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LAHORE: Pakistan’s rice exports have achieved a new landmark during the first 10 months of the current financial year 2021-22 by crossing four million tons mark. The same were 3.69 million tons during the whole corresponding financial year 2020-21.

Exporters hoped that the country will achieve over 4.6 million tons at the completion of the current financial year and in dollar terms these would be over US 2.5 billion dollars.

Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Chairman Ali Hussam Asghar while talking to Business Recorder said Pakistan could achieve this exceptional performance as the global demand surged.

“The global economy remained shut due to Covid-19 for two years and this year it opened up thus creating more demand”, he added.

Pakistani basmati rice also remained cheaper than Indian basmati due to which leading global buyers diverted their attention towards Pakistan. Secondly, pesticide residue issue with Indian rice also compelled the international buyers to look towards Pakistan. European buyers alone bought 350,000 tons super basmati from Pakistan, Ali Hussam said and added another factor was increased exports of rice to Iran through land route.

To maintain this performance, the REAP chairman said the government has to give attention towards growing more to grow more export surplus. He claimed that Pakistan’s current crop size could not cater the growing demand for Pakistani rice. Pakistan has to promote high yielding rice varieties, rice harvesters, rice transplanters and other latest technologies.

Waqas Azhar, another leading rice exporter, also gave credit of record of rice exports to a new method promoted by the REAP Chairman and TCP Chairman Rafay Bashir which is “bulk vessel export”. He said in absence of containers in sufficient quantity, idea of bulk vessel export was developed and TCP fully assisted REAP in this regard and bulk rice exports were made through 12-13 vessels to European countries in this way.

Hamid Malik, a consultant of the rice trade, in his comments hoped that first time ever Pakistan will achieve a magical figure of 4.8 million tons in 12 months of the financial year 2022. He said Pakistani rice exporters achieved this despite of extraordinary hike in ocean freight, limited availability of containers & stiff competition from highly subsidized Indian rice. Record breaking rice export was possible by non-basmati exporters’ untiring, focused and sustained efforts by pushing high volume of 3.750 million tons in just 10 months. Overall non-basmati export in 10 months of current year increased by 39 percent than last year 10 months and basmati rice export during current FY 10 months increased by 24 percent, he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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