Pakistan’s rice exports set to reach 5 mil mt in FY 2023-24 on good crop output

Source:  S&P Global Platts

Pakistan’s rice exports soared in the seven months to Jan. 31 owing to a good crop size and a jump in prices, with shipments expected to reach 5 million mt for the first time in history, said Chela Kewlani, chairman, Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan.

“In terms of value, rice exports in seven months of the fiscal year have already reached what the country achieved in the last financial year,” Kewlani said in a telephonic conversation Feb. 18.

Basmati rice exports during July to January rose 24% to 398,764 mt compared with 320,751 mt year on year, according to data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

Non-basmati exports rose to 2.924 million mt in the seven months ended Jan. 31, as compared with 1.661 million mt in prior-year period, a rise of 76%, the data showed.

The country’s fiscal year runs from July to June.

Global rice prices are up because of an export ban imposed by the Indian government in a bid to curb inflation, with the country’s market share previously around 40%, said a commodity expert.

Rice price appreciation

“As compared with last year, the price of rice has increased by 25% to 30%, which has helped the country earn more of foreign exchange through shipments of the commodity,” said Kewlani.

In the seven months of the current fiscal year, exports amounted to $2.1 billion as compared with $1.083 billion, registering an increase of 95%, the government data said.

Basmati rice exports fetched on an average $1,146/mt compared with $1,044/mt last year while non-basmati on an average fetched around $567/mt whereas last year it worked out to be $449/mt, Hamid Malik, a commodity expert, said.

Platts assessed Pakistani 5% broken white rice $17/mt down on the week at $602/mt FOB Feb. 16, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed.

Platts assessed Pakistani Brown Basmati 2% broken up at $861/mt FOB FCL, reflecting a higher bid and withdrawal of lower offers, in the week to Feb. 16, S&P Global data showed.

Rice output would comfortably cross 9 million mt during the current season by June 30, said Kewlani.

Last year, floods swept away standing crops thus limiting the overall rice production, resulting in a loss of 1.5 million mt to 2 million mt of rice. The magnitude of destruction in the Sindh province was near to 60%, said another commodity expert.

New markets

In view of the good crop this season, rice exporters have started increasing their footprints in new markets.

“We have increased our penetration in Indonesia, Malaysia and some African countries and fetched some good number of huge orders,” Kewlani said.

Non-Basmati exports to Indonesia rose to $274 million in the seven months to Jan. 31 from $27 million of the corresponding period a year ago, according to customs data.

Exports to Malaysia rose to $206 million from $53 million mt and to Afghanistan up to $153 million from $77 million, the data showed.

Rice exports to Senegal went up to $82 million from $660,000, Djibouti up to $62 million from $1.71 million and to Madagascar to $77 million from $3.9 million, the customs data showed.

Mexico and Russia will soon be added to Pakistan’s export destinations as we have completed all the requirements for both countries, such as health and quality standards, where we have sought approvals from our plant protection department as well from the country’s counterparts, the chairman said.

UAE with a $85 million, Saudi Arabia with $51 million and Oman with $43 million were the top buyers of Pakistani Basmati rice during the first seven months of the current fiscal year, the customs data showed. Exports rose to $28.5 million from Yemen compared with $1.84 million last year in the same period.

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