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Iran eyes purchase of rice next season
ISLAMABAD ,Iran will soon hold talks with Pakistan for the purchase of rice from the next season, which starts from September, Iran's Deputy Commerce Minister Majeed Ansari said on Friday.
Tehran would soon hold talks with Islamabad to finalise rice purchase deals after estimates of an expected good harvest, which are likely to bring down rice prices, Ansari told a news conference.
"We are looking at Pakistan again as one of our major rice suppliers," Ansari said, but did not specify what quantities Tehran was looking for.
"We are hoping for some good deals between Iran and Pakistan," he added after the two countries signed a separate agreement to boost overall trade ties.
Iran bought a total of 365,000 tonnes of Pakistani Basmati rice in the 2002/03 (July-June) fiscal year through third parties.
Last week, Pakistani rice exporters reached agreements to sell directly to the Iranian government 30,000 tonnes of superior quality rice.
These shipments are expected to start next month.
Pakistani exporters see potential in Iran, where the government imports at least 800,000 tonnes of superior quality rice a year to meet domestic demand of 2.8 million tonnes.
Industry officials say the Pakistan government's estimates of domestic output of 4.3 million tonnes in the 2003/04 crop year (April-Nov), a 1.73 percent increase over last year's 4.228 million tonnes, is likely to increase the availability of rice for export.
Pakistani exporters have raised their export target for next season to 2.0 million tonnes, worth about $560 million, compared with 1.8 million tonnes, worth $540 million, the previous season.
MGR Archive 19.7.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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