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3rd December,2013 Daily Rice Global Rice Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

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    3rdDecember , 2013

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    RICE NEWS HEADLINES

    Scientists discover wonder rice gene: International Rice Research Institute

    BOC not releasing rice yet

    Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open-Dec 03

    Thai protests turn a darker color

    Japan's rice farm reforms

    TABLE-India Grain Prices-Delhi-Dec 03

    Rain brings cheer to farmers

    New Pusa variety to boost Basmati rice exports

    Iraq issues tender for at least 30,000 T rice

    NEWS Detail

    Scientists discover wonder rice gene: International Rice Research Institute

    By AFP | 3 Dec, 2013, 01.34PM IST

    The SPIKE gene was first discovered by Japanese breeder, Nobuya Kobayashi, following long-running research starting

    in 1989 on a tropical "japonica" rice variety that is grown in Indonesia, Ebron said.MANILA: Scientists have discovered a

    wonder rice genethat could dramatically increase yields of one of the world's most important food crops, the Internationa

    Rice Research Institutesaid Tuesday.

    Preliminary tests show that yields of modern long-grain "indica" rice varieties, the

    world's most widely grown types of rice, can rise by 13-36 percent when infused with

    the so-called SPIKE gene, the Philippines-based institute said. "Our work showed that

    SPIKE is indeed one of the major genes responsible for the yield increase that breeders

    have spent so many years searching for," IRRIgenetictransformation laboratory chief

    Inez Slamet-Loedin said in a statement. Testing of new rice varieties infused with the

    gene is under way across several developing countries in Asia, said rice breeder Tsutomu Ishimaru, head of the

    IRRI-led SPIKE breeding programme. "We believe that these will contribute to food security in these areas

    once the new varieties are released," Ishimaru said. Increasing the yield means growing more rice on the same

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    amount of land, using the same resources. But there is no definite timetable for when the rice containing the

    SPIKE genewill be distributed to farmers, according to IRRI spokeswoman Gladys Ebron.

    The SPIKE gene was first discovered by Japanese breeder, Nobuya Kobayashi, following long-running research

    starting in 1989 on a tropical "japonica" rice variety that is grown in Indonesia, Ebron told AFP. The findings ofthe study were published Monday. Tropical japonica rice is mainly grown in East Asia and accounts for just 10

    percent of global rice production. Breeders from IRRI, a non-profit research group established in the 1960s

    then worked to incorporate the gene into "indica" varieties that are widely used in major rice-growing areas of

    Asia. Ebron said the transfer did not involve genetical modification of the crop, a controversial issue in food

    production.

    "It's just conventional breeding," she added. Rice is the developing world's most important food crop, consumed

    by more than half of humanity, including 640 million Asians who live in poverty, according to IRRI. To keep

    rice prices stable and affordable at about $300 a tonne, the institute estimates production needs to increase by 8-

    10 million tonnes every year. Asia accounts for about 90 percent of global rice production, it added. IRRI iswidely recognised as having played an important role in the "Green Revolution" of the 1960s in which new

    varieties of rice dramatically increased yields.

    BOC not releasing rice yet

    By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon(The Freeman) | Updated December 3, 2013 - 12:00am

    CEBU, Philippines - More than a week since the 16,000 bags

    of rice intended for residents of Isabel, Leyte were put on holdby the Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Cebu, the shipments

    documents as well as the rice samples are still under

    scrutiny.BOC-Cebu Law Division Chief Rico Rey Holganza

    said that based on the documents submitted by the Philippine

    Phosphate Fertilizer Corp. (Philphos), the shipment is actually

    already "okay" for release.He, however, said that he still has to

    wait for the Enforcement and Security Services of the Customs

    Police to submit its findings on the said shipment.It was

    known that the Customs Police submitted samples of the rice

    to the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baos

    Laguna to determine whether the rice is either of local or

    imported variety."Samtang wala pa na ang (Pending that) findings, dili ko makahatag og pinal nga

    rekomendasyon kung (I cannot give a final recommendation to) e-release ba na ang bugas o dili (the rice or

    not)," said Holganza.It was the Customs Police that issued an alert order and held the rice shipment onboard

