ministers on food (EGoM) had allowed export of up to 1.5 lakh tonnes of selected, premium non-basmati rice as far back as February 9, lifting a restriction that lasted almost two years. Though the EGoM cleared exports, no clear specifications on the variety of rice were communicated to the various arms of the government, which held up exports.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



NFA opens 187,000 tons of rice import – Philippines

Apr 18, 2011

The National Food Authority said it is opening the importation of 187,000 tons of rice under the so-called “minimum access volume.”imports will be subject to a 40-percent tariff, the state agency said in a newspaper advertisement Friday.Traders and farmer cooperatives may submit their letters of intent starting April 18. The maximum volume for each importer is 20,000 tons, the agency said.“This is on top of the 860,000 metric tons rice we are trying to secure for the lean months. All interested takers are required to just submit a letter of intent and a few requirements. No need to bid the volume out,” NFA administrator Angelito Banayo said in an interview Firday.     
Source: www.manilastandardtoday.com



Fears of a looming Philippine rice crisis

Apr 15, 2011

The possibility of a serious rice shortage has dominated the Philippine press this past week. On April 12, the Philippine Daily Inquirer ran a banner headline that President Aquino had been warned of a rice crisis in a confidential report issued by the National Intelligence Coordination Agency (NICA) in late February. The report, which was leaked to the press, warned of possible food riots, concluding that “the danger of a food crisis in this country is reaching the point that it has now become an issue of national security.”     
Source: www.wsws.org



India, Cambodia and Pakistan willing to give PHL more rice volume this year

Apr 06, 2011

India, Cambodia, Pakistan are interested in supplying the Philippines with additional rice volume should the Aquino administration need more rice for reasons of food security. "These are just preliminary discussions. We got assurance that whenever we want to go to market, they are more than willing to provide us the volume we need," National Food Authority (NFA) head Angelito Banayo said in an interview on Tuesday.     
Source: www.gmanews.tv



New 'Look East' policy to boost rice output in Eastern states

Apr 06, 2011

The Centre will come up with a 'Look East' policy to boost kharif staple rice production in eastern states. A national-level conference scheduled to be held in New Delhi on April 6-7 will formulate strategies to maximise summer-sown crop output by hiking area and production in eastern states , which have more irrigated, alluvial soil and higher water table than those in the northwest.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



India to produce 100 million metric tons of rice next crop year

Apr 04, 2011

World’s second largest rice producer India expect another bumper output this crop year and set a target of 100 million metric tons for next crop year. According to country’s agriculture ministry, this year India’s country's rice production is estimated at 94.01 million tons as against 89.09 million tonnes last year. India’s next crop year starts from July. Rice is primarily a summer crop, though some quantities are also grown in winter.     
Source: www.commodityonline.com



Pakistan losing Iranian rice market

Apr 04, 2011

Pakistan is losing its rice export market in Iran due to non-availability of banking channels between the two countries. In international trade, the commercial letter of credit (LC) is used as a source of payment for a transaction but trade between Pakistan and Iran is being done simply on the basis of cash transaction since currently no facility exists for making payment to Pakistani exporters by Iranian importers under the mechanism of LC. India has grabbed the rice export market of Iran over the last few years. Iran, which was a traditional major buyer of Pakistani basmati rice, is now relying heavily on imports of rice from India, Vietnam and Uruguay to fulfil its demand, said a Karachi-based exporter.     
Source: nation.com.pk



Rice procurement dips marginally this season

Mar 31, 2011

The government''s rice procurement has declined marginally to 24.98 million tonnes so far in 2010-11 season that started in October last year even though production is estimated to rise by five million tonnes. Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of food grains, had bought 25.15 million tonnes in the corresponding period of the 2009-10 marketing year (October-September).The government had procured 32.03 million tonnes in the entire 2009-10 marketing year. According to the Agriculture Ministry''s second advance estimate, rice production is pegged at 94 million tonnes in 2010-11 crop year (July-June) as against 89 million tonnes in the previous year. The arrivals of paddy have declined marginally to 39.75 million tonnes as compared to 39.89 million tonnes in the year-ago period.     
Source: news.in.msn.com



14,000 tonnes of rice from India, Pakistan by Aug

Mar 23, 2011

About 14,000 tonnes of rice, the first product of Hassad Food Company cultivated in India and Pakistan, will arrive in Qatar in August, a senior Hassad official said.Nasser bin Mohammed Al Fuhaid Al Hajiriy, Chairman of Hassad Boatd of Directors, said the company plans to secure 60 percent of its agricultural products, required locally in terms of sugar, wheat and other key food items within two years.     
Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com



