Costly Indian rice may help Pak recapture Saudi export market Home

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Islamabad, Mar.30 : The Indian Government's decision to estrict rice exports could help Pakistan rice exporters ecapture the lucrative market in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf ountries, feel experts.

Saudi Arabia annually imports rice in excess of a million tons, nd India currently holds roughly 70 per cent of this market. ccording to the Dawn, this monopoly on exports could slip in iew of New Delhi's decision to restrict exports.

Pakistan's share of the market today stands roughly at 11 per ent. A decade ago, Pakistan was holding 50 per cent rice market f Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia also procures rice from Pakistan, the United States, gypt and Thailand. Pakistani basmati is believed to be preferred n the Eastern Province. In the Western Province of the Kingdom, here is a preference for parboiled rice.

Reports from Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh indicate that India has aised the minimum sale price for rice exports by more than 50 er cent, effectively ending overseas sales of all but the ighest quality grades. India has raised the minimum export price or non-basmati rice to 1,000 dollars per ton from 650 dollars to rotect domestic supplies. It also scrapped tax incentives for xporters of non-basmati rice to tame price pressures in local arkets.

India traditionally exports about four million tons of rice a ear.

Apart from India, Vietnam too has decided to cut rice exports by 2 per cent this year. Vietnam is the world's second-biggest rice xporter, and exported 4.5 million tons last year. This year it lans to export only 3.5 million tons.

Egypt has it would also ban rice exports from April 1 to October, o as to hold down local prices.

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