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19th May, 2014

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Rice mills closed over excessive power loadshedding SUKKUR: Rice mills across Sindh and Balochistan remained closed on Sunday in protest against excessive loadshedding and alleged uncalled for remarks by the federal minister for water and power during his recent visit to the province.A call for the strike was given by the Sindh-Balochistan Rice Millers and Traders Association SBRMTA.Reports from Jacobabad and Kandhkot-Kashmore district as well as Garhi Khero, Dera Allahyar, Dera Murad Jamali, Osta Mohammad, Sohbatpur and other towns suggested that no rice mill was opened there on Sunday and thousands of daily wage earners remained without work. Owners and management of various rice mills in Jacobabad took out a rally to condemn Water and Power Minister Abid Sher Ali’s remarks that loadshedding was increased in those areas where line-losses were high.Speaking to the participants in the rally, which was taken out from Anaj Mandi and ended outside the Jacobabad Press Club, some mill-owners said that the minister had encouraged power utilities to cut off the industry’s lifeline on the pretext of power theft by a handful of consumers. The protesters, who included workers and labourers associated with rice mills, were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the minister and Wapda.SBRMTA president Abdul Aziz Abro, Sa’adullah Jamali, Munawwar Ali Khaskheli, Sohail Ahmed Kharani, Mashooq Ali Kharani, Harpal Das, Haji Sualeh Memon, Wali Mohammad and other leaders addressed the rally and said that all rice mills were promptly and regularly paying their monthly electricity bills and their collective payment to the power utility concerned amounted to over Rs3 billion per month. However, they said, adequate supply was not being made to them.They said that excessive loadshedding was causing colossal losses to each rice mills and traders. The

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responsibility of the huge loss rested on Wapda, they added.Rejecting the minister’s statement about power theft, they said no mill owner was stealing electricity. They said industrialists were serious in running their mills and factories and contribute heavily to the national exchequer but it was possible only if the required quantum of power for their units was ensured.Quoting Mr Ali’s statement that electricity would be supplied only to those who would pay their bills, the leaders said if the minister really meant that, all rice millers should be supplied electricity as per their payments.They demanded uninterrupted power supply to their business concerns and correct billing against actual consumption.They warned that if the ongoing excessive loadshedding continued, they would close their cities and towns to the minister during his visits to the province.They also threatened to stop payment of their electricity bills if the situation was not improved on a priority basis. Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2014

Dilemma of rice exporters: Facing challenging time due to exchange rate Amanullah Khan Saturday, May 17, 2014 - Karachi—The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) not to commit willful omission and dissolve the Quality Review Committee (QRC) forthwith in view of the no objection received from the law division and consensus of all stakeholders. Rice exporters are facing very challenging times due to loss in realization proceeds because of exchange rate and are now not in a position to overcome hindrances created by a non-commercial organization devoid of commercial sense and expertise. UNISAME said that the closure of QRC will be for the betterment of the rice industry in Pakistan and will give a free hand to rice exporters to sell their brands and remove hurdles created by the troublesome committee. President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver pointed out that the creation of QRC was a big mistake as it gave rise to conflict of interest. It was based on wrong premises and it gave the opportunity to office bearers of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) to subdue their competitors. MoC realized this and made amendments and separated the office of QRC and REAP and also removed the mandatory condition of membership of REAP for rice exporters. The QRC cannot function as an inspection company under any law and its formation is based on misapplication and twisting of law to suit the big and influential and it is appreciated that the Moc has realized its futility and made serious efforts to curtail it.He said the QRC has no locus standing as it is neither qualified nor eligible and although just a quality review committee it is posing itself like a pre-shipment inspection (PSI) organization. It was was basically formed to protect the basmati label but now that rice is sold by the buyers and the exporters own popular brands and other varieties which are not basmati but more costly and more in demand are flooding the markets and the job of the QRC is futile.Secondly most of the buyers have their own

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nominated PSI agency to carry out PSI. QRC never made efforts to get 386 a very popular variety as basmati although in India 386 is considered and approved as basmati but in Pakistan QRC allowed its export underhand as basmati but did not recommend it to be approved as basmati for reasons best known to itself. QRC is devoid of any substantial work as a protector of basmati and in fact is creating hurdles in its exports due to lack of knowledge on the subject. Needless to state that basically the QRC was formed in violation of the principles of pre-shipment inspection (PSI) and the Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) never recognized and enrolled it as a PSI body because it did not comply with the rules and regulations of the PSQCA and international standards. A PSI body has to be a joint stock company incorporated and with a capital sufficient to pay claims against irresponsible inspections, it needs to be eligible, qualified and must have DNA facilities and laboratory fully equipped with all measuring and quality assessment equipments. It is very important that it has to be independent, transparent and a third party. It cannot be managed by vested interest.Thaver said that we fail to understand the delay for the closure of the QRC as there is consensus for its closure from all stakeholders and the earlier the MoC says good bye to this organization the better it will be for all.

