Basmati exports for the first seven months of the fiscal – April to October – have risen 26 per cent in value terms to Rs 10,453 crore, on rising demand from traditional buyers in West Asia.

In terms of volume, the exports grew 17 per cent at 1.92 million tonnes (mt) against 1.64 mt in the same period last year.

“Higher demand from existing customers and newer markets in Africa contributed to the rise in exports,” said R. Sundaresan, Executive Director, All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA).

For the year-ended March 2012, basmati exports stood at 3.2 mt, a growth of 45 per cent over last year.

In value terms, basmati exports in 2011-12 had touched Rs 15,450 crore.

Non-basmati exports

Non-basmati rice exports have seen a significant jump this year.

The Government opened up exports of non-basmati rice in September last year, after a gap of almost four years.

In the current fiscal till October, non-basmati rice exports stood at 3.42 mt, almost a five-fold rise over the same period last year.

The total value of rice exports for the April-October period this year stood at Rs 17,703 crore, almost double the value in the corresponding period last year.

Though the export trend in non-basmati rice exports is likely to be sustained for the rest of the fiscal, basmati shipments may slow down on higher prices this year, fear exporters.

Basmati prices

“The prices of basmati paddy varieties are almost twice that of last year. As a result, buyers may delay or reduce their purchases that may affect the overall shipments,” a leading exporter said.

The prices of basmati paddy varieties are ruling at Rs 2,700-3,100 a quintal in mandis of Punjab and Haryana, against Rs 1,500-1,700 last year.

Basmati paddy prices are ruling higher on projected shortfall in acreage that may hurt the overall output of the aromatic varieties.

The overall production of rice is expected to be around 100 mt on lower kharif output against 104 mt last year.

vishwanath.kulkarni@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 27, 2012)
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