Monday, 16 July 2018

Increase in paddy support price: Rice exporters concerned over competitiveness in global market


A 13 per cent increase in MSP of paddy has sent jitters among the non-basmati rice exporters, who fear that the price rise will make the Indian cereal unviable in the global market and threaten India’s position as the largest exporter of rice, they said. "While we welcome the increase in MSP for farmers, the government should also look at sustaining the growth in rice exports," said BV Krishna Rao, President of the Rice Exporters Association.

Govt incentives
The government could look at incentivesthrough schemes such as Merchandise Exports from India Scheme or interest subvention, he added. The rice exporters are planning to take up the issue with the Commerce Ministry soon.

Non-basmati shipments
Non-basmati rice shipments have emerged as a major component of the Indian farm produce exports in recent years helping the country to emerge as the largest exporter of the cereal. Non-basmati rice exports stood at 8.6 million tonnes (mt) valued at $3 billion last year. In the current, financial year, the shipments have maintained the growth trend with a weakening rupee aiding the exports. As per the latest data from Apeda, non-basmati rice shipments have grown 40 per cent in the first two months of current, financial year at 1.43 mt valued at $603 million ( Rs. 4,013 crore) over the corresponding last year. The non-basmati rice accounts for around a fifth of the Apeda’s export basket in value terms.

Export markets
Of India’s total rice production of 108 mt, the domestic consumption including the buffer stocks is estimated at around 97-98 mt, while the rest is exported mainly to countries in Africa, Bangladesh and SriLanka. Any slow-down in shipments will lead to accumulation of stocks and may influence the prices, the exporters said.

Monday, 9 April 2018

We were in the dark about Jordan’s new residue norms, claims rice exporters body


The All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) on Thursday said it has taken up the issue of Jordan rejecting rice containers of an Indian exporter early this week with agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) and Jordan Chamber of Commerce. Jordan’s Agriculture Ministry has denied permission for offloading 12 containers carrying 270 tonnes of basmati rice from a North Indian exporter at its Aqaba port as Jordanian government laboratories found the pesticide residue in rice samples examined were higher than the maximum residue level (MRL). “The samples were found to have residue level (of fungicide tricyclazole) higher than it is now permitted. However, what is strange was that Jordan did not notify its decision to revise MRL and as a result, this information was not publicly available,” said AIREA Executive Director Rajen Sundaresan.

EU norms
“All of a sudden, Jordan has decided to adopt the European Union (EU) norms for tricyclazole residue, which stands at 0.01 parts per million (ppm). We had little knowledge about this,” he said, adding that the association has already written to Apeda and Jordan Chamber of Commerce. From January 1 this year, the EU decided to not allow the import of basmati rice whose tricyclazole levels exceed more than 0.01 ppm to its member countries, affecting most basmati exporters from India. Prior to the implementation of new norms, the MRL in Indian basmati was 1 ppm. The tolerance levels for tricyclazole in the US and Japan, interestingly, are much higher, at 3 ppm and 10 ppm respectively. Indian rice exporters have been lobbying with the Central government for getting the new norms relaxed by the EU for two years.

Options left
Sundaresan, who refused to name the exporter whose consignment has been blocked, said the options available to them include bringing the consignment back to India, or destroying it or re-routing the shipment to the countries where such MRL is permitted.
“The tricyclazole levels permitted in India is 3 ppm. When the consignment left India it was within the permissible limits. But Jordan has suddenly decided to follow the EU regime. We have written to them to find out since when it has come into effect,” the AIREA official said.