Manila must seek long-term rice deals-official

Mar 17, 2011

The Philippines must secure long-term supply deals with more rice-exporting countries even as it seeks to become self sufficient in the staple food by 2013, the state grains agency head said on Wednesday. The country, the world's biggest rice buyer in recent years, was in talks with Thailand and Cambodia for rice supply arrangements, similar to an existing deal with Vietnam, said Angelito Banayo, administrator of the National Food Authority (NFA).     
Source: www.reuters.com



Flood caused 16pc drop in rice exports: Reap

Mar 14, 2011

Pakistan's rice exports fell nearly 16 percent in the first eight months of the 2010/11 financial year because of last year's floods, a top industry official said on Friday.     
Source: www.brecorder.com



Agri exports rise 10% to Rs 24,119 crore during April-November

Mar 14, 2011

India’s exports of agricultural and processed food products are set to increase significantly despite a decline in shipments of basmati rice, a key export item. According to the latest data from Apeda, during April-November 2010, the total volume of exports increased by close to 10% to Rs 24,119 crore from Rs 21,979 crore reported over the same period in the previous year.     
Source: www.fnbnews.com



Forgotten rice varieties turn premium food

Mar 11, 2011

Childhood memories of the aroma of Champakali rice led Dr Suryaji Patil to search for its seeds. He found exactly a handful after a five-year-long search. This year, Patil produced 18 quintals of Champakali rice, some of which he sold for `60/kg, twice the price of the commonly consumed Indrayani variety in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.     
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com



Philippines May Import More Rice Than Planned as Global Food Costs Advance

Mar 11, 2011

The Philippines may import more rice than planned as it seeks to secure supplies amid record global costs, according to the nation’s grain-buying agency. “Many countries are in a stockpiling mode,” National Food Authority Administrator Angelito Banayo said in an interview in Manila yesterday. Rising prices are “a cause for worry,” he said, declining to specify how much the country will buy.     
Source: www.bloomberg.com



Philippines: Government to cut rice imports

Mar 10, 2011

The Philippines, the world's top rice importer last year, plans to buy only 860,000 metric tons (MT) of rice for 2011, despite expecting more storms that may reduce the grain's production. The amount, roughly a third of last year's 2.45 million ton shipment, is lower than what was previously recommended by the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) on Rice and Corn. Earlier, the committee said the country should import some 1.3 million MTs of rice.     
Source: www.sunstar.com.ph



Philippines assures ASEAN peers of better rice import management

Mar 08, 2011

THE PHILIPPINES has promised peers in the region better management of its rice import orders in order to prevent price spikes already seen by other commodities, Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo told reporters yesterday.     
Source: www.bworldonline.com



Asia rice output threatened by pesticide overuse

Mar 07, 2011

The unbridled manufacture and use of pesticides in Asia is raising the spectre of "pest storms" devastating the region's rice farms and threatening food security, scientists have warned. Increased production of cheap pesticides in China and India, lax regulation and inadequate farmer education are destroying ecosystems around paddies, allowing pests to thrive and multiply, they said.     
Source: www.google.com



Flood-tolerant rice plants 'can also recover from drought'

Mar 04, 2011

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have made a discovery that can greatly benefit rice growers and consumers everywhere. The researchers have demonstrated in the lab and greenhouse that rice that is flood tolerant is also better able to recover from a drought.     
Source: www.sify.com



Japan Purchases 5,806 Tons of Rice From Overseas in Tender

Mar 03, 2011

Japan bought 5,806 metric tons of rice in a tender today, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said. Of the total, 3,936 tons were from the U.S., 1,310 tons were from Thailand, 440 tons were from China and 120 tons were from Pakistan, the ministry said in a statement.     
Source: www.bloomberg.com



Non-basmati rice up on retailers demand

Sep 08, 2010

Prices of non-basmati rice rose by Rs 25 per quintal in the wholesale grains market today on emergence of stockiest buying to meet rising demand from retailers demand. Restricted arrivals from producing regions also influenced the non-basmati rice prices. Other commodities including wheat, however, held steady in thin trading. Traders said increased buying by stockiest on pick up in retailers demand, helping wholesale non-basmati rice prices to rise.     
Source: www.business-standard.com



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