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Pakistan falls 3% short of rice export target
KARACHI: Pakistan fell short to achieve the rice export target for the fiscal year 2006-07 due to the low production and non-availability of surplus quantity for exports.

The export target for 2006-07 was fixed at $1.27 billion but only $1.2 billion was achieved reflecting a loss of $7 million. While the export target for 2005-06 was $1 billion and $1.5 billion was achieved, resulting in an increase of $5 million.

During the fiscal year 2006-07 the export of rice went down by 4,00,000 tonnes in terms of quantity and 3 percent value wise, Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Aziz Maniya said. Mr Maniya said that the next rice export fiscal year target would be easily achieved if the weather and water supply conditions remain feasible.

In the last fiscal year around 2.3 million tonnes of rice was exported. The short crop is the main reason for not achieving the target, although the exporters have still managed to emerge good results, he added. Mr Mania said it is expected that for this year the government will set a target of $1.35 as compared to $1.27 billion target of 2006-2007.

According to Chairman REAP, this year the average price of basmati is $1,100 per tonne, rising from $650 per ton last year from November 2006. Similarly, IRRI-6 is exported at $300 per tonne which was $215 per tonne at the start of the season,” he added.

This year a large quantity of Basmati rice was exported in UAE and Iran while IRRI-6 was exported in African countries, as exports this year have increased to Iran, both through formal and informal channels, he added.

This year a six percent shortage has been recorded in rice production globally. Since November 2006, the international prices of Basmati rice have surged by 35 to 40 percent due to crop shortage in leading rice producing countries. As in this season China, Thailand, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka have reported crop shortage particularly in coarse rice.

Due to the increase in demand the price is rapidly rising in the international market and Pakistani exporters are exporting those stocks as well that should have been sold locally that is why the local prices are rising.

Previously price of Super Basmati was Rs 40 per kg, Irri-9 from Rs 25 to Rs 30 and Irri-6 from Rs 18 to Rs 20. Currently Super Basmati is being sold at Rs 65-75 per kg, Irri-9 from Rs 35 to Rs 42 and Irri-6 for Rs 24-30.

In East European region Indian has a very strong hold and to compete them Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has to work hard as in the international market every year demand of Basmati rice is rapidly increasing. Some rice traders dealing in domestic grain market complained that unchecked exports of rice had created shortage in the domestic market, and this had pushed up prices. Currently, all rice exports are handled by the private sector, which exported more than three million tonnes because of lower production in India, Pakistan’s main competitor.
MGR Archive 17.7.2007
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