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Rice Exports Earn Pakistan $2.1 Billion In Tumultuous Fy23

  • Posted on August 04, 2023
  • Business
  • By Haroon Ameen

Despite facing significant challenges such as production losses and adverse weather conditions, Pakistan managed to export a total of 3.717 million tonnes of rice, earning $2.149 billion during FY23.  

The rice sector demonstrated resilience and determination in the face of devastating floods, which wiped out a third of Sindh's crop, currency fluctuations, tough competition from India, high freight charges, and vessel unavailability during the first six months of 2022-23. 

Of the total rice exports, 595,120 tonnes were basmati varieties, generating $650,423 at an average per tonne rate of $1,092. The export of coarse or non-basmati varieties reached 3.122 million tonnes, earning $1.498 billion at an average per tonne rate of $480.

However, these figures marked a decline from the preceding year when the country earned $2.5 billion from 4.8 million tonnes of rice exports. 

The drop in exports was primarily caused by a decline in production. While the country had produced 9.1 million tonnes of rice in 2021-22, FY23's output decreased to around 6 million tonnes, a decrease of over 34 per cent.

Floods and torrential rains had damaged paddy crops, especially in Sindh and south Punjab, leading to an estimated 20 per cent loss in overall crop yield. 

India's manipulation of rice prices also impacted Pakistan's exports, as it offered subsidies to its exporters, leading to lower export rates than competitors like Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam in the international markets.

Additionally, higher basmati rates in the local market hindered exports as stockists engaged in speculative trade. 

Despite the challenges, the prospects for the current fiscal year appear promising, with 25 percent broken rice quotations reaching their highest level since August 2008, mainly due to India's ban on the export of its coarse rice varieties. This development may create opportunities for Pakistan's rice export market in the near future. 

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Haroon Ameen

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