4.6m tons of rice exported
Courtesy: The NATION
By Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana
A record export of rice was achieved during 2009-10, when
4.607 million tons of the commodity was shipped fetching
According to official figures the country up to June 30,
2010 exported around 4.604 million tons of all verities,
including basmati showing an increase of 57 per cent over
the previous year exports of 2.930 million tons.
Similarly, there was foreign exchange earning at $2.265
billion, 10 per cent higher than $2.044 billion achieved
However, if analysed closely the fact is that the country
was unable to fetch a good price and led to less than
proportional increase in the volume of the commodity that
surged by 57 per cent against only 10 per cent increase in
Nevertheless, it is a remarkable achievement on part of the
private sector exporters of rice, particularly at a time
when export of other goods, including textiles recorded a
fall during 2009-10.
It has been also a great job on the part of growers, who
managed to produce bumper crop of over 6.6 million tons
although they faced shortage of irrigation water. After
meeting domestic consumption of around 2.5 million tons the
country was left with exportable surplus of over 4 million
tons. However, there was a carryover balance of around one
million tons from the last crop.
As per the breakup of rice exports during the out-going
year, basmati exports stood at 0.943 million tons and
fetched total value of $786.5 million on fob basis and at an
average price of $834 per ton. The export of non-basmati
stood at 3.557 million tons and earned $1.399 billion on fob
basis and at an average price of $393 per ton.
However, a small quantity 107,010 tons of brown rice was
exported through Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) by
private sector exporters, which fetched around $80 million
on fob basis and at an average price of $749 per ton.
Rafique Suleman, the vice-chairman Rice Exporters
Association of Pakistan (Reap) told Dawn that undoubtedly
the country exported record quantity of rice but it failed
to fetch good price owing to host of factors.
He said whenever there is a government intervention in any
trade it fails to produce the desired results and same could
be said about rice exports, because last year the TCP was
allowed to move in rice trade and exports.
However, he assured to further increase rice exports if the
government helped to create more exportable surplus along
with the quality. Mr Suleman suggested that water issue
should be resolved at the earliest to ensure higher paddy
production and timely arrival of the crop.
Above all, he said, there is a greater need for developing
new rice varieties to improve quality and production.
Therefore, he demanded that the government should induct
private sector members in the boards of rice research
Presently, there are two institutes each in the Punjab and
Sindh. Private sector members from north and south zones of
the Reap should be inducted in their boards for getting
better research work and results.
Malik Mohammad Jahangir, central chairman Reap complained
that the government did not accept any of their proposals
given for the budget and demanded that withholding tax on
rice export should be immediately removed.
Rahim Janoo, former chairman Reap said that private sector
exporters were actively exploring new markets and if the
government did not intervene, as it did in 2008-09, rice
trade could flourish and more foreign exchange could be
earned for the country.
He disclosed that a rice trade delegation would visit three
African countries from July 7, to explore new markets. There
is big scope to increase rice exports to the Middle East,
Europe, Africa and even Far East but all this needs a free
hand and there should be no government intervention at any