21st feb.,2014 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine

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Daily Rice Global Rice e-Newsletter shared by Riceplus Magazine
Riceplus Magazine shares daily International RICE News for global Rice Community. We publish daily two newsletters namely Global Rice News & ORYZA EXCLUSIVE News for readers .You can share any development news with us for Global readers.
Dear all guests/Commentators/Researchers/Experts ,You are humbly requested to share One/Two pages write up with Riceplus Magazine .
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Share /contribute your rice and agriculture related research write up with Riceplus Magazine to riceplus@irp.edu.pk , mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com
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21st feb.,2014 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine

  1. 1. 21st Feb , 2014 Share developments in RICE and allied sectors, Promote the Concept of Knowledge Economy Dear Sir/Madam, YOUR IDEA has a great worth---JUST share it through RICE PLUS Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  2. 2. 10000+ stakeholders of rice industry read & apply various ideas and analysis written by the authors. Be the part of Rice plus authors Visit: www.ricepluss.com,www.publishpk.net mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com , riceplus@irp.edu.pk TOP Contents - Tailored for YOU Latest News Headlines…                    Int'l Rice Research Institute releases 44 new rice varieties in 2013 Govt closes ‘Cipinang rice’ case, continues other probes Developing the ‘Green Super Rice’ House Implores FG to Implement Agreement With Rice Dealers NFA can’t impose rice curbs — DOJ Foreign Trade Department denies dumping rice in world market Thai Rice to Flood Global Markets as Subsidy Ends Farmers demand rice payments Feb 28 Thai Rice Farmers Give Government a Week to Make Payments Thai Prime Minister denies corruption allegations over rice program .Tax exemption for rice, tobacco import from Laos PH faces WTO sanctions for rice importation policy Indonesian govt has yet to issue rice import permit Thai rice not being dumped: trade chief House Implores FG to Implement Agreement With Rice Dealers Food group exports up by 6.30%,imports down by 8.95% Non-basmati rice trades lower on reduced offtake Exporters sound alarm on rotting rice stocks Yingluck vows to pay, rice growers return home Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  3. 3. News Detail… Int'l Rice Research Institute releases 44 new rice varieties in 2013 02-20-2014 16:16 BJT | MANILA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Philippine-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its partners released 44 new and improved rice varieties last year to help Asian and African countries prop up their rice output despite declining resources.IRRI said in a statement released on Thursday that rice varieties resilient to climate change were among those released last year. These include nine salt-tolerant varieties in the Philippines, three flood-tolerant varieties in South Asia, and six in sub-Saharan Africa.The research institute said resilience to climate change is a " big thrust" of its work in improving rice varieties that will help farmers produce more rice with the same, or declining, amount of resources. "These improved rice varieties are considered public goods. Hence, our partners are free to release these for farmers' use or for more breeding work to suit local needs in their countries," said Eero Nissila, head of IRRI's breeding division.Last year, a total of 21 new and improved rice varieties were released in the Philippines, six in Bangladesh, five in Myanmar, three in Nigeria, two in Tanzania, two in India, and one each in Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mozambique, and Rwanda.Since its establishment in 1960, the Philippine-based research institute said it has released 1,000 improved rice varieties across 78 countries.One of these is IR8, which was introduced more than 50 years ago and was later dubbed as "miracle rice." IRRI said IR8 served as a key driver of the "Green Revolution" and prevented famine in rice-eating Asian countries. Govt closes ‘Cipinang rice’ case, continues other probes The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, February 21 2014, 12:11 PM The government stated on Thursday it had officially closed the ―Cipinang rice‖ case after it found the imported rice to be of premium quality and not medium quality as previously reported.Trade Ministry director general of foreign trade Bachrul Chairi confirmed his office, with the help of research company PT Sucofindo, had checked the quality of the ―Cipinang rice‖.―Based on our assessment of rice we took from the market, the imported rice is premium,‖ Bachrul said at the customs office on Thursday.―With this conclusion, we declare this case is closed,‖ he continued. Aside from Sucofindo, the ministry also involved scientists from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB).The ―Cipinang rice‖ case emerged during an inspection on Cipinang Market in East Jakarta on Jan. 22 by Bachrul. It Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  4. 4. was then that he was informed that the imported rice from Vietnam was of medium quality: The import of medium quality rice is illegal.Regarding the 32 containers of rice (800 tons of rice) discovered during Finance Minister Chatib Basri’s inspection on Tanjung Priok Port on Feb. 7, the customs office stated there was irregularities in the import procedure.Based on preliminary results from the investigation, the customs office stated that 24 of the 32 containers were proven to have violated the Trade Law.There is possibility that the violations will increase, Susiwijono, the office’s director of revenue and customs and excise regulations, said, who was also at the press conference.Right now the government is still holding the containers at Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta until the investigation is completed. ―We are now at the final stage of this investigation, when we examine the variety of the imported rice,‖ Susiwijono said, without clarifying when the investigation would be over. This current test follows three earlier tests. It includes an assessment of grain length (minimum 7 millimeters); a ratio of length and width comparison (minimum 3 percent); and amylose content.Suswijono also said that the government had appointed the Rice Research Body in Subang, West Java, to uncover the actual type of rice in the containers from Vietnam.During his inspection, Chatib was informed that the label read: ―Thai Hom Mali/fragrance rice‖. Thai Hom Mali is a prestigious Thai rice, while fragrant rice is from Vietnam. Moreover, the barcode was the code of Thai Hom Mali, and the phrase ―fragrance rice‖ causes suspicion. The three responsible rice importers are PT Pangan Sejahtera (PS), CV Trimitra Makmur Lohata (TML) and CV Kusuma Food Indonesia (KFI). For fragrant rice, Pangan Sejahtera has an import quota of 400,000 tons; Trimitra Makmur Lohata, 100,000 tons; and Kusuma Food Indonesia, 400,000 tons. (alz) Developing the ‘Green Super Rice’ Posted by Online on Feb 21st, A team of Filipino and international rice scientists has completed the first phase of developing ―Green Super Rice‖ (GSR) which is being introduced in Asia, including in the Philippines, and in Africa. ―Green‖ because it is environment-friendly, and ―super‖ as the variety produces more grains, resists drought, pests, floods, salty water, and insects; increases yield; and does not need high fertilizer inputs. It is designed to flourish under the toughest growing conditions. Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  5. 5. The project involved 12 years of research between the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in the Philippines and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in Beijing, China, and included farmers in 16 countries in Asia and Africa. Scientists used conventional plant breeding techniques to cross-breed 250 varieties from world’s largest rice collections.GSR research was boosted in 2007 with an $18-million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which saw the project’s global potential. IRRI and 14 research institutions in China worked on GSR, tapping hundreds of rice breeders around the world, to come up with rice varieties that could cope with stresses in environment and soil, raise production, and help rice farmers on unirrigated land. For GSR’s second phase, which began in 2013 and runs until 2015, the Gates Foundation infused another $15 million to help spread its benefits to 500,000 poor farmers in Asia and Africa.Initial GSR seeds were provided in the Bicol Region through the Philippine Department of Agriculture-Region 5, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery, and Forestry, under the project ―Analysis and Mapping of Impacts and Food Security.‖ Field trials of GSR lines were incorporated in Environment Farmer Field School and were reproduced at the Bicol Experiment Station in Camarines Sur while tests were done in areas with three agrosystem conditions – flooding, drought, and saline intrusion. IRRI said the scientific method used for GSR can also be applied to other crops, such as wheat, barley, cassava – staples that feed billions of people.The Manila Bulletin, led by its Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr., Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, Directors, Officers, and Employees, congratulate the Philippine Rice Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  6. 6. Research Institute headed by Executive Director Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco Jr., International Rice Research Institute Director General Dr. Robert S. Zeigler and Deputy Director General Dr. Bruce J. Tolentino, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences President Li Jiayang, and Green Super Rice Project Director Li Zhikang, for their partnerships in developing and rolling out a high-yielding rice variety that will promote food security and assist resource-limited farmers for the Filipino people in our Republic of the Philippines and worldwide. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY! House Implores FG to Implement Agreement With Rice Dealers 21 Feb 2014 Muhammad Bello The House of Representatives has appealed to the Federal Government to hasten the implementation of an agreement it reached with the Rice Millers Importers and Distribution Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN) following the ban on importation of rice last year.Part of the agreement at the November 2013 meeting between the government and stakeholders on rice, was that the government should bring down the price of rice to $190 per metric ton as a result of the global fall in rice prices from $600 to $350. Mandating its committee on customs to summon all relevant stakeholders in order to fashion out a way forward on the rice transformation agenda, the House observed the increase of duty on rice importation from 50 percent to 100 percent in 2013 was good decision by the federal government to further stimulate local farming and production of the commodity.Nasiru Baballe Ila (APC, Kano), whose motion the House adopted noted that: "the good intention of the federal government has been sabotaged by unquantifiable smuggling at a rate never witnessed in the past.""Over three million tons of parboiled rice was smuggled into Nigeria in 2013 through Benin Republic. This culminated in that country gaining over N200 billion in dutiable levy," he regretted.According to him, the situation was worsen when Benin Republic deliberately removed 18 percent VAT on all parboiled rice imports Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  7. 7. destined for Nigeria, whilst the duty of 12.5 percent is to be charged on the benchmark price of only $200 per metric tonne, thereby bringing down effective duty to only $25 per metric tonne against the $570 per metric tonne dutiable rate being charged at Nigerian ports."Nigeria Customs Service, which is the second largest revenue generator to the government coffer lost over N300 billion from sharp practices of smuggling. It is pertinent to note that import duty on rice is the major source of revenue to the Service," he said. Tags: Business, Nigeria, Featured, House, FG, RICE NFA can’t impose rice curbs — DOJ By Rey E. Requejo | Feb. 21, 2014 at 12:01am The Department of Justice has taken a legal position that the National Food Authority has no power to extend the implementation of quantitative restriction on rice importations.In a 12-page confidential legal opinion, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima stressed that the NFA has no authority to extend the imposition of QR following the expiration of government’s commitment to the World Trade Organization – General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (WTO-GATT) in June 2012.De Lima said that while the agreement already expired, it had provisions saying extension of the QR on agricultural products ―shall only be by agreement after the conduct of negotiations.‖It is beyond the power of a mere implementing agency like the NFA, which must exercise its rulemaking and regulatory powers in accordance with, and not contrary to, applicable laws, De Lima’s opinion stated, copy of which was forwarded to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala. The Justice Secretary stressed that such provisions of the WTO-GATT are binding. ―The WTO provisions on the lifting of QRs as well as their exceptions, and the provisions on negotiations for its extension are already effective and should be complied with. It is not for nothing that the Philippine government gave its consent to the WTO agreement.