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    MV Queen of Joy, which is still docked at Pier 2 in Cebu City.Philphos is listed as consignee of the

    shipment, which Isabel, Leyte Mayor Marcos Gregorio Cerillo said is intended as relief goods for his 40,000

    constituents affected by super typhoon Yolanda.Ramon Tan, president of Isabel, Leyte's Association of

    Barangay Councils and Philphos' port operations vice president, had also said that the shipment was from

    Manila and was bound for his town.

    The ship, however, first made a stop in Cebu City to get 12,000 packs of relief goods coming from Senator Alan

    Peter Cayetano here for distribution in Isabel's neighboring towns.Philphos, who has a manufacturing plant in

    Isabel, has been extending help by giving relief goods in the town. Based on a receipt from Maunlad Rice Mill,

    the company has paid P27.1 million for the said rice shipment.BOC-Cebu has put on hold the shipment since

    Nov. 24 after Philphos at that time failed to show or submit a certificate of donation from the Department of

    Social Welfare and Development and shipping permit from the National Food Authority.Cerillo and Tan last

    Saturday appealed to Customs officials for the immediate release of the shipment, pleading that their

    constituents may go hungry especially that that their current relief packs are only good for a week.

    Cerillo said Philphos has been helping the people after the typhoon since the relief goods coming from thenational government only arrived on the 11th day after super typhoon Yolanda struck Leyte last Nov. 8.The

    BOC had suspected that the rice was smuggled, especially that no documents were submitted when it arrived in

    Cebu.Tan had said that it is impossible that they would engage in rice smuggling, considering that their business

    is fertilizer.The mayor also attested that the shipment is meant as relief assistance for his constituents, who lost

    their homes and livelihood when Yolanda wrecked havoc in his town and other parts of the Visayas.-/RHM

    (FREEMAN)

    Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open-Dec 03

    Tue Dec 3, 2013 2:19pm ISTNagpur, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Gram prices in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee

    (APMC) suffered heavily on lack of demand from local millers amid high moisture content arrival.

    Easy condition on NCDEX, downward trend in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and profit-taking selling

    by stockists at higher level also pushed down prices, according to sources.

    * * * *

    FOODGRAINS & PULSES

    GRAM

    * Gram varieties ruled steady in open market in on subdued demand from local traders

    amid ample supply from producing regions.

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    TUAR

    * Tuar gavarani declined further in open market in absence of buyers amid increased

    overseas supply.

    * Masoor varieties zoomed up in open market on increased demand from local traders

    amid tight supply from producing regions because of unseasonal rains damaged crops.

    * Udid varieties reported down in open market on lack of demand from local traders

    amid good supply from producing regions.

    * In Akola, Tuar - 4,400-4,550, Tuar dal - 6,600-6,800, Udid at 4,800-5,100,

    Udid Mogar (clean) - 5,700-6,000, Moong - 6,800-7,200, Moong Mogar

    (clean) 7,700-7,900, Gram - 3,300-3,500, Gram Super best bold - 4,400-4,600

    for 100 kg.

    * Wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market

    in thin trading activity, according to sources.

    Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg

    FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close

    Gram Auction 2,400-2,690 2,440-2,800

    Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600

    Tuar Auction n.a. 3,800-4,050Moong Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500

    Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500

    Masoor Auction n.a. 2,600-2,800

    Gram Super Best Bold 4,400-4,600 4,400-4,600

    Gram Super Best n.a.

    Gram Medium Best 3,750-4,100 3,750-4,100

    Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a.

    Gram Mill Quality 3,500-3,600 3,500-3,600

    Desi gram Raw 3,100-3,300 3,100-3,300

    Gram Filter Yellow n.a. n.a.