IMAGE:STRIKING rice millers, their employees and labourers protest over excessive power loadshedding in Jacobabad on Sunday.—Dawn

Japanese, Filipino scientists work on new disease-resistant rice varieties By: InterAksyon.com May 19, 2014 2:44 PM

A Filipino rice farmer is seen on a hot day in Pililla, Rizal, this May 12, 2014 file photo. Philippine and Japanese scientists are working, under a JICA-funded project, to produce more disease-resistant rice strains. BERNARD TESTA, INTERAKSYON.COM The online news portal of TV5 MANILA - Scientists from Japan and the Philippines have teamed up to raise rice production by developing new diseaseresistant, high yielding rice varieties under a project of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).The rice research project, called Wonder Rice Initiative for Food Security and Health (WISH), is set to be completed by 2015 by the research team from

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JICA, Japan’s Nagoya University, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, Laguna.―We are working closely with Filipino scientists in transferring disease resistance and high-yielding traits to exsiting rice varieties in Africa and the Philippines. The project shows plenty of promise in supporting JICA’s integrated program to boost rice production and address food shortage in developing countries,‖ said Dr. Motoyuki Ashikari, rice expert and professor from Nagoya University.For the project, scientists use conventional cross-breeding, a rice improvement technique where desired traits (grain number, branching number for every panicle or cluster of rice flowers, panicle and grain size) from specific rice varieties are marked for transfer to recipient varieties.Scientists cross donor line once (source of traits to be transferred such as disease resistance or high-yield) with a recipient line (an existing rice variety or a variety preferred by farmers due to adaptive traits. After this, scientists then backcross the resulting line thrice to retain the inherent trait of the existing variety, while collecting the target trait from the donor.Such a technique recovers 93.75% of the background of the recipient rice varieties. This, in turn, results in better rice varieties.

Ashikari, who had been collaborating with local scientists in IRRI for the project, explained that the goal is to come up with at least 200 lines of new varieties of rice by end of the project. They are also developing other location-specific breeding techniques that other countries like Kenya and Mali in Africa can adopt.While saying that production of the new rice variety takes time, Ashikari mentioned that the Philippines proved to be a viable location for the research. ―The Philippines’ climate, available facilities and scientists, and long history in rice production are beneficial to the research process. Japanese researchers from Nagoya University can easily communicate with Filipino scientists using the English language, and response is easier because of the time difference between Japan and the Philippines,‖ he explained.The first two crosses of rice varieties are done in Nagoya University, and samples are then sent to IRRI for backcrossing to ensure that recipient rice varieties successfully acquire the traits from donor varieties.

By 2015, the new rice variety under WISH will be propagated and distributed to other parts of the world including Africa whose rice shortage looms.Already, G8 leaders, a grouping of the world’s most industrialized countries, have raised the food crisis issue in Africa in their summit agenda in 2013.Back in 2008, JICA has launched the Coalition for Africa Rice Development (CARD), a consultative group of bilateral donors and international and regional organizations with the goal of doubling rice production in Africa to 28M tons per annum by 2018. It has since partnered with IRRI and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PHILRICE).IRRI was participant in so-called Asian miracle in the 1960s when rice research and technology helped address massive starvation in poor countries. PHILRICE, meanwhile, was recipient of JICA’s development assistance through financial aid and technical training in the 1980s. The latter has been helping transfer said knowledge to African farmers through another JICA extension training program.

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USA Rice, DU team up to release rice/duck study Authored by DU scientists for The Rice Foundation, the study found that the cost of attempting to replace rice lands with natural wetland habitat would exceed $3.5 billion.

By USA Rice Federation Posted May. 17, 2014 @ 12:01 am WASHINGTON, D.C. There's no doubt that rice, waterfowl and wetland habitats work cohesively to form a perfect ecosystem, and a recently published report puts a monetary value on those existing rice lands. Recently, the USA Rice Federation and Ducks Unlimited (DU) hosted a press conference at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to introduce the results of the new report. Authored by DU scientists for The Rice Foundation, the study found that the cost of attempting to replace rice lands with natural wetland habitat would exceed $3.5 billion.Dr. Mark Petrie, assistant director for conservation planning for DU and lead scientist on the report said, "The bottom line is, without the presence of working rice lands, there would be no waterfowl habitat to speak of in the U.S.

""Thanks to this research, we get a three and a half billion dollar perspective about what it would take to replace this habitat if rice acreage continues to dwindle," said John Owen a Rayville, Louisiana rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Producers' Group. "This gives producers a powerful message to bring to their neighbors, to conservationists, to hunters and to government to build support for incentive-based conservation policies and programs."All three rice-growing regions of the United States — the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV), Gulf Coast and California's Central Valley — overlap directly with the continent's most important waterfowl wintering grounds. "Rice production and farming are important components to ensuring we meet the population goals set forth in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan," said DU CEO Dale Hall.

"This study is an excellent tool we can utilize to show policymakers and waterfowl managers just how critical rice lands are to waterfowl populations." According to the study, more than 40 percent of the food resources available to wintering dabbling ducks along the Central Valley and Gulf Coast derive from flooded rice fields. The values for geese are higher because of dry-land feeding. "The importance of a strong, viable rice industry goes well beyond the family farmers, rice mills and merchants, to national conservation efforts," said USA Rice Federation President and CEO Betsy Ward.

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"What's good for rice, is good for ducks."Unfortunately for waterfowl and rice farmers alike, all three regions face challenges as it relates to keeping rice on the land. Water supplies for rice production are under increasing pressure in all areas, and many producers may be forced to adopt practices that provide far fewer benefits for waterfowl. Long-term declines in rice acreage on the Gulf Coast are especially worrisome with the simultaneous dramatic loss of coastal prairie and marsh habitats. Halting this decline and flooding a greater percentage of rice acreage will be necessary to meet the needs of Gulf Coast waterfowl in the future.

Rice export still grows by $280 million despite rupee rise May 17, 2014 RECORDER REPORT

Despite fall in dollar's value against Pak rupee, the country's rice export to the world markets grew by $280 million during July-Mar 2013-14, exporters said on Friday. "Over 2.5 million tons of rice has been exported since the rupee appreciated against dollar," said a rice trader, Hashim Sharja Wala. He said: "World's demand for Pakistani rice is growing in spite of a surge in rice prices on the global market. " Pakistan exported $1.666 billion of rice during July-March 2013-14 up by $280 million (20.19pc) and in terms of volume, the country's rice export went up by 0.189 million tons (8pc) to 2.683 million tons in July-March 2013-14, figures released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics showed. Hashim said: "The international price of non-Basmati is $370 per metric ton and the price of Basmati rice ranges between $800 per metric ton and $1400 per metric ton, depending on its quality." According to him, the major buyers of Pakistani rice are: United States of America and Sri Lanka. However, the country's rice export plunged by $29.709m (9.11pc) to $216.649m in March 2014 as compared to the commodity's export of $238.358m in February 2014, the PBS's report further said. Meanwhile, some exporters claimed that the export of rice was still at a halt as the export of new crop was not in progress and international rate of rice has increased and, as such, buyers were not in favour of purchasing rice from Pakistan. An official of Rice Exporter Association of Pakistan (REAP) said: "Exporters are not receiving new contracts due to high prices." They are dealing under old contracts which were signed before depreciation of dollar," he added. Describing India as `the biggest competitor', he said: "If we will not cope with this situation then India may capture the international market.

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Another proposal: Make jute mandatory packaging material, says PJMA By Our Correspondent Published: May 17, 2014

LAHORE:

The Pakistan Jute Mills Association (PJMA) has urged the government to make jute as a mandatory packaging material for grain commodities in order to keep the quality and germination capability intact.PJMA argued that this will mitigate the contamination and environmental damage, which is caused by the usage of synthetics as a packaging material besides earning green credit to the country. Furthermore, this mandatory order will also generate more employment opportunities in the jute industry which currently supports more than 125,000 people — directly and indirectly.The association mentioned that jute is considered as the best option for the storage of wheat and other grains worldwide. The natural fibres from jute do not affect the quality of grains and protect them from sunlight and heat. Moreover, jute bags offer multiple reuse capability that can prove to be beneficial as the country lacks proper bulk handling facilities.Countries such as India and Bangladesh are encouraging jute sacks for wheat, rice and other food grains packaging under a mandatory order.The association further mentioned that these countries, in addition to mandatory orders, are also providing lucrative support to the jute industry. For instance, the exporters of jute bags in India are given a subsidy of 20% for the manufacturing cost and 25% for the cost of a new machine for technology up-gradation under the ―External Market Assistance Scheme‖. Similarly, Bangladesh is offering 7% cash subsidy on the export of jute products. Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2014.

Bringing science and development together through news and analysis MANILA] Nights are getting hotter and scientists are sweating over the possibility that rice yields may fall as a result.Decreasing rice harvests mean higher prices. That would be a scary scenario in Asia where rice is considered not only a basic food staple but also a political commodity.

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Shortages of the commodity in 2007-2008 angered consumers across the region and caused some governments to wobble.A 35-year climate trending by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) under its Long-Term Continuous Cropping Experiment shows a ―clear trend‖ that night temperatures are increasing while day temperatures are less consistent.―The average minimum daily night temperature during the period of rice growth in the dry season (January to April) has increased about one degree Celsius in the last 35 years,‖ says Roland Buresh, a scientist who manages the world’s longest-running rice research project at IRRI. ―The night temperature has now increased to a critical threshold of 23 degrees Celsius, above which there can be a penalty of reduced yield,‖ Buresh tells SciDev.Netin an interview.Grace Centeno, associate scientist at IRRI’s Climate Unit adds: ―Average night temperature over 23 degrees Celsius can lead to yield loss due to the increased need of the rice plant to expend its energy to maintain its biological health.‖Centeno participated in an earlier study of weather data at IRRI’s rice farm from 1979 to 2003, which found that during the dry cropping season (January to April), grain yield declined by 10 per cent for a one-degree Celsius increase of night temperature above 23 degrees Celsius in the growing season. That study — which showed that mean night temperature increased by 1.13 degrees Celsius in the 25-year period — provided direct evidence of decreased rice yields from increased nighttime temperature associated with global warming.Centeno notes ―the study was published in 2004, but additional data from 2004 onwards continue to support the negative effect of higher night temperature on crop yield.‖A 10 per cent reduction in yield is huge. That is, a harvest of five tonnes per hectare would decrease by half a tonne — a drop that Buresh calls ―a major and significant concern in rice production‖ .―Definitely, global warming is upon us,‖ William Padolina, president of the Philippines’ National Academy of Science and Technology, tells SciDev.Net.A one per cent increase in temperature means a six per cent decline in yield, he explains. ―Why? Because grains are filled only during evenings. That’s the way of nature.‖This means we should breed varieties that are tolerant to high temperatures and drought, ―and that’s the goal not just for rice but for all crops‖, Padolina says.

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Link to Centeno study This article has been produced by SciDev.Net's South-East Asia & Pacific desk. Image: Countries such as India and Bangladesh are encouraging jute sacks for wheat, rice and other food grains packaging under a mandatory order. PHOTO: FILE

EXCLUSIVE ORYZA NEWS Oryza White Rice Index – Index Bounces Higher as Vietnam Quotes Advance

