United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts
that Pakistan will export 4.8 million tons of rice in 21/22 season, almost 30
percent higher than the previous year. “Favorable export conditions are
expected to continue as large stocks, competitive export prices, and strong
demand from key markets are expected to spur exports further to 4.9 million
tons in 2022/23,” USDA said in its ‘Grain: World Markets and Trade’ report
published on 12th July.
Pakistan retains ample supplies following two consecutive record crops, despite hot and dry conditions delaying the 2022 May/June planting season. The Pakistan Meteorological Department forecasts ample monsoon rains which are expected to be beneficial for this season’s harvest. In addition to favorable weather and market conditions, abundant supplies, and the devaluation of the Pakistani rupee have kept its prices globally competitive.
Pakistan’s top export markets include a diverse group of countries to which it exports different rice varieties, including fragrant long-grain basmati, regular milled, and broken rice. In recent years, Pakistan has emerged as a major supplier to China, the world’s largest rice importing and consuming country. In fact, in the first few months of 2022, Pakistan exported more rice to China than Vietnam, the historic top supplier. Pakistan also exports competitively priced milled rice to East Africa - particularly Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania - and neighboring countries in Central Asia, mainly Afghanistan. Pakistan is also a producer and exporter of basmati rice, a premium product known for its aromatic qualities. Demand for basmati rice has grown in recent years, especially in the European Union and the Middle East. While still facing stiff competition from India, the top global basmati exporter, Pakistan is a significant basmati supplier to the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.
Rice is an important food in Pakistan; however, wheat is the principal grain consumed domestically. Unfortunately, the same hot and dry planting conditions that delayed planting of the 2022 rice crop in Punjab and Sindh provinces have adversely affected Pakistan’s wheat production.
USDA raised Pakistan’s 2022/23 wheat import forecast by 500,000 tons to 2.5 million as the government has aggressively procured international and domestic wheat. The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), a state-owned enterprise within the Ministry of Commerce, issued two tenders in May and June, each for 500,000 tons of wheat. The government also approved the import of up to 3 million tons of wheat in order to satisfy domestic consumption and shore up its strategic reserves. Pakistani media has reported that 2 million tons of wheat will be purchased from Russia.