Costly Indian rice may help Pak recapture Saudi export market

March 30th, 2008 - 1:33 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad , Mar.30 (ANI): The Indian Governments decision to restrict rice exports could help Pakistan rice exporters recapture the lucrative market in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, feel experts.
Saudi Arabia annually imports rice in excess of a million tons, and India currently holds roughly 70 per cent of this market. According to the Dawn, this monopoly on exports could slip in view of New Delhi s decision to restrict exports.
Pakistan s share of the market today stands roughly at 11 per cent. A decade ago, Pakistan was holding 50 per cent rice market of Saudi Arabia .
Saudi Arabia also procures rice from Pakistan , the United States , Egypt and Thailand . Pakistani basmati is believed to be preferred in the Eastern Province . In the Western Province of the Kingdom, there is a preference for parboiled rice.
Reports from Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh indicate that India has raised the minimum sale price for rice exports by more than 50 per cent, effectively ending overseas sales of all but the highest quality grades. India has raised the minimum export price for non-basmati rice to 1,000 dollars per ton from 650 dollars to protect domestic supplies. It also scrapped tax incentives for exporters of non-basmati rice to tame price pressures in local markets. India traditionally exports about four million tons of rice a year.
Apart from India , Vietnam too has decided to cut rice exports by 22 per cent this year. Vietnam is the worlds second-biggest rice exporter, and exported 4.5 million tons last year. This year it plans to export only 3.5 million tons.
Egypt has it would also ban rice exports from April 1 to October, so as to hold down local prices. (ANI)

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