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Brazilian Rice Exports Exceed Forecast

15 December 2010

BRAZIL - Brazil exported 450,000 tonnes of rice up to November. Despite the lower production, the value is greater than forecasted for the entire crop, which ends in February next year, according to

Brazilian rice exports reached 450,000 tonnes from March to November this year, against a National Food Supply Company (Conab) forecast of 400,000 tonnes for the entire crop, which began in March and ends in February next year.

Taking into consideration the unfavourable exchange and the lower production, exports are going well, according to the commercial director at the Rio Grandense Rice Institute (Irga), Rubens Silveira, said that, t. "But we need to export more," said Silveira.

Producers Want More Exports

From March to November, sector foreign sales generated $111.7 million. In the previous crop, from March 2009 to February 2010, foreign revenues totaled $273.2 million and the volume exported 894,700 tonnes.

The main buyers of Brazilian rice, according to Silveira, are countries in Africa, like Nigeria, Angola and Benin. The Arab market receives just between 1 per cent and 2 per cent.

"The Middle East has potential as a buyer of rice, but we have little access to the market there," said Silveira.

The Irga forecast is for rice exports to reach 550,000 tonnes or 600,000 tonnes by the end of the current crop. Producers are interested in exporting more, despite Brazil buying rice on the foreign market, in search of favourable prices. Brazil is importing rice, to have a more favourable price.

The target is always to export 10 per cent of the crop in Rio Grande do Sul, explained Silveira, for producers to gain around 10 per cent on the price. Rio Grande do Sul answers to over 60 per cent of the national crop. In the previous crop, the state picked 6.8 million tonnes of rice and the country, 11.3 million tonnes.

In the next period, which begins in March next year, perspectives are for production to grow, rising from 8.5 million tonnes in Rio Grande do Sul and 12.5 million tonnes throughout Brazil. The entire growth should come from crops in Rio Grande do Sul. With these estimates, there may also be greater exports. The current crop was affected by the El Niño, which brings heavy rains, unfavourable for rice. But in coming years what is expected is the La Niña, which brings dryer weather, better for the culture.

Exports to Compensate for Imports

Silveira explained that rice exports are affected by the so-called "Brazil cost", which includes from taxes to logistics problems. The commercial director explained that Uruguay, for example, can sell cheaper rice than Rio Grande do Sul to the Northeast of Brazil due to the cost of coastwise shipping â€" despite being in the same country â€" and to the value added state tax (ICMS).

Last week, producers sent the Rice Sector Chamber a request for reduction of export fees on the product. The idea is for export taxes to be zeroed, as is the case with products imported by Brazil from the Mercosur, the customs union that includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

According to Silveira, for the last two years the sector has been calling for the measure as a compensation for imports from the Mercosur, but the project will now be forwarded by the Sector Chamber to the federal government. The Chamber includes representatives of the government, the private sector and sector organisations.

TheCropSite News Desk

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