China a fresh key player in Pakistani rice market in the fiscal year 2011-12 looks to be the largest export market in the next fiscal 2012-13, as it purchased around 0.36 million tons last year and is expected to purchase a minimum of around 0.45 million tons during 2012-13 fiscal.

Reap Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Vice Chairman Samee Ullah talking to Daily Times said China is a new market for Pakistani rice and looks to gain the maximum share of the overall rice exports in the current year or coming years.

“This year Pakistan is going to make its rice exports to China almost double of what it exported last year. But there are many non-trade elements faced to Pakistani farmers and exporters. If these elements remain on the way to export, the target to double export volume to China would then be achievable in next fiscal year.”

China purchased 0.36 million tons rice from Pakistan for the first time in the fiscal year 2011-12. Comparing exports volume to China with other major markets, Pakistan exported 0.39 million tons to Kenya, 0.33 million tons to United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 0.14 million tons to Iran.

At present other major markets like Kenya and UAE looked to make their purchases of Pakistani basmati rice from its competitors India and Vietnam because of high priced rice of Pakistan. Vietnamese rice prices softened this week on lack of demand, traders said. Its prices slid to $445-$455 a tonne free-on-board from $450-$460 two weeks earlier. This compares Thai quoted at $550 a tonne. Thai government’s rice subsidy scheme has made its rice nearly a third more expensive than grain from rivals Vietnam and India and threatens to take away its status as the world’s biggest rice exporter.

Pakistan is offering the same produce at $450 per metric tonne while India at $420 per metric tonne. In the current year all other consumers of Basmati rice are approaching Vietnam and India leaving only China for Pakistan because China is interested in long grain 386 Rice rather than Basmati grade.

“There is no alternative available in any other exporting country for long grain 386 rice. China purchased this variety for the first time in the previous year and liked it so much that they preferred its palatability on all other varieties,” he added.

He said as Chinese expressed interest in this variety, it looked it would soon become the biggest export market for Pakistani rice.

REAP Chairman Jawed Ali Ghori said China approached Pakistan to buy rice as a result of sanctions imposed by World Trade Organization to its members to keep their imports and exports at moderate level.

As Pakistan is a very big market for Chinese exporters but a very small amount from Pakistan is exported to China. To meet such deficiency, China began to purchase rice from Pakistan.

He informed almost 0.15 million tons of rice has been booked by Chinese importers in the current fiscal for January shipment.

Talking about any trade regulation imposed by the government for exporters, he stated, “There is no government intervention for Pakistani exporters as implemented in Thailand, India and other countries and it is good for us.”

REAP statistics stated Pakistan exported 372,4847 metric tons of rice in the fiscal year 2011-12, out of which the exports to China stands 362,561 metric tons.

It stated 0.36 million tons export volume to China consisted of 362,170.20 tons of non-Basmati rice costing at $161,351,355.97 and only 390.75 metric tons of Basmati rice costing at $407,189.05. China contributed to a total share of 9.73% of its total rice exports from Pakistan in the last year.

Source: Daily Time Dec 2012

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