‖ De Lima noted that at this point, the government is still in the period of negotiating for the extension of the QR to 2017.However, the DOJ legal opinion was not made public yet as de Lima said they would issue a more ―definitive legal opinion‖ after considering ―varying interpretations.‖It was also not distributed among members of the NFA Council, the country’s rice policy-making body, during their meeting last Monday.Asked about the de Lima opinion, NFA Farmer Sector Representative Edwin Paraluman said: ―I did not see any DOJ opinion.‖Pressed as to whether copies of the said opinion were distributed to members of the council, NFA Board Secretary Ofelia Cortez-Reyes said in Filipino that she did not ―remember matters like that.‖Stakeholders in the rice industry have been waiting for the legal opinion of the DOJ on the matter, which they said would serve as a guide for the courts in resolving petitions for injunction filed by rice importers.The GATT allowed member-countries of the WTO to restrict the importation of sensitive agricultural products. The agreement, however, already expired in June 2012.While the government started renegotiating with member-countries on the extension of the pact, it continued to impose the QR.Rice importers questioned such policy, saying their importations should be allowed even without import permits as long as the Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  8. 8. corresponding taxes are paid - now that the WTO-GATT has already expired.The issue was highlighted after the Bureau of Customs seized tons of rice imported without permit, which were later on released upon separate court order.Reacting to Creencia’s observation, Alcala said: Based on our assessment, we are just doing what we think is the best for our farmers. What will favor our farmers? They should consider that.He added that all rice importers should register with, and secure an import permit from, the National Food Authority.―That is what we are fighting for, that all importers should register. Like for instance, you buy a car, the you will need to register because if you don’t then it will not be good. If we just let them be and we have no control on that what do you think will happen? Rice smugglers will be very happy when that happens.Alcala said he has asked the DOJ for a ruling on the legality of QR but ―DOJ is still waiting for something before they issue an official statement but the Solicitor General already told us that the implementation of QR should continue.‖ Foreign Trade Department denies dumping rice in world market February 21, 2014 6:03 pm The Foreign Trade Department Friday urgently clarified that Thai government has never neither dumped rice prices in the world market after there was a report that the country might be at risk of breaching the World Trade Organisation's rule on rice dumping.The United States and some others nations have sounded warning noises at the World Trade Organisation because of Thailand's lack of transparency on sales and stocks.Director general Surasak Riangkrul denied a report on the Thai government's dumping rice in the global market. Though it ever sold rice to Indonesia under the Government to Government deal basis, the selling price was not below the market price as alleged. Thai Rice to Flood Global Markets as Subsidy Ends Kittisak Ratanawarahal, chairman of the Northern Farmers Network, stands in warehouse of rotten rice abandoned ten years ago in Phichit province under price-support scheme by then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra Feb. 6, 2014. SINGAPORE — Millions of tons of Thai rice are set to flood into already oversupplied international markets when the government's controversial subsidy scheme grinds to a halt later this month.The country's caretaker government last week said it did not have the power to renew the program, which has paid farmers in one of the Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  9. 9. world's top exporters of rice nearly double market rates and is due to expire at month-end.That will force farmers to offload the March harvest into a market currently dominated by India and Vietnam. With Bangkok already shifting grain from record government stockpiles, the sales threaten to worsen a supply glut that has dragged on international prices. While many rice farmers are expected to remain loyal to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who swept to power in 2011 on the back of rural votes generated in part by the subsidies, a slump in prices that could be blamed on her leadership would erode her support base and be another blow for her embattled government.The bulk of the around 5 million tons of milled grain that is expected to be produced from next month's crop, equivalent to more than 10 percent of all rice traded globally last year, is likely to be sold to exporters as farmers and millers have limited capacity to hold back stocks."It's like farmers are being set adrift. We will have to sell rice to millers at prices lower than what we got in the past," said Boonserm Thongsook, a farmer in the province of Suphan Buri, around 40 km north of Bangkok."I may not vote for Yingluck again as she ignores us. The scheme is about to end and she does nothing to support us."The subsidy program has been mired in allegations of corruption and faced growing losses, becoming a target of a Bangkok-based protest movement bent on ousting Yingluck and the caretaker government she has led since December.Unrest is spreading to her party's natural supporters in the countryside, where many farmers have gone unpaid for their rice for months as the program scrambles for funding. Hundreds of unpaid Thai rice farmers this week swarmed around Yingluck's temporary office and threatened to storm the building.Any possible reintroduction of the rice-buying scheme would be off the cards until the completion of disrupted elections, which the country's Election Commission said was unlikely until late April.Most market participants expect some sort of program to re-emerge no matter who wins at the polls, though it is likely to be far less generous than the current scheme. Thailand has had different forms of rice support scheme for around three decades."From the world market's point of view, the end of the scheme could be bearish because it implies a potentially large boost to world export availability," said Darren Cooper, senior economist with trade body the International Grains Council in London. Global glut Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  10. 