FAISALABAD: While everybody is complaining about adverse implications of depreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the dollar, rice exporters in the country are celebrating as the sliding rupee has given them back the competitive advantage which they had lost to Indian counterparts.
Local rice exporters are ready to seize the moment as they eye over $2bn worth of export orders this year after a dismal previous year. In the previous financial year, rice exports fell to $1.7bn from $2bn in the preceding year.
Falling rupee will make local products cheaper in the international market, hence giving a boost to the country’s exports. Indian rice exporters got an edge last year when they beat Pakistani exporters on the back of depreciating Indian rupee, according to local rice exporters.
“Over 7 percent slide in the value of rupee against the dollar has increased prospects for local exporters to win back lost international markets,” said Taufeeq Ahmad, a rice exporter and former vice chairman of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan.
New international rice markets were emerging for the Pakistani-cultivated rice, mainly in Africa. Ahmad said that increased purchasing power in many African nations resulted in higher demand for Pakistani rice in the continent.
Due to prolonged monsoon season this year water availability was better, which will result in improved per acre rice yield.
Ahmad said that during the monsoon season, farmers feared that heavy rains would have washed away the rice crop, but fortunately the rains proved to be good for the crops. Moreover, prices in both the local and the international markets have remained stable this year.
Thus, farmers and exporters are earnings good profits on exports of the crop. Pakistan’s traditional export markets for rice include UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran.