People are harvesting rice in a paddy field in Punjab, Pakistan. [Photo provided to China Economic Net]
by Chen Jiaqi
SHANGHAI, Nov. 13 (China Economic Net) - According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Pakistan exported 188, 000 tons of rice in September 2020, a decrease of 19.85 percent year-on-year. How to promote Pakistan's rice export when it has entered harvest season?
The company is allotted an import quota of 200,000 tons of rice every year, and imports rice from Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia, among others, said Ding Yong, a regional manager of Shenzhen Vintop Import & Export Trading Co., Ltd., in an interview with China Economic Net (CEN) at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE), in Shanghai.
“About 10, 000 tons of rice are imported from Pakistan every year, accounting for about 10% of the total import value. We mainly import rice for making flour or white rice with a share of premium fragrant rice. More rice will be imported from Thailand and Cambodia, accounting for 70-80% of the total amount of the company's quota,” Ding added.
Photo shows Cambodian fragrant rice. [Photo/Wang Zhongqiang]
According to Ding Yong, rice import from Cambodia has increased by about 50% annually starting from the end of 2018. "The main reason lies in the price competitiveness of Cambodian fragrant rice, which is about RMB 4 per kg cheaper than that of Thailand. With similar taste and same rice variety, the only difference is the planting area."
Ding said Pakistan white rice is mainly used for blending. For Basmati rice, there is a small number of consumers in China, as the price is high. The quality of Pakistan white rice is good, but its taste is not as soft as Thai jasmine rice or Cambodian rice.
“Thai jasmine rice tastes better than domestic ordinary rice, as it is soft and sticky. Cambodian fragrant rice is sweet and suitable for the elderly and children. Pakistan should try to plant fragrant rice, for fragrant rice varieties are preferred in China. As Southeast Asian countries have similar soil and climate, new rice varieties can be introduced. Now Chinese customers put more attention on taste, quality and health,” he explained.
Ding Yong, Manager, East China Region, Shenzhen Vintop Import and Export Trading Co., Ltd., receives an interview with China Economic Net. [Photo/Wang Zhongqiang]
Large quantities of imported new rice will be available on the market on November 20. "The rice price is relatively stable this year with the domestic rice price rising slightly and the imported rice price falling. Generally, the taste of the first batch of new rice is a little bit different, and the price of the second batch may rise, but it won’t change much," Ding said.
"If new rice comes to market, we will increase our imports from countries like Pakistan. The imported rice may not arrive in China until March or April next year, with a 3-4 month cycle," he said.
Packaging is also an important factor affecting product quality. Ding Yong said that Cambodia's packaging technology is not as advanced as that in China. In Cambodia, the price of packaging and printing may be cheaper, but it is difficult to meet the Chinese standard, and problems such as package breakage or printing errors may occur.
"We send the packages from Guangdong province, and then send them to Cambodia after they are packed. Although the freight is higher, the quality of rice can be better guaranteed. Generally, small packages are 5 kg, 10 kg and 25 kg, and large packages weigh 50 kg and 100 kg," Ding added.
The article is translated by Fu Bo & Wang Su.