10. Traders and officials said Thai rice prices, which have already dropped 14 percent since January, won't fall much further as they are already cheaper than competing varieties."Exporters will not offer prices that are lower than their costs of production," said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.Thai exporters said prices could fall to $350 ($1 = 32.4 baht) a ton for the benchmark 5-percent broken variety, the lowest in seven years, from $375 a ton currently offered on a free on board basis.That compares with $410 a ton being quoted for similar varieties in top exporter India and $400 a ton in No.2 seller Vietnam. Thailand paid farmers 15,000 baht ($463) per ton of paddy under the intervention scheme that started in October 2011, compared to the 8,000-9,000 baht per ton they can expect in the open market this year.Most Thai farmers live in poor and remote areas that lack access to large storage silos, meaning they have little opportunity to hold back rice in hope that prices will climb in future.As well as sales from the upcoming harvest, authorities will open a tender this week to sell 500,000 tons of rice from state warehouses, after a previous 400,000-ton offering attracted healthy interest.Extra supply from Thailand comes as India is looking to shrink reserves swollen after bountiful monsoon rains and Vietnam starts to harvest the highest-yielding of its three annual crops. The world's top rice buyers in Southeast Asia and Africa, who have stayed out of the market since January, are likely to make the most of their purchases from Thailand, hitting Indian and Vietnamese exports."Demand in the start of the first quarter has been subdued but we expect buyers to be back in the market in March or April," said a Singapore-based trader, who declined to be named."They will any day prefer Thai rice over other origins even if the prices are at par."Thailand, which was the world's top exporter of rice until Yingluck's intervention scheme derailed shipments in 2011, is known for its high quality grains.Vietnam has said it expects its rice exports in January-March to decline by a quarter with African buyers switching to cheaper Thai cargoes. Farmers demand rice payments Feb 28 Friday, 21 February 2014By MCOT BANGKOK, Feb 20 – Protesting farmers today set Feb 28 as their deadline for the government to pay them for the rice they have sold under the state’s subsidy scheme.Rawee Rungruang, leader of the Thai Farmers Network, insisted that officials would not be allowed to enter the Commerce Ministry in Nonthaburi, adding that some protesting planters would occupy the office of the International Trade Promotion Department on Ratchdapisek Road tomorrow to completely cripple the ministry.Not a single official will be permitted into the Commerce Ministry’s premises whether in Nonthaburi or elsewhere, he said.Mr Rawee said farmers wanted Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  11. 11. overdue payments in seven days, or by Feb 28.Payments for farmers in seven western provinces would be Bt5 billion and another Bt10 billion for those in central region, he said.An informed source said cash-strapped farmers might be compelled to sell their rice at Bt5,000 per tonne.Rice millers offered to buy rice at Bt8,000 per tonne early this year while the government’s pledging price is Bt15,000 per tonne.In the rice-growing province of Ayutthaya, farmers from several central provinces took a rest on the Asian Highway opposite the provincial hall, after having travelled from Uthai Thani and joined by others in Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong, Sara Buri and Lop Buri.Chada Thaiseth, former Chatthaipattana MP from Uthai Thani, who led the caravan of farmers, said the group was heading for Suvarnabhumi Airport to put pressure on the government for rice payments.He promised that farmers would neither close the airport nor create traffic congestion in the area, saying they only wanted to talk with caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and not her representative. Thai Rice Farmers Give Government a Week to Make Payments Rice farmers walk between their tractors on a main highway where they spent a night in Ayutthaya. Thai farmers called off a tractor drive to Bangkok's main airport to protest against not being paid under a rice subsidy scheme after an assurance they would Ron Corben February 21, 2014 BANGKOK — Pressure on Thailand's government eased Friday after thousands of rice farmers, preparing to demonstrate in Bangkok over delayed rice payments, accepted promises of money next week. Thai rice sector remains deeply troubled as the government tries to find a way to pay tens of thousands of farmers.Faced with threats from thousands of Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  12. 12. farmers arriving in Bangkok, Thailand's besieged government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra successfully negotiated their return home Friday with promises to meet outstanding payments next week. The farmers, from the central regions, are among as many as one million rice growers waiting for outstanding payments from last year's crop under the government's controversial rice price support scheme.The Thai Government has sent more than $20 billion during the two years it has been in office to farmers and millers as part of a scheme that offered to pay growers 50 percent above world prices.The plan was a center piece of the governing Pheu Thai Party's election manifesto in 2011 and helped it secure the votes of the rural electorate in the north and northwest of the country. But analysts and rice industry observers say the scheme has been dogged by corruption allegations and suggestions of fake government-to-government deals that failed to materialize.Vichai Siriprasert, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said the scheme has led to huge losses for the government."Now we have a big mess because the price was set at the wrong level. We know that as a consequence we could not sell the rice - overstocked and ran out of money," he explained. "The government I would say lost about two thirds of the investment. So after two years they managed to get back only 18 baht for every 100 baht invested in the mortgage scheme. "Anger over the late payments has grown within the rural community as farmers face increasing indebtedness. Farmers associations have linked some 11 farmer suicides in part to the delays.Earlier this week, Yingluck, on national TV, offered a public apology.But while Yingluck spoke of her sadness for the farmers, she defended the scheme, claiming delays in payment were due to on-going anti-government protests in Bangkok.At the same time, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is to press charges against Ms Yingluck in her role as chair of the national rice policy committee. Yingluck has rebutted the claims.Thailand, once the world's leading rice exporter has