Top rice supplier India bans some exports

MUMBAI: The world’s biggest rice exporter India has banned some overseas sales of the grain “with immediate effect”, the government said, in a move that could drive international prices even higher.

Rice is a major world food staple and prices on international markets have soared to decade highs as the world grappled with the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon on production levels. India would ban exports of non-basmati white rice—which accounts for around a quarter of its total—the consumer affairs and food ministry said.

The move would “ensure adequate availability” and “allay the rise in prices in the domestic market”, it said in a statement late Thursday. India accounts for more than 40 percent of all global rice shipments, so the decision could “risk exacerbating food insecurity in countries highly dependent on rice imports”, data analytics firm Gro Intelligence said in a note.

Countries expected to be hit by the ban include African nations, Turkey, Syria, and Pakistan—all of them already struggling with high food-price inflation—the firm added. Global demand saw Indian exports of non-basmati white rice jump 35 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the ministry said. The increase came even after the government banned broken rice shipments and imposed a 20 percent export tax on white rice in September.

India exported 10.3 million tons of non-basmati white rice last year and Rabobank senior analyst Oscar Tjakra said alternative suppliers did not have spare capacity to fill the gap. “Typically the major exporters are Thailand, Vietnam, and to some extent Pakistan and the US,” he told AFP. “They won’t have enough supply of rice to replace these.”

Moscow’s cancellation of the Black Sea grain deal that protected Ukrainian exports has already led to wheat prices creeping up, he pointed out. “Obviously this will add into inflation around the world because rice can be used as a substitute for wheat.”

Rice prices in India rose 14-15 percent in the year to March and the government “clearly viewed these as red lines from a domestic food security and inflation point of view”, ratings agency Crisil’s research director Pushan Sharma said in a note. India had already curbed exports of wheat and sugar last year to rein in prices. — AFP

Terms of Use:

  • This website Arabian Daily is an individual’s property, not used for any commercial or sales purposes. What you see here are one’s random thoughts in action. I, by no means, endorse any product or party through this, unless stated explicitly.
  • All work you will find here is copyrighted unless stated otherwise. No part of this work can be reproduced in any way with the exception of a) if you share our work, it should link back to this website; b) if you quote any part of our work, it should be properly credited to us with a link to this website.
  • All images used on this website have been taken from open source image websites on the Internet. If any of them are copyrighted to you and you want us to take them down or add credits, please feel free to contact us here, or by using the contact form on this page.
  • The views expressed on Arabian Daily are solely ours. They do not represent any party or any particular school of thought. This website does not promote racism in any form.
  • Privacy Policy:
    This website will respect the readers’ and the writer’s privacy. We do not sell any of their personal or contact information to another company. We do not put your information on spam lists. Also, and more importantly, we are not responsible for the privacy practices of any of our advertisers or website commenters.
  • Reserve Rights: We reserve the right to change the focus on this website, to shut it down, sell it or to change the terms of use at our own discretion.