Developing Countries Will Lead Global Rice Import Growth in 2013-22, Says USDA Rice growers positive California MG prices are UP Russia MG Harvest coming to end Egypt open rice exports Vietnam’s rice export in tough competition with India Thai rice exports in May Rise Above Target This Year Viet-Nam Rice exports likely to fall this year
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Higher procurement may boost rice stocks in India
Business Line, November 27, 2004
There is some comfort for the Government on the foodgrain stocks front.

Notwithstanding a near four million tonnes (mt) estimated decline in rice output during the current kharif season owing to deficient monsoon rains, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and State agencies have so far managed to procure 8.70 mt of rice during the 2004-05 marketing season (October-September).

This is higher than the purchase of 8.42 mt made for the Central pool during the corresponding period of the 2003-04 marketing season. With the marketing of the current kharif crop still continuing and the good spell of post-monsoon rains auguring well for the ensuing rabi harvests of both wheat as well as the winter paddy, fears of dwindling stocks in public godowns are gradually diminishing. And that spells good news for a Government seeking to pull out all the stops in its efforts to combat inflation.

The current kharif marketing season had, in fact, begun with total foodgrain stocks in the Central pool hitting a six-year low of 20.34 mt as on October 1— just above the minimum normative buffer of 18.10 mt for that date to meet the requirements of the public distribution system (PDS).

Within this, rice stocks, at 6.09 mt, stood even below the buffer norm of 6.50 mt for October 1. The last time that inventories had plunged to such precarious levels at the start of the kharif marketing season was in 1997, when total foodgrain stocks amounted to 15.3 mt, comprising seven mt of rice and 8.3 mt of wheat.

The higher procurement recorded so far this year implies that there is no immediate danger of godowns going empty and the Government running out of stocks to effectively intervene in the market. As things stand, it looks as though the level of public stocks would be just about comfortable to cater to the needs of the PDS, though not enough for pushing exports or for the Government to launch any new ambitious food-for-work or cheap grain supply programme. The stocks position is set to further improve when the wheat crop currently being sown begins to arrive in the markets from next April onwards.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the cumulative area sown under wheat so far this year, at 56.73 lakh hectares, is more than the corresponding coverage of 51.49 lakh hectares in the last rabi season.

Significantly, it is not the situation in wheat, but in rice stocks that is a source of worry for the Government. While procurement of rice touched an all-time high of 22.83 mt during the 2003-04 marketing season — eclipsing the previous best of 22.13 mt for 2001-02 — it still left closing stocks at almost half-a-million tonne below the normative buffer of 6.5 mt for October 1. The reason for this has been the sharp increase in offtake levels of rice in recent years.

While in 2001-02 and 2002-03 (April-March), offtake of wheat (15.99 mt and 24.99 mt, respectively) exceeded that of rice (15.32 mt and 24.64 mt), the position has been reversed since then. During 2003-04 and the first half of the current fiscal, rice offtake (25.04 mt and 10.52 mt) has surpassed that of wheat (24.29 mt and 8.78 mt).
MGR Archive 28.11.2004
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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