slipped to third place behind India and Vietnam. Unable to sell its rice stockpiles on the international market without major losses, some 20 million tons of rice is now in warehouses, often deteriorating in quality. David Dawe, a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) economist, says Thailand faces challenges in attempting international sales to raise funds to pay farmers without triggering a collapse in the global rice market."If they hold this stuff for too long it continues to deteriorate in storage and incur costs as well. But if they get rid of it all now they are going to cause the market to really collapse and so it's really going to be a fine balancing act," stated Dawe.But Dawe said Thailand could return to being the world's top rice exporter once the current problems are overcome. The government, a caretaker administration until a new cabinet is formed after the February 2 national polls, has sought alternative funding sources to pay the farmers, including loans from Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  13. 13. state-owned banks. But depositors and staff have protested including a run on deposits at one bank that led to a halt in loans.The rice farmers, strong supporters of the governing Pheu Thai Party, have given the Yingluck a week to meet the outstanding payments or are vowing to return and besiege the city. Thai Prime Minister denies corruption allegations over rice program By Kocha Olarn, Saima Mohsin and Jethro Mullen, CNN February 21, 2014 -- Updated 1246 GMT (2046 HKT) Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has denied allegations that she failed to heed warnings of possible corruption in a rice subsidy program whose recent problems have stoked anger among farmers in the country's rural heartland.The controversy over the rice program has deepened the political crisis in which Thailand has been mired for months.Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) said Tuesday that it was bringing charges against Yingluck over the program, which pledged to pay farmers well above the market rate for their rice but has run into financial problems.The commission has summoned Yingluck, whose government is already under pressure from months-long protests in Bangkok, to appear February 27 to be notified of the charges. my duty with righteousness and contrary to the me by the NACC, I have done nothing wrong," statement Thursday.The anti-corruption which accuse Yingluck of ignoring warnings of program, could eventually lead to the suspension from all political positions."Though I may be charged in this criminal case and may have to give up my position in accordance to the wishes of those who want to topple my government, I will still lend my full cooperation and give necessary information to the NACC," she said.Yingluck insists that the rice subsidy program, introduced in 2011, has been successful and benefited farmers.But critics says it has wasted large "I wish to assure you that as I have served charges brought against Yingluck said in a commission's charges, corruption in the of the Prime Minister Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  14. 14. amounts of public funds trying to please rural voters, hurting exports and leaving the government with large stockpiles of rice it can't sell without losing money. The program has encountered intensified difficulties after an election earlier this month was disrupted by antigovernment demonstrators and failed to deliver a conclusive result.The situation has left Yingluck's weakened caretaker government struggling to operate effectively and ensure payments are made to rice farmers. Angry farmers Problems with the subsidy program have angered many farmers, normally an important component of Yingluck's support base.Groups of farmers have held protests in recent weeks after not being paid for their rice.About 3,000 farmers from central Thailand spent Thursday night camped out on the outskirts Bangkok after traveling on tractors, trailers and quad bikes.They had threatened to take their protest to the city's main airport, Suvarnabhumi, if they didn't get paid what they're owed.But the leader of the group of farmers, Chada Thaiseth, said Friday that they would be heading home later in the day after the government informed them they would be paid early next week.The farmers said their planned protest wasn't political -- unlike the anti-government demonstrators in central Bangkok, they say they don't want to see the ouster of Yingluck.But they do want their money. Long-running protests The tensions over the rice program come against the backdrop of the protests by groups affiliated with Yingluck's political opponents.Those demonstrations, calling for Yingluck to step down, have been taking place in central Bangkok since November and have been plagued by outbreaks of deadly violence.Earlier this week, police tried to clear demonstrators out some protest sites. But the efforts resulted in violent clashes that left five people dead, including one police officer, and dozens wounded.Police have since suspended their attempts to seize the protest sites for the time being.And a court ruled Wednesday that the government can't use force and weapons against peaceful unarmed protesters. The protest leaders say they want to rid the country of Yingluck and her wealthy brother, the deposed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.Thaksin, who lives in exile, faces a corruption conviction, which he says was politically motivated, if he returns to Thailand. Political opponents say Yingluck, who convincingly won elections in 2011, is simply Thaksin's puppet, an allegation she has repeatedly denied.The protests were sparked in November by Yingluck's government's botched attempt to pass an amnesty bill that would have paved the way for her brother's return to the political fray in earnest.The protesters say they want Yingluck's government replaced by an unelected "people's council," which would oversee electoral and political changes. On the scene of protests in Bangkok Farmers ride tractors to Bangkok protests Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  15. 