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11th Aug 2021

Non-Basmati rice is changing the Indian rice export landscape

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s agricultural exports flourished during ‘20-‘21.


rice tradeIndian Non-basmati rice had an extraordinary increase in export, which gained more foreign trade than Indian basmati rice. In ‘20- ‘21, India traded internationally 13.09 MM MTS of non-basmati rice (USD $4.8 Bn), up from the usual 6.9 MM MTS (USD $2.7 Bn) prior to the last 5 years. The export of Indian basmati rice in ‘20- ‘21 (4.63 MM MTS at $4.02 Bn) followed the trend of ‘15- ‘20 5-year average (4.19 MM MTS with revenues estimated at $3.98 Bn). This growth in the export of non-basmati rice took place despite a massive increase in the procurement (at minimum funding price, in the form of rice paddy) by the government in ’19- ‘20. The rice buying increased from a 5-year average of 41.2 MM MTS to 58.6 MM MTS in ‘20- ‘21 (the difference between Kharif marketing season and financial year is not accounted for). The average unit price achievement per MTS of non-basmati rice was USD $366.5 in ‘20- ‘21 compared to USD $391.6 in the prior 5 years. Indian Rice is still cheaper than other rice exporting countries by $40-$50 per MTS.

Thailand's 5 percent broken rice export prices slightly increased to $385-$410 per MTS from the previous week at $385-$408 per MTS. One rice trader said rice supply remained unchanged, while higher freight rates have affected rice export forecasts despite low rice export prices. While another rice exporter mentioned that the rice prices now change mainly because of the exchange rate, but the soaring rate of freight has subdued the demand.

Rice tradeVietnam's 5 percent broken white rice export prices were unchanged at USD $390 per MTS. One rice exporter said that local rice supplies are building up during the summer-autumn crop in the Mekong Delta area, but trades remain slow due to COVID-19 restrictions in the region. One rice trader also said that rice farmers are trying to sell their freshly harvested rice, and many of the farmers are doubtful to continue production into the next rice crop. State media reported that Vietnam intends to stock rice procured from local farmers to compensate for the hit from COVID-19 restrictions and low export rice prices.

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