According to the sources, the Senior Vice-Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has expressed that the Pakistan rice exporters are confronting a cost disadvantage in the international market due to high cost of fertilizers, electricity and lack of research and development .It was informed that the Pakistan rice trade is uncompetitive, especially in basmati varieties and due to these reasons, many international buyers are switching to Indian basmati rice.
In this context, it was also narrated that accumulating stocks from the last year, which are currently about 500,000 tons are another cause of concern for the exporters. In addition, the arrival of stocks from the new crop is likely to add to the woes of the exporters. Further, it was informed that the farmers are also unhappy despite getting a bumper crop this year as there are no buyers for their paddy. Due to an increase in stocks the traders are not willing to buy paddy from farmers this year.
To solve the present problems, the exporters have been urging the government to intervene and facilitate rice trade with traditional as well as new markets. Moreover, the farmers are also demanding for introducing a minimum support price (MSP) for basmati paddy. According to the data , the Pakistan exported around 396,199 tons of rice in the first two months of FY 2015-16 (July – June),which is up about 14% from around 348,084 tons exported during the same period in FY 2014-15. However, Pakistan’s rice exports declined in terms of value during the said period. During this trade, the Pakistan had earned around $213 million during the two months of FY 2015-16 which is down about 7% from around $230 million earned last year.