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Despite Buhari’s Rice Pyramid, Nigeria to Become Top Rice Importer Globally in 2024 – USDA

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… to import 2.1 million metric tons of rice in 2024 

Nigeria is projected to import 2.1 million metric tons of rice in 2024, which may make the country the top rice buyer globally. 

This is according to the latest Rice Outlook report by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

The report notes that global rice trade will hit about 52.85 million tons (milled basis) by 2024, with more exports expected from Brazil and South Korea, and more imports expected from Burkina Faso, Indonesia, and Nigeria. 

It read: 

  • “Global rice trade in the calendar year 2024 is projected at 52.85 million tons (milled basis), up 345,000 tons from the previous forecast but 460,000 tons smaller than the year-earlier revised forecast of 53.3 million tons. Export forecasts for 2024 are raised for Brazil and South Korea, while import forecasts are raised for Burkina Faso, Indonesia, and Nigeria, with Indonesia’s import forecast raised 600,000 tons to 2.0 million tons.” 

Weaker Crops in Nigeria 

According to the report, weaker rice production is expected in Nigeria and seven other countries. 

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The report noted: “Rice production is projected to continue to decline in Japan and South Korea due to diet diversification and declining and aging populations. Weaker crops are also projected in 2023/24 for Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mali, Nigeria, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.” 

It added that global rice production in 2023/24 is projected at a record 517.8 million tons (milled basis), which is a decrease of 340,000 tons from last month’s forecast but 4.4 million tons larger than a year earlier. 

Out of the projected rice production figure, Nigeria is expected to produce about 5.23 million tons. 

Top rice importer 

Data from the report also showed that Nigeria will likely be the leading importer of rice in 2024. 

The country will be followed by Indonesia with an import projection of 2 million metric tons and Brazil with a projection of 900,000 metric tons. 

It noted that the import forecast for Nigeria was raised by 100,000 metric tons from the earlier projection in October. 

On the reason for the increase, the report noted: “Import forecast is raised based on stronger-than-expected demand for imported rice due to both high prices for domestic rice and quality concerns.” 

More insight 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently lifted the foreign exchange restrictions it placed on importers of rice and 42 other items eight years ago. 

This will likely encourage the importation of more rice, among other items, into the country. 

There have been mixed reactions following the removal of the restrictions, with some farmers recently showing support for the lifting of the foreign exchange ban on rice importation. 

According to this group of farmers, the lifting of the forex ban breaks the monopoly of the processing and marketing of grain by local millers. 

Prior to the bank, there appeared to be a decrease in rice import, with data from the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA), showing a decrease of 98.4% between the first seven months of 2022, and that of 2021. 

However, there is also a likelihood that foreign rice is likely smuggled more than it is officially imported into the country. 

About a week ago, the Nigeria Customs Service said it seized 13 trailer loads of foreign parboiled rice, among other items. 

Recall that in January 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled a rice pyramid in Abuja, saying that the price of rice will fall drastically after the commissioning.

The price of rice has however, continued to hit the roof top ever since, going beyond the reach of the average Nigerian.

Source: Nairametrics

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Business

Glo Launches New Internet Solution Products for Homes, Businesses

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Two new products, which provide internet connectivity solutions specially designed for Residential and SME commercial customers, have been unveiled by digital solutions company, Globacom.

The products, Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Business (FTTB) were packaged for Glo customers to enjoy reliable and high speed internet through linked fibre services.

Globacom said in a statement in Lagos “With these services, businesses and homes can access dedicated internet speeds of up to 1GBps, allowing unlimited internet usages for seamless video calls, video and music streaming and a whole lot of other dedicated usages to promote business success and equally provide endless entertainment for homes”.

It explained that the new product comes with a unique opportunity for “Residential Estates, High Rise Apartments, Commercial SME Estates to enjoy dedicated high speed internet in their cluster”.

These services, according to Globacom, give exceptional experience and unmatched speed for users at home or in offices and are provided through hi-speed fibre – unlike copper which was being used in the past.

Positioning itself as the premier provider of innovative solutions for businesses of all sizes, Globacom assured customers of the best value for money with the new offerings, adding that users who sign on for these services will also enjoy fully dedicated bandwidth.

“We are committed to delivering the most cost-effective data connectivity experience for homes and businesses in addition to providing dedicated and reliable services.” Globacom concluded.

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Naira Appreciates Further, Sells at N1,280/$ at Parallel Market

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The naira, on Friday, appreciated to N1,280 per dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market.

The current FX rate signifies a 5.19 percent appreciation from the N1,350/$ reported on March 27.

Currency traders in Lagos, also known as bureau de change (BDCs) operators, quoted the buying rate of the greenback at N1,260 and the selling price at N1,280 — leaving a profit margin of N20. 

“The price of the dollar as well as other major currencies have been falling. It is affecting our business as some customers prefer to keep their currencies than change it with us,” a currency trader identified as Aliyu told TheCable. 

At the official section of the FX market, the local currency depreciated by 0.69 percent to N1,309.39/$ on March 28 — from N1,300.43/$ on March 27.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on March 29, said the economy recorded over $1.5 billion in foreign exchange (FX) inflow this month, indicating its monetary policy initiatives are effective. 

The apex bank said the naira is headed in the right direction, and the administration of Yemi Cardoso, CBN governor, remains committed to ensuring the stability of the market and the appropriate pricing of the naira against other major currencies worldwide.

TheCable

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Business

NNPC Denies Reducing Petrol Pump Price

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited has declared that there is no plan to reduce the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) aka petrol and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) aka diesel.

The national oil company disclosed this through a statement on Wednesday by its Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Mr. Olufemi Soneye.

He said: “The NNPC Limited wishes to clarify rumours suggesting a price adjustment for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) at its retail stations nationwide.

“The company asserts that these reports are false and urges Nigerians to disregard them entirely.

“NNPC Ltd. reaffirms its commitment to sustaining the current sufficiency in petroleum products supply across all its retail stations in the country,” the statement added.

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