AgFax Rice Review: India Expected to Top Exports in 2015; China Sets New Hybrid Production Record


    • Madhvi Sally reports for India’s The Economic Times that India is expected to claim the spot of the world’s leading rice exporter in 2015 thanks to competitive prices and rising demand in Africa and the Middle East. Surplus rice stocks and increased production have driven domestic prices down with expectations of further declines, while export prices are competitive with Thailand and Vietnam. Exports are currently expected to reach 4 million tons for basmati rice and 7 million tons for non-basmati varieties.
    • Aya Takada reports for Bloomberg that Japan’s largest supermarket chain is joining a growing list of corporations leasing government run “land banks” in order to grow its own rice. With Japan entering into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and ending rice subsidy programs and high import tariffs, domestic rice prices are dropping at the same time that many of the country’s farmers are reaching the age of retirement. This is helping a government plan to increase rice production by enticing small, inefficient farms to rent their land out to the government which consolidates it into land banks and leases it to ag corporations.
    • A Reuters article on reports that the Ivory Coast aims to become the rice bowl of West Africa after investing $4 billion to diversify the country’s ag sector and create jobs. The country is the world’s biggest cocoa producer but suffers from heavy unemployment rates while importing over $400 million of rice annually. A new government program with investment agreements from a number of foreign companies is organizing the distribution of high-yield seeds and developing new production areas and irrigation systems. The program seeks to create over a million jobs while turning the country from a major rice importer into a net exporter for the region.
    • reports that China has set a new production record for hybrid rice, with yield averaging 15.4 tons per hectare. The Chinese government is keen on improving yields as increasing domestic demand is challenged by land availability, water resources, and soil pollution.

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