Pakistan’s rice exports declined sharply by 19 percent during July-October of this fiscal year (FY17) mainly due to stiff competition in the world market. Exporters said on Thursday that the exports of the country’s second largest foreign exchange earner are on the decline for the last two years and need immediate attention of the government to overcome the current crisis.
According to Pakistan Statistics Bureau, Pakistan’s overall rice exports posted a 19 percent sharp decline in first four months of this fiscal year. The country earned foreign exchange amounting to $391.65 million in July-October of FY17 compared to $484.478 million in the corresponding period of last fiscal year (FY16), depicting a decrease of $92.822 million.
During the period under review, exports of Basmati rice fell by 34 percent to $103.743 million. Non-Basmati rice exports declined by 12 percent to $288 million. Rice exports not only declined in terms of value, but also decreased in terms of quantity. Overall, some 883,074 tons of rice (Basmati and Non-Basmati) was exported during the first four months of the current fiscal year against one million tons in the same period of last fiscal year.
However, month-on-month basis, rice exports showed some improvement. The country’s total rice exports mounted by 79 percent during October 2016 compared to September 2016. During October 2016, Pakistan earned $149 million by exporting rice (Basmati and Non-Basmati) compared to $83 million in September 2016. In addition, rice exports in October 2016 are also one percent higher than October 2015 exports, in which overall rice exports stood at $147.5 million.
Mahmood Moulvi, Chairman Rice Exports Association of Pakistan (REAP), told Business Recorder that due to lower international prices and rising competition in the world market, this year will remain very challenging for the country’s rice trade. “Some appropriate and timely measures are required to save the country’s second largest export,” he added. He said China is the world”s largest rice importer and mainly buying from other countries as Pakistani rice is costlier in the international market.
Source: Business Recorder