Monday, June 29, 2009

DMCC highlights Dubai’s growing importance to global rice trade

Dubai, June 29, 2009: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) highlighted to an audience of high-level industry executives the current opportunities for Dubai as a hub for the global rice trade. In DMCC's presentation at the Middle East-Africa-Asia Rice Summit 2009 in Dubai, it was pointed out that Dubai’s proximity to major rice producers, excellent shipping infrastructure, storage facilities, and access to finance through DMCC’s Global Multi-Commodity Receipt (GMR) provides competitive advantages to rice traders intending to expand in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

In recent years, sustained population growth and dietary preferences have led to an increased demand for rice in the MENA region. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have emerged as an important market for rice, as the GCC imports nearly two-third of its requirements. Rice import growth in the region is expected to be driven by strong consumption growth.

Growth in the regional rice trade is especially pronounced in Dubai: in 2008, 1.72 million tonnes of rice was traded through the emirate, up by 36.5 per cent compared to 1.26 million tonnes in 2007.

Highlighting the role played by Dubai and DMCC in enhancing the rice trade in the region, Dr. David Rutledge, Chief Executive Officer, DMCC said: “Dubai is ideally situated in a region that has very limited rice production, and has witnessed a sharp rise in demand in the past few years. Additionally, the emirate is strategically located close to China, India and Pakistan, the world’s leading rice producers. With a huge demand for rice, excellent infrastructure and ease of doing business, Dubai and DMCC present an ideal opportunity for rice traders.”

According to reports by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the GCC states will import 60 percent of their food by 2010. The GCC food market is worth more than US$12 billion a year, and the member states are exploring agricultural investments in Africa and Asia to meet rising demand. According to statistics from US Department of Agriculture, the global rice trade is expected to touch 37.4 million tonnes by 2017-2018, growing between 2.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent per year till 2018.

Held from June 28-29, 2009 in Dubai, the Middle East, Africa & Asia Rice Summit 2009 focused on current and important trade issues, policies and crop outlook that have significant impact on the region’s rice trade. The conference saw attendance of industry players including rice producers, exporters, and importers, representatives from government and trade, as well as business leaders from across the rice supply chain, and allied industries.

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