    Gram Kabuli 7,700-10,000 7,700-10,000

    Gram Pink 7,700-8,100 7,700-8,100

    Tuar Fataka Best 6,700-6,900 6,700-6,900

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    Tuar Fataka Medium 6,400-6,600 6,400-6,600

    Tuar Dal Best Phod 6,200-6,300 6,200-6,300

    Tuar Dal Medium phod 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000

    Tuar Gavarani 4,300-4,400 4,400-4,500

    Tuar Karnataka 4,650-4,750 4,650-4,750

    Tuar Black 7,200-7,300 7,200-7,300

    Masoor dal best 5,400-5,500 5,200-5,300

    Masoor dal medium 5,100-5,200 4,800-4,900

    Masoor n.a. n.a.

    Moong Mogar bold 8,400-8,600 8,500-8,700

    Moong Mogar Medium best 7,800-8,200 8,000-8,200

    Moong dal super best 7,200-7,500 7,300-7,500

    Moong dal Chilka 6,700-7,000 6,700-7,100

    Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a.

    Moong Chamki best 7,000-7,400 7,200-7,400

    Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG) 6,500-6,800 6,800-7,000

    Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,800-6,200 6,100-6,400

    Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 5,200-5,700 5,500-5,900

    Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 4,000-4,200 4,000-4,200

    Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 3,000-3,100 3,000-3,100

    Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 3,250-3,350 3,250-3,350

    Watana White (100 INR/KG) 3,100-3,200 3,100-3,200

    Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 5,700-6,300 5,700-6,300

    Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 1,600-1,700 1,600-1,700Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG) 1,800-1,850 1,800-1,8050

    Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,900 1,600-1,800

    Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 1,850-2,300 1,850-2,300

    Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 1,700-1,900 1,700-1,900

    Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a.

    MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,100-3,600 3,100-3,600

    MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,900 2,600-2,900

    Wheat 147 (100 INR/KG) 1,400-1,500 1,400-1,500

    Wheat Best (100 INR/KG) 1,500-1,600 1,500-1,600

    Rice BPT (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,300 3,000-3,300

    Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 1,850-1,900 1,850-1,900

    Rice Swarna Best (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,600 2,300-2,500

    Rice Swarna Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,300 2,000-2,200

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    Rice HMT (100 INR/KG) 3,900-4,300 3,900-4,300

    Rice HMT Shriram (100 INR/KG) 4,700-5,200 4,700-5,200

    Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 9,000-13,500 9,000-13,500

    Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 6,100-7,600 6,100-7,600

    Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG) 5,000-5,500 5,000-5,500

    Rice Chinnor Medium (100 INR/KG) 4,900-5,100 4,900-5,100

    Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 1,500-1,650 1,500-1,650

    Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 1,800-1,900 1,800-1,900

    WEATHER (NAGPUR)

    Maximum temp. 31.5 degree Celsius (88.7 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.

    15.9 degree Celsius (60.6 degree Fahrenheit)

    Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.

    Rainfall : nil

    FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and Minimum temperature likely to be around 30 and 17

    degree Celsius respectively.

    Note: n.a.--not available

    (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices.)

    Thai protests turn a darker color

    By Pepe Escobar

    BANGKOK - A protest leader, backed by a street revolt, demands that a sitting prime minister to step down

    and, instead of calling new elections, to hand over power to an unelected "People's Council". The prime

    minister says she can't do it. Yet she hints she may self-depose and dissolve the current House of

    Representatives. This political thriller is actually developing, right now, in real time, in Thailand. The narrative

    should have a global audience at the edge of their seats; but the feeling is more one of perplexity because the

    plot is even more muddled than in the US cable TV sagasHomelandorLost. On November 11, Thai Democrat

    Party MP Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy prime minister, resigned to lead a popular revolt.

    against the administration of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. This past Sunday night was showdown time.Suthep gave a two-day ultimatum for Yingluck to "return power" to "the people". The ultimatum expires later

    today. And it's non-negotiable. Yet Yingluck herself admitted, "We don't know how to make it happen. Right

    now we don't see any way to resolve the problem under the constitution." Enter the Thai army. The Suthep-

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    Yingluck showdown was brokered by army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha. The heads of the navy and air

    force were also there. But then it was their turn to be perplexed as Suthep stuck to his "all or nothing" strategy.