15. Tax exemption for rice, tobacco import from Laos Laotian rice and tobacco imports will experience tax exemptions to meet quotas, according to the Circular 06 on tariff rate quotas in 2014 recently issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.To qualify for the exemption, cargo must have a certificate of Origin Form S granted by the Laos People’s Democratic Republic and pass through specific border gates when entering Vietnam.Currently only Vietnamese businesses with a license to sell tobacco are permitted to import the product. By Ha My – Translated by Hai Mien Image:Rice loading at a seaport in HCMC (Photo: SGGP) PH faces WTO sanctions for rice importation policy Details MANILA, Philippines—No rice import permit, no entry. Customs Commissioner John Sevilla on Thursday said this directive will be observed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in monitoring rice imports in the country’s ports amid a legal opinion by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) that the country stands to be sanctioned by the World Trade Organization (WTO) if it maintains this policy. The special treatment for rice imports had expired in June last year. ―The lawyer of the BOC is not the OGCC,‖ Sevilla told reporters, admitting that he has yet read to the legal opinion issued by Government Corporate Counsel Raoul Creencia. Indonesian govt has yet to issue rice import permit Fri, February 21 2014 18:56 | 475 Views Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  16. 16. Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Trade Ministry has not yet issued any permit for the importation of premium rice for 2014 rice allocation."No permit has been issued so far," Trade Deputy Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi stated during a discussion with journalists here on Friday.Bayu also pointed out that his ministry will, in the near future, issue a Trade Ministers regulation on rice importation which will be aimed at tightening the importation of rice, particularly premium rice."We will review and improve the old regulation. We hope that with the new trade ministers regulation the system will work properly," the Deputy Trade Minister noted.Bayu stressed that in the ministers regulation that will be issued, any permit to import rice will still need recommendations from the Ministry of Agriculture.Recently, the government suspected that a violation with regard to rice import permit had taken place, particularly with the importation of 32 containers of 800 tons of rice from Vietnam."If administrative violation is proven, then we will revoke the importers permits and include them on the black list. If it is proven that there was smuggling involved, then it will be dealt with the smuggling crime," the Deputy Trade Minister stressed.The trade ministry has also proposed that the HS code of rice import should be changed following a suspicion on the abuse of rice import permits.Medium and premium rice have the same HS import code, namely 1006.30.99.00, except the ThaiHomali type of rice, which has its own HS code of 1006.30.40.00.Medium rice can only be imported by state-owned logistics board Bulog, while Premium rice can be imported by licensed importers, but only for certain markets such as restaurants. However, with the same HS code, import permits for premium rice can be abused by importers to import medium rice that could flood the domestic markets.Late last month, Chief Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa ordered the Trade Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry to investigate an alleged illegal entry of Vietnamese rice into Indonesia.The minister was responding to a report on illegal rice imports discovered at the Cipinang wholesale market, East Jakarta, noting that the price of the illegal rice was less expensive than the price of farmers rice.It was also reported that the Vietnamese rice was brought into the country using legal documents from the Directorate General of External Trade of the Ministry of Trade.Hatta stressed that the government had never issued a permit for individuals to import rice. Therefore, he was convinced that the rice that came from Vietnam had been imported illegally.The government has only issued a license for rice imports to state-owned logistics board Bulog as a market price stabilizer.Bulog was assigned by the government to import rice or to purchase it from farmers to guarantee proper rice stocks in storage."The license to import rice will be issued for Bulog only, except for the importation of certain types of rice for foreigners and others. It is Bulog that has the authority to import it," the minister reiterated.The Indonesian customs authorities investigated the alleged abuse of permits to import Vietnamese rice, which had sparked a debate at the Cipinang wholesale market in East Jakarta.However, Director General of Customs and Excise Susiwijono Moegiarso stated that the import of 16.9 thousand tons of rice complied with standard procedures and rules, as well as having been given import approvals, surveyors reports and automated reconciliation from the Indonesian National Single Window portal. However, he did not rule out the possibility of the import permits being abused on the grounds that the permits included written approvals intended to import special rice, instead of general rice, which can be imported by state logistics board Bulog."This has happened as the HS codes of the two types of rice are the same: 1006.30.99.00. The Directorate General of Customs and Excise is investigating the alleged abuse of the import Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  17. 17. permits, including the audit of the surveyors reports," he explained.Last year, the Ministry of Trade issued a permit to import 16.9 thousand tons of special rice, consisting of 1,845 tons of the Basmati variety and 14,997 tons of the Japonica variety. (A014/INE) EDITING BY INE. Editor: Suryanto COPYRIGHT © 2014 Thai rice not being dumped: trade chief Petchanet Pratruangkrai The Nation February 22, 2014 1:00 am Farmers on trucks and tractors return home after receiving a promise from embattled PM Yingluck Shinawatra that they would receive overdue payments next week for rice sold under the government.Denies Indonesian claim of cheap sales or breaching world trade rules The Foreign Trade Department yesterday dismissed reports that Thailand dumped cheap rice on the world market - a move that could be a breach of World Trade Organisation rules.The United States and some Asian nations have sounded warnings at the WTO because of Thailand's alleged lack of transparency on rice sales and stocks. Thailand has a glut of 18 to 20 million tonnes in state stockpiles bought via the pledging scheme. An Indonesian trade official pointed to "indications" that Thai suppliers were dumping rice in that country. Foreign Trade chief Surasak Riangkrul denied yesterday that the government had sold rice cheaply in the global market. Thailand had sold rice to Indonesia under a government-to-government deal, but the price was not below the market price, despite what had been alleged, he said. Moreover, the deal was not a recent one and the government had not sold rice to Indonesia in the past year, he added."Thailand has sold rice at the market price and has never offered Indonesia or other countries rice at very low prices," Surasak said. He added that the department would investigate the reports, and it may need to ask the Indonesian Embassy in writing about the case.When asked about a move by the US, Cambodia and Vietnam against Thailand at the WTO, Surasak said Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  18. 