Rains damage 0.5m tons rice crop in Sindh
As a result of this, exporters will lose traditional two months advantage of early arrival of crop over other rice producing countries.
Besides, forward selling in rice trade chain, starting from growers, millers and exporters, would cause heavy losses and many foreign contracts would be cancelled.
Arif Hussain Mahesar, president Sindh-Balochistan Rice Mills Association, said since paddy in lower Sindh is normally harvested in September, it gives edge to Pakistani exporters over other countries exporters.
However, damage caused by persistent and heavy rains has hit around 0.5 million tons or 20 to 25 per cent of total paddy of an average of 2.4 millions annually harvested in the province. The five districts of the province, including Badin, Sanghar, Tando Mohammad Khan, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas which have been the most affected on an average produce around 0.8 million tons Irri-6 per annum.
However, heavy downpour in these districts has inundated paddy and cotton fields causing heavy damage to the standing crops.
Mr Mahesar estimated that around 0.3 million tons Irri-6 could be harvested in these districts.
Though paddy in upper districts which produces around 75 per cent of the Irri-6 is fully safe but the advantage of early arrival of crop given by lower districts to export trade has been eroded by the damage caused by heavy rains, he added.
He further explained the next paddy crop is due late in October and during two months gap Pakistani exporters would have no Irri-6 to export and they would suffer heavy losses because they would not be able to honour commitments made in the world market.
Mr Mahesar hoped that the upper five districts, including Larkana, Kambat (Shahdad Kot), Shikarpur, Jacocabad and Khandh Kot Kashmor would produce around 1.8 million tons. However, the crop arrival be not before end October 2011, he added.
He said rains have affected paddy over 0.5 million acres in lower districts while the remaining area of 1.25 million acres in upper districts is safe and would enable the country earn substantial foreign exchange.
The rice export had been gradually increasing. Last year the country earned little over $2 billion in foreign exchange. The average price of Irri-6 in the world market current is around $470 per ton.
Courtesy by Dawn.com