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Pakistan has an idea of importing rice for re-expor
KARACHI: The idea of importing rice for re-export has been going around in trade circles for quite a while, in this regard the News solicited views of a number of rice exporters on Saturday.

Leading rice exporters told The News that commercial import of rice for re-export was not feasible, while another section of rice exporters has strongly vouched for buying rice from international market.

Short production and subsequent price hike in domestic and foreign market for a number of reasons including bad weather compelled rice traders to mull rice import particularly from Thailand.

Rice exporters making regular shipmnebts to Middel East are finding iy more and more difficult to fulfil commitments from locally procured rice.

Therefore for the first time in the history of the country, traders are planning to import rice on 10 per cent duty and re-export it after value addition to their regular buyers in the Middle East. Despite this exercise the margin is higher as compared to purchasing local rice for export.

Former Chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Abdul Rahim Janoo said that import of rice on commercial scale for re-export was not feasible in presence of 10 percent import duty besides of 6 percent income tax in addition of 20 to 21 percent expanses on value addition process which raises total cost of imported rice by more than 32 percent.

“With 32 percent extra on import and value addition added to the price tag, why would buyers import expensive rice from Pakistan, which is not even Pakistani rice,” Rahim Janoo argued.

He said that Indian basmati rice was already 30 percent expensive than Pakistan so idea of importing basmati rice from India was also not practical during this season.

It may be noted that rice can be brought into Pakistan from all rice producing countries except India after paying 10 percent import duty.

Those who argued about import of rice believe that 10 percent import duty on rice would be refunded in case of re-export if supported by the relevant back to back Letter of Credit (LC) and shipping documents.

There are modern milling facilities in Pakistan, which could better execute polishing and colouring and sorting operations besides of packing the commodity for consumers in attractive manner.

They also said that some countries like Thailand have plenty of aromatic and non aromatic rice verities whereas some old regular buyers from Gulf had signalled Pakistani exporters to import different varieties from rice growing countries and re-export them after polishing and colour sorting and packing in attractive manner.

They still foresee good marketing scope for importing rice for re-exporting. They cited that Pakistani exporters already exporting pulses to many countries after value addition which are not produced locally and are imported from Australia and other countries in raw form.
MGR Archive 15.4.2007
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