18. officials would have to wait to see whether those countries filed a case. No country had done that at the world trade body so far, he stressed. However, the USA Rice Federation did write to the US Trade Representative in October 2012 to express fears that Thailand would eventually dump rice on the global market.It expressed concern about the Thai ricepledging scheme and the effect it may have on increased production and eventually on exports, if all the stored rice were to be released onto the market. The federation urged the WTO to investigate Thailand's compliance with anti-dumping rules.Surasak said Thailand stood ready to prepare information and documentation to explain its position to the WTO if a price-dumping case were to ensue.Meanwhile, Bachrul Chairi, director-general of foreign trade at Indonesia's Trade Ministry, said there were signs that Thai suppliers were dumping rice in Indonesia as the Kingdom offloads its record stockpile on an already oversupplied global market, the Jakarta Globe reported. "There is an indication that Thai rice suppliers dumped their rice exports in Indonesia," he told reporters, without providing details of volumes or companies. "They sell their rice to Indonesia at lower prices," he said.Asian rice exporters and producers will come under pressure with millions of tonnes of cheap Thai rice set to flow into the market when the controversial subsidy scheme ends later this month and farmers elsewhere offload their March harvest.According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association, the price of Thai rice in the world market was still higher than that quoted by other rice-producing nations .The Phnom Penh Post reported that rice buyers were holding out as they anticipated a fire sale of cheap rice flooding the market. So Cambodia and other countries are taking the hit. Food group exports up by 6.30%,imports down by 8.95% APP February 21, 2014 ISLAMABAD: Food group exports from the country during last seven months of current financial year registered increase of 6.30 percent where as food imports in the country decreased by 8.5 percent as compared to same period of last year.During the period from July-January, different food commodities worth $2.657 billion exported as compared to $2.449 billion of same period last year which were up by 6.30 percent.According to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics rice exports from the country grew by 21.46 percent as about 1,762,090 metric tons of rice worth $1.211 billion exported. The rice export from the country during the same period of last year was recorded at 1,787,225 metric tons valuing $0.997 billion, it said.Meanwhile, the exports of basmati rice increased by 5.18 percent, while rice other than basmati increased by 29.65 percent respectively during the period under review.During first seven months Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  19. 19. of current financial year, about 309,879 metric tons of basmati rice worth $341.42 million exported as compared to 345,863 metric tons valuing $ 334.11 million of same period last year.During the period under review, fish and fish preparation exports from the country grew by 11.26 percent as about 82,470 metric tons of fish and fish products worth $200.41 million exported which was recorded at 80,495 metric tons valuing $180.137 million in same period of last year. In last seven months of current financial year, meat and meat preparations also witnessed growth of 4.09 percent and reached at 44,612 metric tons worth of $140.16 million as against the 39,105 metric tons $134.66 million during same period of last year.On the other hand, food imports in the country during the period from July-January decreased by 8.95 percent and recorded at 2.374 billion as compared to $2.608 billion in same period of last year.The major food commodities which registered negative growth in their imports during the period under review including tea by 26.63 percent, soybean oil by 24.12 percent and palm oil by 10.31 percent respectively.axzaxFrom July-January, 73,834 metric tons of tea for domestic consumption costing $162.64 million imported which fell by 26.63 percent as compared to import of 74,027 metric tons valuing $221.86 million of same period of last year. Non-basmati rice trades lower on reduced offtake Friday, 21 February 2014 February 21: Non-basmati rice prices fell up to Rs 100 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today on reduced offtake by stockists against sluggish demand.However, other grains after moving in a narrow range in scattered deals, settled around previous levels.Traders said reduced offtake by stockists against sluggish demand mainly led to decline in non-basmati rice prices.In the national capital, permal raw and wand fell by Rs 50 each to Rs 2,050-2,150, Rs 2,200-2,225 per quintal, respectively.Permal sela also lost Rs 100 at Rs 2,800-2,825, while IR-8 weakened by Rs 25 to Rs 1,825-1,850 per quintal, respectively. The following were today's quotations per quintal: Wheat MP (deshi) 2,070-2,270, Wheat dara (for mills) 1,640-1,645, Chakki atta (delivery) 1,645-1,650 Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) 220, Shakti bhog (10 kg) 220, Roller flour mill 880-900 (50 kg), Maida 950-970 (50 kg) and Sooji 990-1,020 (50kg). Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  20. 20. Basmati rice (Lal Quila) 10,400, Shri Lal Mahal 10,000, Super Basmati Rice, 9,500, Basmati common new 8,500-9,200, Rice Pusa-(1121) new 7,700-9,300, Permal raw 2,050-2,150, Permal wand 2,200-2,225, Sela 2,800-2,825 and Rice IR-8- 1,825-1,850, Bajra 1,245-1,250, Jowar yellow 1,470-1,500, white 2,275-2,300, Maize 1,400-1,405, Barley 1,395-1,400, Rajasthan 1,080-1,090. Exporters sound alarm on rotting rice stocks Iraq says no to imports for now, per one report Published: 21 Feb 2014 at 00.04 Newspaper section: Business With the government controlling a massive rice stockpile, exporters are warning that long-stored grains will eventually erode buyer confidence in Thai rice quality and damage the country's storied rice export industry."The latest report that Iraq will not buy Thai rice until the quality improves is a very good example," said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association."The Thai Commerce Ministry is duty-bound to accelerate direct talks with the Iraqi authorities to defend and clarify such allegations, as I believe Iraq still needs to purchase Thai rice given its current price drop."Mr Chookiat said Thai rice shipments to Iraq fared well in the first half of last year before the country halted purchases in the second half on concerns about Thai rice quality.Thailand could have