    As it stands, only the Buddha knows what the army will do next; it has agreed only to meet later this week.

    Yingluck herself insists on its neutrality and commitment to "peace".

    Nobody knows what "peace" means under the current volatility. It could mean the peaceful "Occupy" of

    Government House grounds in Bangkok this Tuesday, as the prime minister, only one day after a major street

    battle in the capital, left to the beach resort of Hua Hin, some 200 kilometers south and at present home to King

    Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose 86th birthday will be celebrated on Thursday. Or it could mean just a pause in the

    shadow-play before the battle restarts next week.

    Pick your shirt

    It's impossible to even begin to understand this Thai thriller without the context of an inexperienced prime

    minister totally out of her depth on every major dossier while the country is virtually run from a table at the

    Cafe Fauchon in Dubai by her exiled billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra. How the protesters have been

    organized and financed, and what array of interests they serve, remains an extremely murky story. Suthep

    himself - from a family of wealthy landowners in the southern province of Surat Thani - is part of the Thai elite.

    He's been an MP since 1979. The fact that so far he has not been arrested - although now there's a Criminal

    Court warrant on an "insurrection" charge, carrying the death penalty - implies significant backing, especially

    from forces active in the 2006 military coup against then prime minister Thaksin. Still, the facts on the ground

    point to Thaksinism - or what the protesters define as the "Thaksin regime" - only having itself to blame for the

    whole drama.

    Thaksinism - via Pheu Thai, its latest political party incarnation - won the 2011 elections, securing over 48% of

    the popular vote. It's unclear how many of these were "reward" votes - as in the trademark Thaksinism

    patronage of using the entire government network to reward an array of clients, plus its variations, from

    widespread cash vote-buying to more discreet tactics such as rice pledging. Thaksinism may afford money

    politics because the star of the show, after all, is a billionaire. In spite of it all, there was some measure of

    stability in Thailand for the past two years. But then, about a month ago, the plot thickened - via a monstrous

    miscalculation. It started with a shady amnesty bill that would in the end have absolved Thaksin from

    convictions for corruption and abuse of power. The bill was easily approved by the Pheu Thai majority in the

    lower house but was finally killed in the Senate, when the Yingluck administration finally noticed how

    unpopular it was even with its own "red shirt" brigades; those actors the "red shirts" deem responsible for theviolent repression against their street demonstrations in Bangkok in May 2010 would also be pardoned.

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    Thaksinism also pushed a constitutional amendment to change the Senate from half-appointed to fully elected

    The Constitutional Court duly vetoed it. In Thailand, Constitutional Court judges swear an oath of allegiance to

    the King. heir key argument against a fully elected Senate is that it would become a replica of the free-for-all

    money politics of the lower house. Predictably, the Pheu Thai Party refused to accept the Court's verdict; after

    all, this was the same court that had already dissolved Thaksinism's previous political parties. The whole

    government-instigated drive to bring Thaksin home could not but be the certified issue capable of amassing a

    lot of angry people in the streets of Bangkok all over again.

    Suthep then formed and led the "People's Democratic Reform Committee", which evolved from anti-corruption

    street protests to the recent occupation of government ministries and state agencies.Over a week ago, hundreds

    of thousands of people in this sort of Occupy Thailand movement were demonstrating peacefully in Bangkok by

    blowing their whistles. By then, though, the opposition Democrat Party was sniffing blood - and the precious

    opportunity to turn an anti-corruption movement into a regime change operation. So it's back, in a sense, to the

    same color-coordinated fissure that's been the story of Thai politics since the mid-2000s; "red shirts" versus

    "yellow shirts", now joined by the protesters "Thai shirts" (emphasizing the red, white and blue of the national

    flag). This past weekend, people started to get killed - four is the figure given so far, with more than a hundred

    people injured.

