Rice exports rose 27 percent to $1.57 billion during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year as exporters pushed fresh cargoes to Indonesia, Kenya and other markets during the period, an industry official said on Wednesday.
Rice exports amounted to $1.23 billion during the corresponding period last year.
Rafique Suleman, senior vice chairman of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) said exports increased 15 percent to 3.22 million tons during the 10 months of the current fiscal year of 2017/18.
Suleman said exports of non-basmati rice to Indonesia increased during the period.
Local traders exported 50,000 tons of non-basmati rice to Indonesia during the July-April period. Kenya remained the largest buyer of Pakistani non-basmati rice, buying 323,000 tons of rice amounting to $118 million.
China was also one of the largest importers of Pakistani non-basmati rice. “By the end of April, we exported 274,000 tons of rice valuing $100 million (to China),” Suleman said.
He said demand for rice in the international market is increasing. The crop was good in terms of both quality and quantity this year, he added.
Reap senior vice chairman said the country has come out of the crisis of low exports, which was observed during the last three years.
“Value of rice export trade has been showing improvement due to the coordination of Reap office bearers with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and customs,” he said. “Reap members are putting in untiring efforts, and aggressive marketing to increase rice exports and to earn valuable foreign exchange.”
The industry official said rice exporters are making investments to install modern rice processing machinery and using value-addition technology.
Suleman said the association is sending trade delegations to various countries for rice marketing. “Last month a delegation came back after a successful visit to Iran, which is very lucrative and a potential market for basmati rice.”
Around 100,000 tons of rice has so far been exported to the neighbouring country during the current season.
Suleman said Government Trading Corporation of Iran has issued tenders for 20,000 tons of basmati, in which many Pakistani rice exporting companies would participate. He hoped that a handsome amount of foreign exchange would be fetched by Pakistani rice exporters.