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The Oryza White Rice Index, a weighted average of global white rice export quotes, ended this week at about $455 per ton, up about $4 per ton from a week ago, up about $3 per ton from a month ago and down about $34 per ton from a year ago.The USDA has forecasted global milled rice production will increase to a record 480.7 million tons in 2014-15, up 1% from 2013-14’s estimates. It estimates global rice trade in 2015 will reach 41.3 million tons, up 1% from 2014. Most analysts continue to think El Nino will have limited impact on the global rice market thanks to high rice stocks. However, if the government of India panics and bans exports for instance, this would have huge consequences for the global rice market and prices would likely be pushed considerably higher. Thailand Thailand 5% broken rice today shown at about $370 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week ago, down about $15 per ton from a month ago and down about $155 per ton from a year ago. Thailand’s July 20 election date seems as though it is now postponed for a few months; reinstatement of the rice mortgage scheme seems unlikely to happen anytime soon, weighing on prices. Meanwhile, farmers left unpaid for paddy are having to obtain various types of credit and second jobs to cover day-to-day costs and invest in the next paddy crop. The rice mortgage scheme remains essentially insolvent. The state union and employee association for the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) oppose doubling the Rice Farmer Fund to 40 billion baht ($1.22 billion). They oppose an increase in the benchmark rate and question the government’s ability to sell the stored rice this year. Meanwhile, Thailand’s government hopes to secure the majority of Malaysia’s one million tone rice import market in 2014, according to Reuters, and is negotiating with Malaysian state-buying agency BERNAS to do so. Thailand is also hoping to regain its share in Hong Kong’s jasmine fragrant rice market, which it has been losing to Vietnam over the last few years, according to local sources. They hope to reach 60% of Hong Kong’s fragrant rice market in 2014 and escalate to 70-80% of the market in the next three-to-five years. India India 5% broken rice ended the week at about $425 per ton up about $5 per ton from a week ago, down about $5 per ton from a month ago and down about $30 per ton from a year ago. The government of India, in its third advance estimates for major crops, has estimated India's rice production for 2013-14 marketing year (October 2013 - September 2014) at a record 106.29 million tons, up about 1% from an estimated 105.24 million tons produced in 2012-13. The next crop faces the threat of El Nino so the world will be closely watching the weather and production projections. Vietnam

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Vietnam 5% broken rice today quoted at about $410 per ton, up about $15 per ton from a week ago, up about $25 per ton from a month ago and up about $35 per ton from a year ago. Some Vietnam rice exports are refusing to supply some of the rice sold under the 800,000 tender by the Philippines, saying the Vietnam government sold below market and exporters don’t want to absorb the losses. During the period from January 1 to May 8, Vietnam exported about 1.82 million tons of rice, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). This is about 35% less than Jan-May 2013. The average export price in May stands at about $440 per ton. The VFA has lowered its 2014 rice export target from 6.5-7 million tons to 6.2 million tons, citing increased competition from India and Thailand, according to local sources.However, the UN’s FAO estimates Vietnam’s milled rice exports will increase to about 7.2 million tons in 2014, up about 8% from 2013, due to higher production and increased export demand from Asian countries. This estimate is still lower than 2012’s exports of 7.6 million tons. Vietnam’s government wants to replace 112,000 hectares (about 3%) of rice area in the Mekong River Delta with other crops such as corn, wheat, and soybean by 2015 in order to reduce import costs on those commodities, according to local sources. Pakistan Pakistan 5% broken rice today quoted at about $425 per ton, up about $5 per ton from a week ago, up about $15 per ton from a year ago and down about $10 per ton from a year ago. The average price of basmati export rice dropped to $1,350 per ton in April 2014, about 1% less than the previous month and previous year, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises says the Quality Review Committee, set up to protect the basmati brand, is slowing the nation’s rice exports and interfering where it has no expertise. Brazil There are no quotes available for Brazil 5% broken rice; it was last shown at about $665 per ton. Uruguay and Argentina 5% broken rice is today shown at about $625 per ton, unchanged from a week, a month and a year ago. The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) estimates Brazil’s 2014 paddy rice production will increase to about 12.66 million tons, about 7.7% more than in 2013. Average yield and the total area harvested are also expected to increase in 2014. Last month, Conab increased its production forecast for 2013-14 to about 12.6 million tons, up about 7% from 2012-13. The USDA estimates Brazil’s milled production to be about 8.6

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million tons in MY 2013-14. The Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by CEPEA reached at about 36.11 real per 50 kilograms as of May 12, up about 0.4% from about 35.98 real per 50 kilograms recorded on May 5. In terms of USD per ton, the index reached at about $326 per ton on May 12, up about 1% from about $323 per ton recorded on May 5. U.S. U.S. 4% broken rice today shown at about $585 per ton, unchanged from a week and a month ago and down about $45 per ton from a year ago. The USDA projects total paddy rice production in the U.S. to reach about 9.66 million tons in MY 2014-15 (August-July), about 12% more than in MY 2013-14. However, medium- and short-grain production is expected to decline about 10%, largely due to drought and water restrictions in California. The USDA also projects rice exports to increase in MY 2014-15 by about 7% over the previous year, reaching 4.63 million tons. A recent USDA Agricultural Census shows that there are fewer rice farms and less rice acreage in the U.S. than in 2007, but yields have increased enough to surpass 2007’s total rice production by about 1%. Chicago rough rice futures for July delivery started the week high but unchanged from the previous week, at about $15.430 per cwt (about $340 per ton) but then decreased throughout the week, reaching a low of about $15.280 per cwt (about $337 per ton) on Wednesday. July futures then climbed some, settling about $15.400 per cwt (about $340 per ton) Friday. Old crop offers held steady after climbing from $16.05 per cwt fob farm (about $354 per ton) on Monday to $16.11 per cwt fob farm (about $355 per ton) on Tuesday, but most sellers held steady at $16.66 per cwt fob farm (about $367 per ton) all week. Large mills increased their bids from $15.05 per cwt ($332 per ton) early in the week to $15.15 per cwt fob farm (about $334 per ton) on Thursday. Bids for exporters also increased, from $15.50-15.75 per cwt (about $342-$347 per ton) earlier in the week to about $16.00 per cwt (about $353 per ton) on Wednesday, where they held steady. Throughout the week, small mills were paying about $16.10 per cwt (about $355 per ton) for prompt shipment. The USDA estimates that as of May 11, 75% of the U.S. rice crop had been planted. This is 8% more than this time last year and 2% more than the 5-year average. The USDA estimates that 53% of the U.S. rice crop had emerged. On Thursday, the USDA reported that cumulative net export sales for the week totaled 14,100 tons, about 57% lower than last week and 60% lower than the four-week average. U.S. rice exporters shipped 86,600 tons, about 96% higher than the previous week and 49% higher than the four-week average. Other Markets Cambodia 5% broken rice is today shown at about $440 per ton, unchanged from a week ago and down about

