Rice exporters, such as KRBL Ltd and LT Foods Ltd, saw their profits shoot up in the September quarter on higher prices and shipments.

Strong demand from traditional markets in West Asia led to the rise in exports of Indian basmati rice during the September quarter. Even shipments of non-basmati were higher compared with the last quarter, on higher demand from newer geographies such as Africa among others.

“Improved branding, higher exports of basmati and non-basmati varieties boosted our performance,” said Anil Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, KRBL Ltd. The company is targeting a turnover of around Rs 2,000 crore for the current fiscal and has crossed the half-way mark at Rs 1,006 crore in the first half. A 40 per cent rise in domestic sales of basmati also contributed to improved performance, he said.

Basmati prices in the current financial year are almost twice that of last year on reduced supplies.

“Prices are on a different scale this year. Besides, higher realisation in non-basmati rice has helped the growth,” said Vijay Arora, Managing Director, of LT Foods.

Total basmati exports by Indian companies in the first seven months were up about 17 per cent in the first seven months. Shipments in April-October period stood at 1.92 million tonnes against 1.64 million tonnes. In value terms, the exports for the period were up 26 per cent at Rs 10,452 crore.

“Strong demand and better prices helped us double our topline and bottom line for the September quarter,” said Vijay Setia, Executive Director, Chamanlal Setia Exports Ltd.

The Government had lifted a four-year ban on non-basmati rice shipments in September 2011. Since then, India has emerged as the largest exporter of rice.

vishwanath.kulkarni@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 4, 2012)
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