    This op-edin the local English-language press convincingly argued the implied responsibility of the Yingluck

    administration. (Suthep and then prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva already face what they call politically-

    motivated murder charges over the deaths of pro-Thaksin and other protesters in 2010.) .As it stands, Yingluck's

    promise to self-depose may be just a ruse by her advisers to buy time. They know that even if that happened, it

    would be the sign for the "red shirt" protest wave to swell all over again, just as in 2009 to 2010. A rational way

    out, supported by an array of Thai scholars, would be for Yingluck to apologize to the nation for the amnesty

    bill, accept the ruling by the Constitutional Court, and announce an election for mid-2014. Yet Thaksinism

    knows - as much as Suthep and the forces behind him - that that would translate into yet another Thaksinism

    victory, just like the previous four elections. Thus Suthep's insistence in his "People's Council". Lost in all the

    rumble, of course, remains how to conduct the fight against endemic corruption all across the Thai political

    spectrum and how to ensure that the Constitutional Court and the anti-corruption commission are really

    impartial.

    Thailand as Ukraine in reverse

    Western corporate media coverage of Thailand has been beyond appalling. Pro-EU protesters in Ukraine against

    their government are depicted as righteous heirs of the Orange Revolution, while in Thailand political protestersare nothing but a "mob". Anyone surveying the images sees how the Thai police have been using the same

    methods of crowd control as in the Ukraine. Not to mention that Ukrainian hardcore thuggery was replicated in

    Thailand by the infamous "black shirts". Then there's the reductionist characterization of the "yellow shirts" as

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    the reactionary royalist middle class in Bangkok. Not really. Contradictions do abound when you are a pro-

    democracy protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, Occupy-style, while carrying a picture of the King. Yet

    protesters do include a cross-section of the roughly 40% of the Thai population which has consistently voted

    against Thaksinism.

    While droves of "red shirts" are bused from the countryside into Bangkok - enjoying free food and a fee - the

    lower middle class is also strong among the protesters, alongside urban young adults who include university

    students from elite families. A key question is why the central and southern Thailand lower middle class

    happens to align with the "yellows shirts" and not the "reds". A possible explanation is that government

    schemes mostly benefit the north and northwest. Then there's the extra complicating factor that the central and

    the southern regions depend on migrants from the north - as in the private-sector migrant workforce and the

    security apparatus. In Bangkok, there seems to be a rule that as protests remain peaceful, there's more middle

    class and even part of the elite in the streets. When it turns into street battles with the police, then it's mostly the

    "expendable" lower middle class that does all the fighting.

    The big puzzle of these current protests is that were they happening elsewhere in Southeast Asia, a lot of people

    would have been arrested. Not in Bangkok - even with police aligned with the Yingluck administration. (Anti-

    government protesters who had laid siege to the headquarters of Bangkok's Metropolitan Police Bureau were

    allowed entry to the grounds on Tuesday after police dismantled barbed wire and concrete barriers, the Bangkok

    Post reported. Demonstrators were able to enter peacefully the grounds of Government House.)This points once

    again to Thaksinism's fear of bloodshed really bringing the government down. So whole socio-economic

    treatises could be written about protest dynamics in Thailand. Don't expect even a hint of nuance on Western

    corporate media.

    The definitive case of myopia, so far, revolves around what happened this past weekend on the other side ofBangkok, away from the protests. Thaksinism was holding its own "red shirt" 24/7 counter-rally in a stadium

    near Ramkhamhaeng University. Thousands of university students began protesting against the counter-rally.

    The clash was inevitable - and featured shady "black shirts" duly captured on photo and video shooting

    students.The fatalities this past weekend were in the university, not in the protests. University students as well

    as the university rector confirmed how a girl was attacked, then a boy was shot dead while the police did

    nothing, even though several students were under sniper fire by a "black shirt" captured on camera. It was up to

    the army to move in to protect the university.

