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India's exports of non-basmati rice in first two months of FY21 jumps 52.5 per cent

IBEF:  August 13, 2020

India’s exports of non-basmati rice in the first two months of FY21 has jumped 52.5 per cent to 11.13 lakh tonnes from 7.3 lakh tonnes in the same period of FY20.

The major buyer of non-basmati rice was Africa and it is expected that volumes will increase further when Bangladesh starts importing this variety.

“Africa is depending on India for rice supply this year as Thai rice prices have skyrocketed. Non-basmati rice will do well this year,” said Mr BV Krishna Rao, president, All India Rice Exporters Association.

Mr Rao is positive that Indian non-basmati rice exports will touch FY18 levels when the country exported 8.64 million tonnes. “Exports of non-basmati rice subsequently went down in the next two years and in FY20 we had achieved exports of 5.04 million tonnes. This drop in non-basmati rice was because the government increased the minimum support price of paddy and farmers were not interested in exports. Also, the government had procured huge quantities of rice. That is why the exports went down,” added Mr Rao.

There will be new opportunities once Bangladesh too starts Indian non-basmati rice exports. “Either they will directly buy from private players or they will buy through government-to-government scheme. Whichever way it happens, it will provide a fillip to the country’s rice exports,” Mr Rao added.

“Rice consumption has increased in Bangladesh as people are staying indoors due to the coronavirus outbreak. Eating out has stopped. This is increasing the demand for rice in the country” said Mr Suraj Agarwal, CEO, Tirupati Agri Trade.

The decision of the Bangladesh government on import of rice from India is expected by the end of this week or early next week.

It was seen that Bangladesh imposed an import duty of 55 per cent on rice, but traders said the government is likely to bring down import duty on rice to 18 per cent.

According to the Bangladesh food ministry, import of rice is important as there is slow down in the procurement of rice and paddy due to a lack of interest among millers and farmers to supply the cereal to public warehouses.

Bangladesh government's food office could meet 20 per cent of its paddy procurement target of 8 lakh tonnes and 45 per cent of its rice procurement target of 11.5 lakh tonnes. And if it progresses this way, then the target of paddy procurement is unlikely to be achieved within the deadline of 31 August.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.