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Pakistani rice prices higher, tight supply hit exports
ISLAMABAD , Pakistani rice prices edged higher during the past week on depleting stocks and dealers said on Monday prices would rise further in coming weeks after rain damaged the crop in southern Sindh province.
Agriculture officials in Islamabad said recent monsoon rains and flooding had damaged at least 15 to 20 percent of IRRI varieties in Sindh.
"Tight supplies have halted exports and the market is very quiet," said Haji Majeed, an exporter in the southern port city of Karachi.
"We were waiting for the new arrivals, but reports of crop damage in Sindh had left little chance of timely arrivals of new supplies."
Pakistan aimed to produce 2.275 million tonnes of IRRI rice during the 2003/04 (April-Nov) crop season, all of it in Sindh, while the country estimates total rice output at 4.3 million tonnes during the crop year.
Rice harvesting in most of Sindh begins in September but officials said a number of rice fields were still flooded and harvesting could be delayed.
Pakistan's rice year runs from September to March.
Majeed said a few exporters were shipping old commitments but there were no fresh orders. "Only 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes of rice is available in the market, which can only meet domestic needs," he added.
Dealers said falling stocks had also forced rice dealers to cover their positions as the new crop would not be available until October.
"Local demand has pushed prices up to an extent that our rice is not competitive in the international market," said another exporter.
He said Pakistani traders were quoting export prices of $180-$182 per tonne for IRRI-6 variety, around $30 higher than other countries.
Dealers said on Monday 100-kg bags of IRRI-6 variety were quoted at 990/1,085 rupees, 200 rupees up from the previous week.
MGR Archive 12.8.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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