RICE

S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Research Analyst
, PAGE
Dec 24 - 30, 2012

Rice is unique among cereal grains in that the entire polished grain is eaten while other cereals are usually processed before they reach the consumer. Grain quality in rice is, therefore, a very sensitive issue. Interests and priorities of different sectors of rice industry are different. Farmers are interested in early maturity and high yield that would give them high returns in the form of good produce and provide enough time for sowing subsequent crops including wheat. Miller's interest is high head rice recovery. Traders prefer attractive physical appearance, whiteness and uniform grain size. For consumers, quality encompasses a complete range of visual, sensory and palatability criteria that include impressive appearance of raw as well as cooked rice texture in terms of stickiness/flakiness and appealing aroma.

EXPORTS OF RICE VARITY

RICE BASMATI QUANTITY IN TON
July - June, (2011 - 12) 953,253
July - June, (2010- 11) 1,170,588
Rice other varieties
July - June, (2011 - 12) 2,676,569
July - June, (2010 - 11') 2,499,449

Rice grain quality depends on intrinsic quality of rice variety, environmental conditions and management practices such as use of healthy seed; optimum sowing time; balanced and timely application of fertilizers; proper harvest and post-harvest operations, use of modern milling and polishing machinery etc.

In Pakistan, rice is also an important crop cultivated on about 2.5 million hectares representing over 20 per cent of the total cropped area. The importance of rice trade in Pakistan can be judged by its significant contribution in achieving the export targets of Pakistan by being the second largest export commodity after textile and placing Pakistan in the top 5 rice exporting countries of the World.

Rice maintained its first position in its group during the FY2011-12 as the same period last year (SPLY) in Pakistan. Its share increased to 8.74 per cent from 8.71 per cent as compared to the SPLY. During FY 2011-12 its exports amounted to Rs. 184,405.01 million as against the exports of Rs. 184,674.60 million during the SPLY showing decrease of 0.15 per cent. U.A.E. was the leading buyer of rice during FY2011-12 with its share of 11.43 per cent in the total exports of this item. Other major buyers were Afghanistan (8.33%), Kenya (7.84%), China (7.31%), Saudi Arabia (4.28%), Oman (4.21%) and Malaysia (4.14%). These seven countries accounted for 47.53 per cent of total exports of rice during the period. Pakistan has recently discovered Philippines as a new market for its rice. The country has started exporting to Philippines. It is expected that the market would help Pakistan improve exports this year. Moreover, Philippines has showed interest to import 250,000 ton rice from Pakistan this year.

EXPORTS OF RICE BY MAJOR COUNTRIES

COMMODITY JULY - JUNE, (2011 - 12) JULY - JUNE, (2010 - 11)
QUANTITY
(TONS)
VALUE
(RS. MILLION)
QUANTITY
(TONS)
VALUE
(RS. MILLION)
U.A.E. 277,574 21,072.87 424,562 27,816.88
Afghanistan 263,567 15,355.81 190,693 10,444.07
Kenya 350,578 14,448.16 213,683 8,482.76
China 329,493 13,484.88 3,067 139.02
Saudi Arabia 121,880 7,896.66 172,666 10,573.35
Oman 94,034 7,757.92 135,445 9,602.56
Malaysia 159,492 7,631.80 85,745 3,734.53
Others 2,033,204 96,756.90 2,444,176 113,881.42

Average unit price of rice basmati for FY2011-12 of last financial year was Rs. 77,326.16 per ton as against Rs. 70,318.80 for the SPLY showing a rise of 9.97 per cent. The average unit prices of rice other varieties for FY2011-12 at Rs. 41,356.53 per ton higher by 0.99 per cent compared to average unit price of Rs. 40,953.13 per ton for the SPLY.

Presently, the basmati export from Pakistan has declined by 60 per cent to 160,000 ton during July to November against 403,000 ton exported in the SPLY. In the value-term, the exports fell by 56 per cent to dollar 152 million from dollar 346 million last year.

The export of Pakistan's non-basmati has also declined by around 39 per cent in the value terms to dollar 188 million during July-October from dollar 306 million in the SPLY. Rice initial target will be to increase Pakistan's exports to dollar 2.5 billion, from the current dollar 2 billion.

On the other hand India kept basmati exports banned for around two years but lifted the ban after it estimated to produce surplus crop this year. India may record a production of around 100 million ton of rice this season against an estimated 6.5 million ton in Pakistan, it was being said that, India might beat the world's largest grower of long grain rice, Thailand in rice exports this year.

The neighbouring country is giving tough time in the world markets such as Europe and Iran and India enjoys good relations with Iran than Pakistan. Pakistan and Iran cannot have official trade since the United States has put economic sanctions on Iran. Pakistani banks are no more opening letter of credits for goods to Iran in addition that India is having no such issues with Iran and having good trade ties at the state level. The cost of doing business has risen sharply in Pakistan after the country continued to face electricity amid the energy crisis.

India is selling rice at the world markets at a price, which is lower than Pakistan. India is selling the commodity at a discount of up to dollar 100 per ton against Pakistan's dollar 1,100-1,150 per ton at the international market.

CONCLUSION

It is the responsibility of the government to control price-hike and take strict action against the profiteers who are earning unlimited and hoarders of rice in Pakistan.