India procures 38 million tonnes of rice so far in 2017-18; beats target

India’s rice procurement has surpassed the target at 38 million tonnes so far in the ongoing 2017-18 marketing year that will end this month, a senior agriculture ministry official said.

The rice procurement target set for this year was 37.5 million tonnes.

The government had procured 34.35 million tonnes during the last marketing year (October-September), surpassing the target of 33 million tonnes set for that year.

Much of the rice was purchased from states like Punjab, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

Over 33 per cent of the country’s total rice production has been procured at the MSP. The paddy is procured at the minimum support price (MSP). State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies have undertaken procurement operation.

Meanwhile India’s rice prices for exports have fallen to 17-month low on rupee depreciation and sluggish demand. Rates for India’s 5 per cent broken parboiled variety fell by $10 to $376-$380 per tonne last week.

The Indian rupee has lost more than 12 per cent so far in 2018 and hit a record low, increasing exporters margins.

In third-largest exporter Vietnam, however, rates for 5 per cent broken rice rose to $397-$403 a tonne from $395-$400 the previous week. In Thailand, benchmark 5 per cent broken rice fell to $385-$393, free on board (FOB) Bangkok, from last week’s $393-$395 due to slow demand, traders said.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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