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$5 per ton from a month ago. Iraq is tendering to buy 30,000 tons of rice from the U.S., Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, or Vietnam with a bidding deadline of June 1. The UN’s FAO estimates Japan’s paddy rice production will decline to about 10.6 million tons in 2014, down about 1.5% from the previous year. European paddy and rice quotes in the week May 6- May 13 showed no big changes from the previous week, according to data from the European Union. South Korea’s Agro Fisheries & Food Trade Corp bought 10,000 tons of short grain brown rice of Australia origin, part of the 42,400 tender announced last month. Myanmar is considering discussing lifting duty tax on rice exports to China. Nepal developed three flood and drought resistant rice varieties. Tags: Oryza White Rice Index (WRI), global rice market

IRRI Economist Says Global Rice Market Can Ride Out El Nino, Thanks to Bumper Stocks May 16, 2014

Joining other international organizations, a senior economist at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Sam Monhanty, writes in his blog that despite the productive threat of El Nino, the global stocks-to-use ratio of 23.5% is comfortable.He notes the biggest threat is not from production loss, but panic which could cause export bans to assure domestic supplies, especially India. India banned non-basmati rice exports 2007-2011. He adds that any reduction in Thai production, on account of the nation’s rice mortgage scheme coming to an end February 2014, is likely to be made up for by existing carryover supplies from previous years. Tags: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Sam Monhanty, El Niño, stocks-to-use ratio

European Paddy, Rice Quotations Stable European paddy quotes in the week May 6- May 13 showed no big changes from the previous week, according to data from the European Union. Only Romanian prices moved significantly. SPAIN - Japonica paddy was unchanged at 285 euros (about $390) per ton over the last two weeks, up slightly from 282 euros (about $386) per ton previously. Indica paddy received no quotations. Milled Japonica rice quotes are firm at 542 euros (about $743) per

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ton. PORTUGAL - No prices are available for Long A or Long B paddy, or milled rice. GREECE – Quotations are firm: medium grain paddy is shown at 400 euros (about $547) per ton. Long grain paddy is stable at 450 euros (about $616) per ton and Indica paddy advanced to 235 euros (about $321) per ton, from 230 euros (about $ 315) a week prior. There are no quotations for milled rice. ROMANIA - Japonica paddy prices on May 13 fell to 343 euros (about $469) per ton, down 10 euros (about $13) per ton from 353 euros (about $483) per ton on May 6. Indica paddy quotes increased from 283 euros (about $ 387) per ton on May 6 to 320 euros (about $ 438) per ton on May 13. As for milled rice, Japonica quotes went down to 652 euros (about $893) per ton on May 6, starting from 716 euros (about $ 980) per ton on May 6. Indica milled rice followed an opposite trend; on May 6 it was quoted 547 euros (about $749) per ton, it went up to 580 euros (about $794) per ton on May 13. BULGARIA - Japonica paddy quotations have remained firm at 276 euros (about $378) per ton. Japonica milled rice indications remained unchanged from a week prior, at 814 euros (about $1,115) per ton. This latter quotation has significantly increased starting from 544 euros (about $ 745) per ton of April 29. FRANCE - No quotations have been available for any kind of milled rice - round, Long A and Long B - since April 22. Round paddy varieties kept firm with quotes at 470 euros (about $643) per ton, Long A at 620 euros (about $849) per ton, and Long B prices at 470 euros (about $643) per ton.

Tags: European paddy quotes, european rice prices

Oryza Rice Currency Analysis for Today – India Rupee Rallies 0.9% May 16, 2014

U.S. dollar index was up +0.07% from the open today, when it traded at 80.056 at the close. Euro was weaker -0.09% by the close, trading around 1.3696 by end of day, after trading between an intraday high of 1.3727 and low of 1.3685. Thai baht was stronger +0.06%, trading at 32.500 at the close of business. Indian rupee was stronger +0.86% at 58.7825. Brazilian real was stronger +0.18% at the close of trading today, trading at 2.2153 reais per dollar. Pakistan rupee was +0.10% stronger at 98.5373.

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Vietnamese dong was weaker -0.20% at 21165. Mexican peso was stronger +0.42% today, when it traded at 12.9042 pesos per dollar by the close of business. Chinese yuan was weaker -0.06% at 6.2234. Argentine peso was stronger +0.02% at 8.0545 pesos per dollar. Tags: foreign exchange rates, rice currencies, global rice prices

Oryza U.S. Rough Rice Recap - Prices Hold Steady as Buyers Are Reluctant to Pay Higher Prices May 16, 2014

As of today, old crop offers could still be seen near $16.11 per cwt fob farm (about $355 per ton) for May-June shipment although most sellers are looking for at least $16.66 per cwt fob farm (about $367 per ton).Bids from most larger mills increased again today around $15.25 per cwt (about $336 per ton) for May-June delivery while bids for exporters and smaller mills held steady near $16.00 per cwt (about $353 per ton), for the same delivery period. However, no trades were reported. Tags: U.S. rice prices; U.S. rice market

South Korea Buys 10,000 Tons of Australia Rice May 16, 2014

South Korea’s Agro Fisheries & Food Trade Corp bought 10,000 tons of short grain brown rice of Australia origin, according to Reuters. This was part of the 42,400 tender announced last month. The offer deadline was May 8 and deliver is expected September 30 – October 31. Tags: South Korea rice imports, Australia rice exports, Rice tender

Thailand Rice Farmers Scrabble for Credit as Payment for Rice Paddy Is Not Expected until December or January May 16, 2014

There are about 720,000 Thailand rice farmers owed 82 billion baht (about $2.5 billion) who are waiting for the government to pay them for their paddy under the rice mortgage scheme. The managing director of the BAAC told local media farmers may not be paid the money they are owed until December, or January.

