Basmati rice exports decline by 53pc in half year
January 03, 2013
KARACHI: Pakistan’s export of basmati rice declined by 53 percent to 239,764 tons in the last six months period ended on December 31 from 506,904 tons exported in the same period of last year, according to Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap).
In dollar terms, rice exports fell by 47 percent to $233 million from July 1 to December 31, 2012 against $440 million recorded in the same period of last year, added the association.
“Exports have declined due to exorbitant increase in the input cost of Pakistani basmati rice,” said Jawed Ali Ghori, chairman of Reap. “The higher input cost empowered Indians to export its rice to those destinations where Pakistan used to export earlier.”
“Tender of rice from the Qatar government has been awarded to India due to lower prices. Also, Oman, Abu Dhabi and Doha have not yet placed their import orders to Pakistan,” he said. “In addition, Pakistani rice was not getting a good price from Iranian importers for the last six months, which is why exports to Iran via Quetta border have declined by 66 percent.”
He added that the price of basmati rice has increased by 15 percent due to increase in tariffs of electricity and gas. Besides, the running of mills on diesel-generators also led to an increase in operational cost.
He showed serious concerns over the alarming decline of Pakistani basmati rice exports and urged the government to take appropriate measures for boosting basmati rice exports.
He also urged upon the government to take action against those elements that were hoarding basmati rice to increase the price of the commodity in an artificial manner in the local markets.
“PK-386 may also be given official recognition as basmati rice, as the seed of super basmati was losing strength and its per acre yield was also decreasing day by day,” he said. “For this purpose, the government may take steps for the development of new rice seeds.”
Courtesy: The NEWS