    Talk to the billionaire

    No question; even "invisible", self-exiled Thaksin is the undisputed star of this thriller. For the rural poor

    masses in the north and northeast (the majority of the country's population, and his voting base), Thaksin is

    nothing but a billionaire Buddha. Outside Bangkok, Thailand remains essentially feudalistic. Thaksin was

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    always wily enough to position himself as the ultimate populist savior. No wonder the traditional political

    establishment in Bangkok felt threatened by a northern family who made its fortune in silk dispensing massive

    patronage and building an alternative state-within-a state. Even forced into exile after the 2006 military coup -

    but virtually back in the saddle after Yingluck became prime minister in 2011 - Thaksin can always count on

    the finest PR money can buy.

    And all those crucial friends in Washington. As prime minister, in 2003, he offered Thai troops to the

    occupation of Iraq (the Thai Army, by the way, was totally against it). He also offered Thailand as a base for the

    CIA's extraordinary renditions. As for the widespread perception that Yingluck is Thaksin's puppet, that was in

    fact configured by the man himself when he described his sister, on the record, as his "clone". So all these

    elements are not going away: personality politics seducing a loyal clientele; Thaksin as a quasi-feudal family

    patriarch; the "red shirt" popular base fascinated by Thaksin's charisma; the autocratic, family-run operation

    trying to bypass the courts and deploying "red shirts" to do the dirty work. Yet there are no good guys/bad guys

    in this script. Everyone - including the opposition and the military - is tainted.Then there's the calendar.

    The celebrations of King Bhumibol's birthday on Thursday will go on until Sunday; traditionally in Thailand

    dirty political squabbles are off-limits during this period. On Tuesday, there were indications of a suspension of

    the theater performance, probably to be reopened next week. The current mess is extremely bad for business; no

    wonder the Thai Chamber of Commerce has desperately offered whatever mediation necessary. It's bad for the

    tourism industry (over 7% of GDP); Hong Kong travel agencies are already canceling package tours. The

    stalemate does nothing to improve Thailand's exports (60% of the economy), already down due to recession in

    the West and China's slightly slower growth. Dwindling exports are compressing the Yingluck administration's

    budget - already in trouble because of a failing rice subsidy, a credit bubble, and the need of massive

    investments in infrastructure. Just two months ago, the government put forward a 2 trillion baht (US$64 billion)

    infrastructure development bill to parliament covering high-speed rail, port and other projects, but even

    upgrades can highlight all-too-evident problems, as in the derailment of a train on Monday with the country's

    railways chief on board.

    On the other hand, some very interesting developments may lie ahead in the whole US "pivoting to Asia"

    drama. With Thailand polarized and the government in Bangkok paralyzed, Washington is paying more

    attention to the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, not to mention the spectacular strategic opening of

    Myanmar, just as the Yingluck administration was turbo-charging its ties with China. Thaksin, by the way, is a

    Hakka ethnic Chinese. Beijing is characteristically silent about all the mess in Bangkok. Yet there's no question

    Beijing will keep betting on Bangkok as a key node in the larger Southern Silk Road. After all, the Chinese

    want to build a high-speed rail line north from Bangkok to Nong Khai, and there's plenty of extra investment as

    well. So Beijing bets on continuity and stability - as most of Southeast Asia carefully positions itself to reap

    tangible benefits from either the US or China, and preferably both. Yet much to the chagrin of those who love

    Thailand, all the main actors in the current incendiary thriller seem to care is to blindly plunge the country into

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    further paralysis and irrelevance. Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is

    Dissolving into Liquid War(Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the

    surge(Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan(Nimble Books, 2009).

    He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

    Japan's rice farm reformsJapan is trying to make its farms more efficient as it tries to form tariff-free zones with its global trading

    partners. That may lead to big changes for the country's most protected workers, rice farmers.Rice is a symbo

    of Japan's inefficiency, due to a government policy that pays over a million farmers to leave a third of their

    fields empty. The system has cost taxpayers 40 billion dollars since 1970, and makes Japanese rice more than

    twice as expensive as that grown in China."Rice policy has a very long history. First Japan relied on rice a lot

    and we need rice production so government encourages farmers to produce lots more rice. But we started to eat

    bread and other food then rice consumption started to decline then the original policy of the government became

    failure so supply of rice became too much," Naoyuki Yoshino, economics professor at Keio University, says.Somuch so that the government says Japan will have a surplus of 2.6 million tons by next June, the highest in 15

    years.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants small farmers to lease fields to collectives who can grow rice

    more cheaply with economies of scale and modern equipment.

