Indian Rice Exports Surge 70% Amid the Pandemic

Strong demand for non-basmati shipments from West Africa and south-east Asia results in a substantial increase in rice exports this fiscal. Indian rice exports witness a surge of 70% even amid the pandemic.

Indian rice exports grew by 70% to 7.5 million tonnes during the first six months of this fiscal. In monetary terms, the grain exports have increased by 43% to Rs 30,609 crore and 36% to USD 4.08 billion. Also, the official data reveals that India exported 5.08 million tonnes of non-basmati till September this fiscal, which is more than 5.04 million tonnes during the whole of FY20. President of the Rice Exporters Association, BV Krishna Rao said that non-basmati exports are expected to exceed 10 million tonnes in FY21. In 2017-18, India exported 8.6 million tonnes of non-basmati rice.

Strong Demand from West Africa and South-east Asia

Rao explained that traditional buyers of non-basmati rice including Benin, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone in West Africa increased their purchase from India after the euro gained against USD due to the pandemic. Besides, the shortage of non-basmati in Thailand gave an edge to India. Moreover, the country changed its policy to maintain food security which helped India to increase its exports. Also, Malaysia and Indonesia are buying sticky rice from India this time instead of Thailand. Meanwhile, China has placed an order for 100% broken non-basmati rice due to the low price. Though India exported only 84 tonnes of rice to China in the April-September period, the East Asian nation has increased orders in the last month.

Increase in Basmati Rice Exports

Exports of basmati rice were 28% up at 2.8 million tonnes during H1 from the year-ago period. Also, exporters expect a 15-20% increase in shipments this fiscal. An exporter of basmati rice said that freight would be 12% higher for the whole year even if the export quantity of basmati during October-March remains as previous year’s. Also, he expects basmati exports to increase in the coming months, given the robust demand from the middle east.

In all, despite the pandemic induced lockdown, rice exports from India remained robust.

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