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A survey by the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) found that to cover daily expenses, about 29% of rice farmers have taken out loans while 22% have dipped into their savings, about 9% have used credit cards, and about 6% are getting money from other sources.To continue farming paddy, about two-thirds said they were using credit cards and about 60% said they were borrowing from other sources. Meanwhile about 30% were using their savings and 16% said they were working side jobs. Tags: Thailand rice mortgage scheme, Thailand rice exports

Myanmar May Lift of Duty on Rice Exports to China May 16, 2014

Myanmar is considering discussing lifting duty tax on rice exports, the former’s Ministry of Commerce said on Friday. The meetings come in the wake of China apprehending Myanmar traders who tried to export rice in unnamed bags to dodge China’s quality control officials. Around 80% of Myanmar’s rice exports reach China through its northern border.Myanmar is negotiating with China’s AQSIQ [General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine] which may give the permission for duty free, quota free rice exports, added an advisor for the Ministry of Commerce.In the 2013-14 fiscal year, 684,698 tons of rice (worth about US$ 274 million) was traded across the Chinese border while 381,716 tons of rice (worth about US$ 106 million) was exported abroad, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Tags: myanmar rice exports, China rice imports

Pakistan Rice Exports Hampered by Quality Review Committee, Says UNISAME May 16, 2014

Pakistan should dissolve the Quality Review Committee (QRC) and enable rice exporters to sell their rice without unnecessary interference from the QRC, the Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) in Karachi urged the government on Friday. The QRC has neither the expertise nor the commercial interests of exporters in mind, the UNISAME added. Instead of focussing on quality review, the QRC which was formed to protect the basmati brand, is trying to act like a pre-shipment inspection (PSI) organization. Also it is hampering exports due to lack of knowledge in the subject, according to local sources. UNISAME has asked for an independent third party with requisite quality control infrastructure in place of QRC. Tags: Pakistan rice exports, Quality Review Committee (QRC), Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame), pre-shipment inspection (PSI)

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Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Finish with Modest Gain; Grains Slip Further May 16, 2014

Chicago rough rice futures for Jul delivery settled 2 cents per cwt (about $0.44 per ton) higher at $15.400 per cwt (about $340 per ton). The other grains finished the day lower; soybeans closed about 0.4% lower at $14.6500 per bushel; wheat finished about 0.6% lower at $6.7425 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 0.2% lower at $4.8350 per bushel.U.S. stocks hovered around the flat-line again in lackluster trading Friday, as investors digested a handful of mixed economic reports and following a sharp two-day selloff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average wavered. The blue-chip index has been trading in a narrow 50-point range all morning. The S&P 500 was flat, while the Nasdaq was slightly lower. All three major averages are on pace to logging a negative week. Among key S&P sectors, materials slumped, while telecoms advanced. Housing starts jumped 13.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.07 million units, according to the Commerce Department. The reading was the best since November 2013. And building permits hit their highest level since 2008. Meanwhile, consumer sentiment slipped to 81.8 in May, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading. The reading was down from 84.1 from the month before and was also below the expectation of 84.5 among economists polled by Reuters. So far, 93 percent of S&P 500 companies have posted quarterly results, with 69 percent of firms topping earnings expectations and 22 percent missing estimates. Gold is trading about 0.1% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 0.7% higher, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.1% higher at about 1:00pm Chicago time.Thursday, there were 476 contracts traded, up from 296 contracts traded on Wednesday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Thursday increased by 63 contracts to 8,251. Tags: U.S. rice prices; U.S. rice market; Chicago rough rice futures

Nepal Develops Three Flood and Drought Resistant Rice Varieties May 16, 2014

A joint team of research scientists from the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) and the Philippinesbased International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have developed three new varieties of rice seeds that are flood and drought resistant, according to local sources. Nepal is highly prone to climate extremities such as floods and droughts and rice farmers often end up in huge losses. Rice is an important staple in Nepal and accounts for about 20% of the country's agricultural gross

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domestic product (GDP). According to NARC officials, about 33% of total rice area (1.56 million hectares) in Nepal is affected by droughts (520,000 hectares) and about 10% is affected by floods (150,000 hectares) every year, according to IRRI data.