    To encourage the move the government is phasing out some subsidies by 2016, a move that's been heralded by

    the media as the end of the four decade old system, known as "gentan".But one former Agriculture Ministry

    Official says the government announcement is just smoke and mirrors. He says the government is only ending

    subsidies announced a few years ago by the Democratic Party government and not those introduced 40 years

    ago by the LDP."The bureaucrats in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Diet members of the LDP who are

    experts are all consistent in insisting they will never abolish the gentan program and they will never lower theprice of rice," Kazuhito Yamashita, Research Director of Canon Institute for Global Studies, says.And if Japan

    is not prepared to cut rice prices, the government will continue to face pressure from farmers who want to be

    protected from cheap imports with duties on foreign rice that run as high as 778%.

    TABLE-India Grain Prices-Delhi-Dec 03

    Tue Dec 3, 2013 2:08pm IST

    TABLE-India Grain Prices - Delhi - Dec 03

    Rates by Asian News International, New Delhi

    Tel: 011 2619 1464

    Indicative Previous

    Grains opening close

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    (in rupees per 100 kg unless stated)

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Wheat Desi 2,000-3,000 2,000-3,000.

    Wheat Dara 1,710-1,910 1,710-1,910.

    Atta Chakki (per 10 Kg) 215-240 215-240.

    Roller Mill (per bag) 1,825-1,925 1,810-1,910.

    Maida (per bag) 1,945-2,045 1,925-2,025.

    Sooji (per bag) 1,825-1,925 1,820-1,920.

    Rice Basmati(Sri Lal Mahal) 12,000 12,000.

    Rice Basmati(Lal Quila) 11,500 11,500.

    Rice Basmati(Common) 7,450-7,900 7,450-7,900.

    Rice Permal 2,400-2,550 2,400-2,550.

    Rice Sela 3,250-3,350 3,250-3,350.

    I.R.-8 2,350-2,450 2,340-2,440.

    Gram 3,150-3,450 3,150-3,450.

    Peas Green 3,350-3,550 3,350-3,550.

    Peas White 2,600-2,700 2,600-2,700.

    Bajra 1,300-1,550 1,300-1,550.

    Jowar white 1,850-2,100 1,850-2,100.

    Maize 1,540-1,840 1,550-1,800.

    Barley 1,350-1,400 1,350-1,400.

    Guwar 3,325-3,900 3,325-3,900.

    Source: Delhi grain market traders.

    Rain brings cheer to farmers

    The HinduA paddy field at Vayalur near Ramanathapuram. Photo: L. Balachandar

    A second spell of rain in the last two days after a month-long dry period has brought

    cheer to farmers of this drought-prone district.Farmers who had raised paddy crops on

    1.06 lakh hectares are keeping their fingers crossed as they were let down by the

    southwest monsoon for the second successive year and the northeast monsoon also

    played truant. As the crops started wilting in some blocks, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra

    (KVK) has stepped in with spraying of Pink Pigmented Facultative Methylotroph

    (PPFM) bacteria in a bid to mitigate the drought and save the crops.However, four days

    after launching the exercise, it started raining, bringing cheer to the farmers. The distric

    received fairly widespread rainfall in all the blocks, Agriculture Department officials

    Iraq issues tender for at

    least 30,000 T riceReuters Middle East

    BAGHDAD, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Iraq

    issued a tender to buy a minimum of

    30,000 tonnes of rice, with long-grain

    supplies coming from the United States,

    Uruguay, Argentina, or Brazil and

    medium-grain from Spain, United States

    or Australia.The tender, which started on

    Dec 1, had a closing date of December 8,

    Iraq's trade ministry said, adding that

    offers must be valid until Dec. 12.Iraq is

    one of the world's largest importers of

    rice, much of which goes to supply a

    national food rationing programme.

