India replaces Pakistan as the leading rice exporter to Iran

November 30th, 2007 - 2:07 pm ICT by admin  

Karachi, Nov 30 (ANI): A drastic drop of Pakistani rice exports to Europe, Russia, Middle East and Saudi Arabia was recorded for several reasons, but now a traditional buyer of Pakistani rice, Iran, is now more dependent on India.
Pakistani exporters bemoan that they are gradually loosing all international markets for their only exportable cash crop - rice, mainly to India due to lack of coordination, weak foreign policy and poor performance of the Commerce Ministry.
The Indian imports through sea are cheaper than shipments of Pakistani rice through land routes, and adding to exporters problem is Iranian Governments crackdown against the illegal trade.
This has provided a big vacuum for the Indian grain traders to fill and now they are gaining milestones on this front, The News reported.
The exporters are also angry for apathy of their representative body - Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan.
Just three years before, Indias name was not prominent over the Iranian rice import map, but during 2006-07, the Indians estimated export of rice was at the tune of 60,000 tonnes and they successfully exported around 225,000 tonnes.
Indians are not dispatching the consignments to Iran directly, but they are using their offices in Dubai to grab the new Iranian market.
For the year 2007-08, Indians have already made contracts for the shipping around 150,000 tonnes and they estimated the total exports above the figure of 300,000 tonnes.
Pakistani exporters working with Iran claimed that sanctions imposed by the Iranians are a tactic of the Iranian government to promote the illegal trade in the area.
There are war clouds roaming over Iran and they are trying to pile up grain stocks as much as possible within their limited resources, Haji Fojan, the biggest rice exporter for Iran based in Quetta.
The government is well aware of the entire story of eliminating the Pakistani rice from the international market and filling the gap by the Indian variety, but surprisingly no move was initiated to cope with the situation, said Zahid Khawaja, a leading rice exporter for Europen market. (ANI)

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