The new varieties can withstand continuous drought up to one-and-half months and floods up to two weeks or both, says the Head of IRRI's Nepal program. He stated that the scientists developed the new seeds by using the IRRI's breeding method, according to which specific desirable genes are incorporated into new varieties. He also noted that the seeds were tested for three years in the IRRI laboratory in the Philippines as well as in different lowland areas in Nepal.The IRRI's Head of the Nepal Program said the yield from the new varieties is between two to four tons per hectares. He said the seeds have to be certified by the country's Seed Quality Control Center (CQCC) under the Ministry of Agricultural Development. Once the seeds are certified, they would be distributed to farmers through various agricultural agencies, he adds. Scientists say the introduction of the new seeds has come at a time when rice production in Asian countries this year is likely to be affected by drought-induced El Nino weather pattern.Separately, community seeds banks are being set up in Nepal to help farmers preserve local seed varieties and also cope with climate changes. USDA estimates Nepal to produce 3.3 million tons of rice in MY 2013-14 (October 2013 - September 2014), up about 10% from about 3 million tons produced in MY 2012-13. Nepal is expected to import about 250,000 tons of rice in 2013-14, down about 29% from about 350,000 tons imported in 2012-13. Country's consumption needs in 2013-14 are estimated at 3.55 million tons, up about 6% from about 3.35 million tons in 2012-13. According to the USDA, Nepal's yield is in the range of 2.7 to 2.9 tons per hectare. Tags: Nepal rice production, rice breeding, rice genetics

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Thailand Election Date May be Delayed Several Months May 16, 2014

Thailand Caretaker Prime Minister's meeting with the Election Commissioner (EC) on Thursday turned out to be unsuccessful as the meeting was forcefully called off after some anti-government protestors barged into the meeting campus, according to Wall Street Journal. The EC told local media that the general election cannot be conducted on July 20, 2014 as planned, because of ongoing political protests and little time for preparation. Sources from the Prime Minister's Office said that the election is likely to be delayed by another three to four months. Meanwhile, protests by anti-government leaders who are urging the Senate to appoint a new Prime Minister and government are being condemned by caretaker government support groups as undemocratic.With the uncertainty around the election date, installation of a new and stable government in the near future seems a difficult proposition. Meanwhile, Thailand still has around 10 million tons rice in its warehouses and the caretaker government is planning to sell around one million tons rice every month. Tags: thailand political uncertainty, thailand elections, Thailand rice stocks

Vietnam Rice Exporters Reluctant to Fill Philippines Rice Tender, Fear Losses May 16, 2014

The joy of winning the contract to supply 800,000 tons of 15% broken white rice to the Philippines seems to be over, say local sources. Vietnam is now facing trouble internally with most of private exporters not willing to join the Philippines rice export program for the fear of losses.Vietnam's Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2), which represents Vietnamese rice exporters, won the bid to supply 600,000 tons of rice to the Philippines with selling prices of $436.5 per ton, $437.75 per ton and $439.25 per ton of rice for three lots of 200,000 tons. The Northern Food Corporation (Vinafood 1) won the contract to supply 200,000 tons of rice at selling prices of $436 per tons and $439 per ton for two lots of 100,000 tons .However, some of the private exporters are officially refusing to supply rice to the Philippines saying the prices are too low to cover their expenses. One of the exporters noted that same kind rice being exported to China is fetching a better price and is unconditional. Rice exports to the Philippines under the current contract are attached with a number of conditions, say exporters. They have been reportedly warned by the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) of being fined if the conditions are not met. Local sources say the exporters would be fined to the extent of $3 per ton for every 1% of excessive broken rice and $30 per ton for more than 10%, adding that other fines have been specified for lapses and other wrong-doings. Some exporters say collecting rice now, at high prices, to the Philippines would lead to losses of at least $20 per ton. Domestic prices, which plunged in early March and April, began firming up with the government's rice

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procurement program, say exporters. However, some exporters who began collecting rice since March are likely to show interest in supplying rice to the Philippines, say local sources. Exporters are criticizing the two stateowned export organizations for offering bids areound $30 per ton lower compared to the bids offered by Thailand and Cambodia. In this situation, doubts are rife whether Vietnam can fulfill its contracts to the Philippines. Vietnam exported about 1.82 million tons of rice during Jan 1 - May 8, 2014, down about 35% from about 2.8 million tons of rice exported during Jan-May, 2013, according to data from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). The average rice export price so far in this year stands at about $437 per ton, down about $2 per ton from an average price of $439 per ton recorded during first five months last year. Tags: Vietnam rice exports, Philippines rice imports, China rice imports

WTO Cautions South Korea over Changing Protectionist Strategy for Rice Imports May 16, 2014

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General (DG) has urged South Korea to act wisely on opening its rice import market after the expiry of the import quota system, and seek advice of other WTO members over the matter, according to local sources.The WTO DG who visited South Korea yesterday reportedly met with top government officials to discuss over continuing with the rice import quotas or to liberalize the rice market by setting up high tariffs for rice imports. With domestic prices wel above global prices, South Korea is concerned that trade liberalization will put competitive pressure on the nation's rice producers. Speaking to a news conference, the WTO DG noted that ―though free trade is the main driving force in growth and development, it is difficult to predict how Korea is going to value the situation and how the other members are going to interact and react to this. It’s impossible to predict at this moment.‖With the expiration of current import quotas, the government of South Korea is considering trade liberalization, combined with import tariffs. South Korea is self-sufficient in rice production and does not need to import rice, but likely would import more on rice arbitrage if the import market was entirely liberalized.According to the WTO quota agreement, South Korea was obligated to import 4% of its annual rice consumption for ten years in 1993. The agreement was extended for another ten years in 2004 obligating the country to import 7.96% of annual rice consumption. Since the import quotas come to an end this year, the government of South Korea is strategizing how to continue to protect its domestic rice industry from global competition. It is planning to liberalize the country's rice import market rather than pursue further extension of the quotas.Also, local sources say since rice consumption in South Korea is declining due to changing food habits and economic growth, the government is planning to limit rice imports to control supplies in the country. However, under current import quota system, South Korea cannot limit imports as it is under obligation to import at least 400,000 per year tons of rice as per WTO rules.

