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KARACHI: The country’s rice export fell sharply, ie, 14 percent during the last fiscal year (FY23) due to lower crop output because of flooding. However, the expected bumper crop and ban on rice export by India will help achieve all-time high rice exports during this fiscal year (FY24), exporters said.

According to official statistics, in terms of value Pakistan earned $ 2.14 billion foreign exchange against the export of rice during FY23 compared to $2.51 billion in the same period of fiscal year 2022 (FY22), depicting a decline of $ 364 million.

Overall, in terms of volume rice export shrunk by 25 percent during the last fiscal year. The country exported 3.717 million metric tons of rice including basmati and other varieties during July-June of FY23 as against 4.97 million metric ton in corresponding period of previous year.

Growers bring 3.278m acres of land under rice cultivation

“Last year’s flooding in the rice cultivated areas badly affected the rice crop output that resulted in the massive decline in the rice exports,” said Rafique Suleman Convenor FPCCI Standing Committee on rice.

He said last year, there was a shortfall of some 2 million metric tons in the rice crop production and the country produced some 6.5 million metric tons of rice. However, he said that this year a bumper rice crop is being estimated. “As per estimated, Pakistan will produce some 9 million metric tons of rice during the year and this will help to export more commodity,” he added.

There is only one reason for lower rice exports and that is flood, he said and added that the current decline in the rice exports is more than expected. “We were expecting a one million metric tons decline in the rice exports, but actually it fell some 1.2 million metric tons”, he mentioned.

Pakistan exporters make serious efforts to make higher rice exports, but, due to shortage of crop they were unable to maintain the previous year level. As this year, bumper rice export is expected, the country’s rice exports will not only be higher than previous year but likely to touch an all time high level, Suleman said.

In addition, the ban on rice exports by India will also help to explore new export markets for Pakistani exports, he added. “We will earn $2.7 to $3 billion through export of rice during this fiscal as sufficient rice stocks will be available for the exports,” he said.

The rice export prices are also gradually increasing and during the last two weeks rice prices in the world market have risen rapidly. On July 15, Thailand was offering a price of $ 495 per metric tons (FOB) and Pakistan was quoting $485 per metric tons (FoB), while now Thailand is offering $ 625 per metric tons and Pakistan rice prices rose to $600 per metric tons, Suleman maintained.

He said during this season rice has been cultivated on a large area compared to previous year and growers will also be major beneficiaries of higher crop output and exports.

Talking about the domestic rice prices he said that appreciation of dollar has contributed largely but it can be managed through administrative actions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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Rao Ehsan Aug 04, 2023 11:50am
So local consumers will pay all time higher price.
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Tulukan Mairandi Aug 04, 2023 12:53pm
Surprisingly our rice is one of the cheapest in europe and USA and still it doesn't get sold and ends up going on Sale dirt cheap, and used to feed strays and the homeless.
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Fazeel Siddiqui (Overseas Pakistani) Aug 04, 2023 01:03pm
Rice especially among other grains will be expensive after sometime as hoarders will hoard it to sell expensive on high profit. Russia has gone out of black sea grain deal and India banned rice export, this will impact already short food supply due to climate change, wars and inflation. If food security crisis hit Pakistan does export in this situation then Pakistan will have to import same thing at higher rates later. Take care of vulnerable people around you.
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Adnan Aziz Aug 04, 2023 03:45pm
Great news! Hopefully some rice will still be available for the people in the country even though the poor can no longer afford the staple, already selling at PKR 500+ per kg. It is also hoped that the stuff will first not be exported to be imported again at a higher price as this has been done in the past. It is further hoped that India will not relax it's rice export ban to punish Pakistan. I do not know how much the government will benefit with rice export but I am sure the hoarders and profiteers must be undergoing a mouth-watering experience even at this stage.
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Muhammad Yasin Aug 04, 2023 04:35pm
Our poor masses is already facing desperation in managing two times meal due to rising prices and short supplies of food items Is there any one to save them from business sharks of this sick society?
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Aryan Khan Aug 04, 2023 06:13pm
Will this increased rice production be of any relief to the local consumer?
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Saleem Aug 04, 2023 09:49pm
Please think for people's, export increase prices in domestic market which make peoples life more miserable.
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KU Aug 05, 2023 07:12pm
Hold your predictive horses, wait and see, because the cost of production in agriculture is depressing the ability to cultivate any crop. Analyze the rice cultivated area and eventually the yields in the coming few months. Too early to celebrate something which perhaps is not there. Similar was the fanfare about our bumper wheat crop this year, but a few days back we bought an unspecified thousand tons of wheat from Russia, it's already at the docks. We are letting the cats play with us and the results are not very hopeful.
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Azeem Hakro Aug 07, 2023 10:00am
India has banned its non-basmati rice to ensure food security for its large population. Another main point is that India had a 40% import duty on wheat, which it is also going to abolish, because it is also running short of wheat. There is a fear that India will ban wheat exports, and if it does so, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Middle East will be affected. Wheat prices in Indian local market have risen by 12%. Mark my words, in 2 to 3 years India will also become a wheat importer country like Pakistan. In Pakistan, this year's rice crop is bumper, and fertile land available for wheat cultivation, which will lead to higher yields for both crops. Pakistan is expected to have a stronger position in rice exports, especially basmati rice. Pakistan should establish a clear rice export policy and conduct a study to determine the potential amount of rice that can be exported. This way, it can ensure that rice exports benefit the local market and prevent excessive price increases.
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