Indian Non-Basmati Rice is the third biggest Agricultural Export Commodity after Basmati Rice and Buffalo Meat. Financial Year 2018-19 witnessed a big drop in export shipments of non-basmati rice due to increase in Minimum Support Price of non-basmati paddy by the Indian Government. Export of Non-Basmati Rice fell by 14.56% in FY-19 to 7.534 Million Metric Tonnes. Indian Non-Basmati Rice in international markets became uncompetitive and forced the Indian Government to introduce schemes like Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme 5% benefit for exporters of non-basmati rice.
Non-Renewal of 5% Benefit under MEIS to Non-Basmati Rice Exporters
The Indian Government provided Merchandise Export from India Scheme benefit of 5% of FOB value of goods from November 25th 2018. This helped Indian Non-Basmati exporters for a couple of weeks until the rupee started trading in the range of INR 69 on 28th of November from INR 73 at the beginning of November. Introduction of MEIS scheme helped exporters cover their currency loses in case they did not hedge at the time of contract. This incentive was discontinued on March 25th 2019 and exporters are still urging the central government to renew the benefit till March 2020. This financial year exports of non-basmati rice would be similar to FY 2018-19, but if MEIS is not extended, we can expect further drop in exports.
Lower Prices Offered by Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Pakistan
Exports have been impacted by the MSP increase, more non-basmati rice grains are being stocked at Government warehouses than exported privately. The appreciation in Indian Rupee to US Dollar further drove Indian non-basmati rice to lose their international market to countries like Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Pakistan. Vietnam and Myanmar are offering Long Grain White Rice varieties at least USD 20 Per MT cheaper than India. Long Grain Parboiled Rice is at least 5% cheaper in Thailand and Pakistan. Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) have already referred this matter to the commerce ministry for a while now and we can expect clarity on their policy towards non-basmati rice soon.
Hike of Import Duty by Bangladesh
The Bangladesh Government has increased import duty on rice from 28% to 55% in a bid to help their local farmers. “We revised the import duties as per the instructions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to save farmers from incurring financial losses,” NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said. The import duty on rice in Bangladesh was 25% in FY2017-18, 28% in FY2018-19 and 55% for FY2019-20. Data from APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) shows that non-basmati exports from India to Bangladesh fell from about 1.7 million tonnes worth Rs 4,463 crore, in April-February 2017-18 to 420,000 tonnes (Rs 1,186 crore) in the same period this financial year.
We expect the government to take further steps to help non-basmati exports in the coming month’s otherwise Indian exporters of non-basmati rice will shift to other commodities as risk of price volatility and stronger rupee outdo the export margins of 2-3%, which they earn from non-basmati contracts.