RUSSIA – Russia has allowed the import of rice from Pakistan, lifting a 2 yearlong ban that had denied Pakistani farmers access to a market that at its peak use to import rice valued at US$40 million 

Russia banned the import of rice from the country in May 2019 after Khapra beetle was detected in a Pakistani rice consignment. 

The decision to greenlight Pakistani rice was reached after intense negotiations between representatives from both governments. 

With the new development, four Pakistani establishments located in Karachi, Lahore, and Chiniot will now be allowed to export their produce to the Russian Federation. 

The news from Russia comes at a time when Pakistani forecasts its rice production for MY 2021/22 to stand at 8.3 MMT while exports are projected to reach 4.3 MMT. 

GAIN reports indicate that Pakistan has exported around 2.2 MMT of rice during the first six months of the current marketing year with the bulk of the exports consisting of non-basmati varieties.  

Despite efforts from the government, the volume of basmati exports has not increased this year, due to stiff competition from India and higher domestic consumption rates of Pakistani basmati rice. 

Bumper wheat harvest expected 

Meanwhile, preliminary government estimates suggest that Pakistan’s MY 2021/22 wheat production will be a record 27 million metric tons (MMT), an increase of eight percent over last year’s production of 25 MMT. 

Favorable weather conditions are reported to have played a significant role in the record output as the shifting weather patterns which affected previous crops did not occur during the critical phases of wheat crop growth and harvesting.  

Government support in terms of an increase in the minimum support price also played a role as it incentivized farmers to increase crop acreage. Subsidies on fertilizer which increased its use also contributed to greater crop yields. 

Although Pakistan’s MY 2021/22 wheat production is an all-time record, GAIN reports that the increase in production is still insufficient to meet domestic consumption requirements and maintain large strategic reserves. 

As a result of inadequate supply, the  Government of Pakistan has allowed the import of up to 3 MMT duty-free wheat during the MY 2021/22 to boost the country’s strategic reserves. 

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