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If South Korea decides to open up the rice import market, it is not obligated to import a definite quantity of rice every year and can control imports by way of imposing high tariffs, say local sources. South Korea's Agriculture Minister said that the country may impose tariffs between 300% to 500% on rice imports, if the market is liberalized. But such tariffs may require permission of the WTO, according to trade sources. USDA estimates South Korea to imports around 410,000 tons of rice in MY 2013-14 (November 2013 - October 2014), down about 20% from 510,000 tons imported in MY 2012-13. Rice production in 2013-14 is expected to reach around 4.2 million tons of rice in MY 2013-14, up 6% from 4 million tons in MY 2012-13. The country's annual rice consumption is estimated at about 4.6 million tons in MY 2013-14, up about 2% from 4.5 million tons in MY 2012-13. Tags: South Korea rice imports

Thailand Rice Sellers Lower Some of Their Quotes; Other Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged Today May 16, 2014

Thailand rice sellers lowered their quotes for 5% broken rice by about $5 per ton to about $365- $375 per ton today. Other Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged. 5% Broken Rice Thai 5% rice (of new crop) is quoted around $365 - $375 per ton, down about $5 per ton from yesterday and about $40 per ton discount to Viet 5% rice shown around $405 - $415 per ton. Indian 5% rice is quoted around $420 - $430 per ton, on par with Pak 5% rice quoted around $420 - $430 per ton. 25% Broken Rice Thai 25% rice of the old crop is quoted about $340 - $350 per ton, about a $25 per ton discount to Viet 25% rice shown around $365 - $375 per ton. Indian 25% rice is quoted around $380 - $390 per ton, about $10per ton premium over Pak 25% quoted around $370 - $380 per ton. Parboiled Rice Thai parboiled rice of the old crop is quoted around $405 - $415 per ton. Indian parboiled rice is quoted around $395 - $405 per ton, about $40 per ton discount to Pak parboiled rice quoted around $435 - $445 per ton. 100% Broken Rice Thai broken rice, A1 Super, of the old crop is quoted around $300 - $310 per ton, about a $35 per ton discount

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to Viet broken rice shown around $335 - $345 per ton. Indian broken sortexed rice is quoted around $300 - $310 per ton, about a $25 per ton discount to Pak broken sortexed rice quoted around $325 - $335 per ton. Tags: Asia rice quotes, Asia rice prices, asia rice trade

Oryza Overnight Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Remain Directionless with No Interest in Overnight Trading May 16, 2014

Chicago rough rice futures for Jul delivery were paused 1 cent per cwt (about $0.22 per ton) lower overnight at $15.370 per cwt (about $339 per ton) as of 8:00am Chicago time. The other grains are seen mostly lower this morning ahead of floor trading in Chicago: soybeans are currently seen about 0.2% lower, wheat was paused unchanged, and corn is noted about 0.3% lower. U.S. stock index futures shaved some losses Friday following a better-than-expected housing starts report, but weakness in European equities kept a lid on gains. Housing starts jumped 13.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.07 million units, according to the Commerce Department. The reading was the best since November 2013. And building permits hit their highest level since 2008. Also on the economic front, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment will be reported at 9:55 am ET. Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis President James Bullard is expected to speak on the economy and monetary policy in Arkansas at 11:50 am ET. No major earnings are expected Friday. European shares failed to bounce back after Thursday's global selling, which was prompted by anxiety over slow growth, low inflation and hefty valuations. U.S. shares fell for a second session on the day, with the Dow Jones down triple digits. The S&P 500 lost 1% each while the Nasdaq closed down 0.8%. Small-cap stocks weighed on Thursday, as the Russell 2000 briefly hit correction territory before pulling back. U.S. stock index futures are currently trading about 0.1% lower, gold is currently trading about 0.4% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 0.3% higher, and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.1% higher at 8:00am Chicago time. Tags: U.S. rice prices; U.S. rice market; Chicago rough rice futures

Government of India Forecasts 2013-14 Rice Production at Record 106.29 Million Tons, Up 1% from Last Year; El Nino Looms The government of India, in its third advance estimates for major crops, has estimated India's rice production for 2013-14 marketing year (October 2013 - September 2014) at a record 106.29 million tons, up about 1% from an estimated 105.24 million tons produced in 2012-13.According to government sources, India's total food grain production, which includes Kharif (July - December) and Rabi (November - March) crops, in 2013-14 is likely to reach around 264.38 million tons, up about 3% from last year's 257.13 million tons, and many crops

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are likely to achieve record production.Local sources say increased area for rabi (winter) rice crop and increasing market prices are likely to boost India's rice production in 2013-14. According to Ministry of Agriculture, Rabi rice area as on February 28, 2014 stands at around 4.1 million hectares, up about 24% from about 3.31 million hectares sown during the same period last year.According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, India’s actual rice production in 201213 stood at 105.24 million tons (92.37 million tons from kharif and 12.87 million tons from rabi), marginally down from about 105.31 million tons produced in 2011-12 (92.75 million tons from kharif and 12.56 million tons from rabi).Trade sources say the record output of rice in this marketing year could assure the nation’s rice exports are not banned. India emerged as the top rice exporter in 2012 and 2013 after the government lifted a four-year ban on non-basmati rice exports in 2011. India exported around 10.5 million tons in FY 2013-14, up about 3% from around 10.2 million tons exported in FY 2012-13, according to data from All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA).They also say the high output would act as a buffer for the country in case of lower production in the next crop year due to El Nino weather pattern. USDA estimates India's milled rice production at 105 million tons in MY 2013-14 (October - September), marginally down from an estimated 105.24 million tons produced in MY 2012-13. It expects India to export 10 million tons of rice during 2014, down by about 8% from about 10.87 million tons exported in 2013. USDA estimates MY 2013-14 total rice area to increase to about 43.5 million hectares, up about 2.5% from about 42.41 million hectares in 2012-13. Tags: India rice production, India rice exports, El Niño

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