    (Reporting by Raheem Salman; editing

    by Keiron Henderson).

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    said. The district received an average of 19.91 mm of rainfall on Sunday and 28.18 mm on Monday till 8 a.m. on both the days

    Unlike during the first week of November when it rained only in few blocks this time it was widespread, the officials

    said.Against the total annual rainfall of 827 mm, the district received 526 mm so far, the officials said while expressing hope o

    another spell by month-end.The district should have received a total rainfall of 135.3 mm during the southwest monsoon period

    of July to September but received only 67.83 mm this year, they said.After the onset of northeast monsoon, it rained for two

    days on November 1 and 2 and again on November 7. But the rains were confined to Ramanathapuram (63.4 mm) and

    Thiruvadanai (24.2) blocks, the officials said.Farmers in Parakamudi, RS Mangalam and Nainarkoil had left the wilted crops for

    cattle to graze and started re-ploughing for sesame sowing when the second spell of rains arrived much to their glee. This rain

    would help paddy growers and also chilli growers. It was not a soaking rain but good enough for chilli transplantation, the

    officials said. Chilli is grown on about 22,000 hectares in the district, they said.

    Keywords: Ramanathapuram farmers, Tamil Nadu rains, northeast monsoon

    New Pusa variety to boost Basmati rice exports

    Pusa Basmati 1509 was commercialised in kharif sowing season this year for the first time

    With the commercialisation of the new Pusa Basmati1509 variety, exports ofbasmati ricefrom India are set toexceed four million tonnes (mt) this year, 11 per cent more than last year.Developed by the Indian AgriculturalResearch Institute last year, Pusa Basmati 1509 was commercialised in the kharifsowing season this year. Withan estimated output of 30,000 tonnes, the new variety offers a yield of 6.5 tonnes a hectare, against the popularPusa 1121 varietys yield of 4.5 tonnes a hectare.India can achieve total basmati exports of about four mt thisyear, against 3.5 mt in the previous year, owing to robust demand from importing regions, including the WestAsia, the UK, and the US, said M P Jindal, president of All India Rice Exporters Association. At Rs 16,523.87crore, guar gumled the list of Indian agri exports in 2011-12, against Rs 15,449.6 crore for basmati rice. Thetrend continued in 2012-13guar gum exports stood at Rs 21,287.01 crore, against Rs 19,419.39 crore forbasmati rice. This year, however, basmati rice is set to regain the top slot on the agri exports list, owing to a

    spurt in realisation and a sharp decline in guar gum prices. While guar gum priceshave fallen 85 per cent to about Rs 15,000 a quintal from Rs 1,00,000 a quintal two

    years ago, export realisation from basmati rice soared about 50 per cent to Rs 73,150 a

    quintal from Rs 48,610 a quintal during the same period.Gurnam Arora, joint managing

    director of Kohinoor Foods, the producer of Kohinoor brand basmati rice, said

    Basmati rice farmers incomes have increased 30-50 per cent this year due to robust

    global and domestic demand. Globally, demand has outpaced supplies, leading to firm

    prices. Surprisingly, consumers have accepted the price spurt and, therefore, more price

    rises cannot be ruled out.A CARE Ratings study showed India's basmati rice exports grew at a compounded annual rate

    of 22 per cent during the four years ended 2011-12, driven by an increase in demand from the key importing countries of

    Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq and Kuwait. The study forecast a stable outlook for rice exporters this year on expectations

    of a good harvest in the 2013-14 crop year.Also, the demand outlook for the industry remains healthy, with increasingdomestic consumption and export demand of basmati rice, given Indias dominant position in the global basmati rice

    segment. Jindal said this year, the procurement cost of basmati rice had risen to Rs 59 a kg from Rs 38 a kg last

    year.Therefore, farmers were the biggest beneficiaries of the price rise, he added.

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