The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has forecasted that Pakistan’s rice exports may increase by 40% in the current fiscal year, reaching up to 4.8 million tons. This suggests that exports could earn an extra $1 billion from overseas sales.
On the other hand, changes in bumper wheat harvest and cotton production have reduced dependence on exports, resulting in a noticeable decrease in the need for foreign exchange in the fiscal year 2023-24.
In the agricultural sector, there is an expectation that achieving 3.5% economic growth in the fiscal year 2024 will play a vital role.
The increase in rice exports can be attributed to access to new export markets like Russia and Mexico. Indonesia’s imports of rice from Pakistan are already on the rise.
Restrictions on rice exports from India will also facilitate Pakistan an increase in shipments to foreign markets, stabilizing prices in local markets.
Pakistan has witnessed a change in rice production, with an estimated 9 million tons in the fiscal year 2024, compared to 5.5 million tons in the previous fiscal year when floods had affected a significant portion of arable land.
According to the latest report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) titled “Grain and Feed Update,” it is stated, “this 4.8-million-ton export forecast is on a par with the record 4.8 million tons of export achieved during 2021-22, when production was at a record high of 9.3 million tons.”
For the marketing year 2022-23 (November-October), it estimated rice exports at 3.4 million tons, down from the previous projection of 3.7 million tons.
Citing official statistics from the Government of Pakistan, the USDA noted that rice exports for the fiscal year 2022-23 were an overall 2.14 billion dollars, indicating a decrease from the fiscal year 22, which had 2.51 billion dollars. In terms of quantity, there was a 25% decrease in rice exports during fiscal year 23. Rice exports, including Basmati, totaled 3.717 million tons during fiscal year 23, compared to 4.97 million tons the previous year.