sold 300,000-400,000 tonnes more to Iraq last year without the halt. In all, Thai exporters shipped 703,869 tonnes to Iraq in 2013, down by 9.6% from the year before.Normally, Iraq's import demand is between 1.5 million and 1.6 million tonnes a year.Sermsak Kuonsongtum, executive director of Chaiyaporn Rice, a leading exporter to Iraq, attributed Iraq's decision to halt purchases of Thai rice to dissatisfaction over quality and concerns about the accuracy of certain exporters' shipment weights.According to the rice trading industry, in previous years a single Thai rice exporter, Siam Indica, dominated exports to Iraq.That company was alleged to have close ties with the government, buying rice stocks at cheaper prices than those offered to other rice exporters.But Surasak Riangkrul, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said media reports about Iraq's ban on Thai rice are exaggerated, adding that Iraqi officials have yet to speak to Thai counterparts about the issue.Iraq would not be the first country to halt purchases of Thai rice.In 2001, Indonesia rejected a purchase deal for 30,000-40,000 tonnes of Thai rice struck by Indonesia's rice-buying agency, Bulog, and Thailand's Public Warehouse Organisation, citing the substandard quality of the rice delivered. Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  21. 21. Mr Chookiat defended the quality of Thai rice, saying shipments handled by the private sector are strictly inspected and the problems lie with state control of rice stocks."In fact, as far as we're aware, the deteriorating rice quality and degraded rice in the government's warehouses only apply to domestic rice, not exports," he said.According to Mr Chookiat, it is anyone's guess how long the government's stockpiled rice has been mouldering in the warehouses.The question mark hanging over quality is one reason why rice exporters have offered relatively low prices and a tepid reception to the government's tender proposal to dispose of its rice stocks. Yingluck vows to pay, rice growers return home Published: 21 Feb 2014 at 19.02 Online news: Local News Rice growers from some central provinces have agreed to return home after receiving a promise from caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra that long-overdue payments would be made next week.It's not clear where the government will find the money to keep its latest pledge. It owes farmers 130 billion baht and has few options for raising new money because of its caretaker status. The deal reached yesterday applies only to some farmers.Caretaker Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong on Friday floated the idea of selling "rice bonds" to the general public, since banks and big investors aren't interested in helping.Chada Thaiset, a former Chartthaipattana Party MP for Uthai Thani and a leader of the rice farmers' rally, said he had received a pledge of payment in his talks with Ms Yingluck.Rice growers from the central provinces are heading home but will head back to Suvarnabhumi Airport if they don't see some money next week. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)."Ms Yingluck promised that the rice payments will be made next week," he told farmers from a stage set up at a roadside rest stop on the Asian Highway in Pang Pa-in, Ayutthaya.Matichon quoted Mr Chada as saying the payment in question would amount to 3 billion baht for Uthai Thani farmers. He provided no details about plans to pay thousands of others.The farmers had been threatening to descend on Suvarnabhumi Airport to step up their protest but they turned around on hearing the news from Mr Chada. Some thought they should move on to Suvarnabhumi as planned, because they did not believe the caretaker government would be able to make the delayed payments.It is not clear what kind of promise Mr Chada Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874
  22. 22. extracted from Ms Yingluck. He is angry with the Pheu Thai Party after it ran a candidate against him in the Feb 2 election, which he ended up losing.However, the farmers promised to return and to rally at the international airport if they do not get paid next week as promised.Mr Kittiratt, meanwhile, held talks on Friday about a plan to sell state rice scheme bonds.Those taking part included deputy finance ministers Thanusak Lekuthai and Benja Louicharoen, representatives from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and other state agencies.Mr Kittiratt said officials were now preparing details of a bond issue, including consideration on an attractive interest rate. A final decision is expected within seven to eight weeks, he added.The caretaker administration, he said, had the authority to sell the rice scheme bonds, which would be offered for sale mainly to retail investors.Big institutional investors and state-owned enterprises were not the targets, he said.The caretaker finance minister has been struggling to find anyone to lend the government money to meet its rice pledging obligations.Both state and commercial banks have rejected loan requests because of the perceived risk. Mr Kittiratt also lobbied cash-rich Airports of Thailand Plc to buy bonds but was turned down.The minister said, however, that he was confident that a large number of people were interested in providing assistance for the suffering rice farmers.He repeated the claim that if protesters had not obstructed the efforts of the government over the past two months, all of the payments would have been made.He also called on former finance ministers Thanong Bidaya and Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala to refrain from criticising the government. They have said it would not be able to make the rice payments as planned.Meanwhile, another group of rice growers has filed a petition with the Office of the Auditor-General asking it to investigate alleged irregularities in the rice-pledging scheme and seek measures to help them promptly.Rawee Ruangruang, chairman of the Network of Thai Farmers and a member of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), said no state agencies had paid the money owed to rice growers because the government intended to take advantage of them for personal gain.Mr Rawee said the farmers wanted the auditor-general to take legal action against corrupt officials involved in the scheme.Chalermsak Chantaratim, secretary-general of the Office of the Auditor-General, received the farmers' petition. The video clip above shows rice farmers protesting against the government on Feb 21, 2014. (Bangkok Post video) For Advertisement Contact: Mujahid Ali +92 0321 369 2874 mujahid.riceplus@gmail.com Daily Rice E-Newsletter by Rice Plus Magazine www.ricepluss.com News and R&D Section mujajhid.riceplus@gmail.com Cell # 92 321 369 2874

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