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Traders eye Thai rice for re-export
KARACHI: In the wake of unprecedented hike in price of rice in the domestic market, some traders are interested in importing rice from the international market particularly from Thailand for re-export after value-addition.

It may be noted that rice can be brought into Pakistan from all rice-producing countries except India after paying 10 per cent import duty at customs. Currently, diplomats besides some Chinese and Japanese living in Pakistan import rice, which is declared fit for human consumption by authorities.

In 2005-06, Pakistan produced 5.6 million tonnes of rice, of which 3.3 million tonnes were exported. Domestic consumption was 2.3 million tonnes. This year, the country is expected to produce 5.4 million tonnes.

Being badly affected by the cartel of rice millers, the Union of Small & Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has approached the authorities for clarification about the import of rice from world sources for re-export and also for domestic consumption.

“The import duty on rice is 10 per cent and it is believed that it would be refunded in case of re-export if supported by relevant back to back Letter of Credit (LC) and shipping documents,” President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said.

He lamented that the cartel of rice millers had compelled them to import rice from other countries and said that they were not in a position to export rice due to increase in prices and supply stoppage from millers.

Pakistan has modern milling facilities, which can better execute polishing, colouring and sorting operations besides packing of the commodity in an attractive manner. Rice trade sources said that some old regular buyers from Gulf and Middle Eastern Countries have signalled Pakistani exporters to import different varieties from rice growing countries particularly from Thailand and re-export to them after polishing and colour sorting in attractive consumer packing and local exporters want to fully capitalize this opportunity. Even after paying duty these rice traders anticipate a good scope for marketing imported rice in domestic market at competitive rates amid skyrocketing prices of the commodity.

“We want to import different varieties of both aromatic and non aromatic rice for re-export after value addition as we have excellent processing facilities and modern plants, and even after payment of 10 percent import duty the landed cost will be cheaper as the millers cartel has increased prices by 40 percent,” a leading rice exporter said.
MGR Archive 25.3.2007
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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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