Agri Business

Basmati exports could rise by 10%: APEDA

Tomojit Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on July 08, 2015

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Based on steady demand, increase in rice acreage and expectations of normal rainfall

After initial concerns arising out of reduced Kharif sowing, rice acreage increased by about one per cent, as per data released by the Agriculture Ministry last week.

While it’s still early in the season, it is expected that last year’s output of 102.5 million tonnes (mt) will be matched if rainfall continues to steady, particularly across eastern India. The Central Rice Research Institute expected transplantation of rice saplings to pick up over the first half of July

Basmati rice exports, as a result, are likely to register an increase of about 10 per cent over the 3.7 mt recorded during the previous fiscal, according to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

“For the 2015-16 fiscal, we are projecting exports of at least 4 mt. It’s the expected growth of the product for which there is steady demand. So, one can expect around 10 per cent growth,” said AK Gupta, Director, Basmati Export Development Foundation, APEDA.

As of April, there was a shortfall in exports primarily because of Iran scaling back its imports due to surplus domestic availability, a situation that Gupta said “has stabilised now”. The country had imported 0.9 mt in 2014-15, as compared to 1.44 mt in the earlier fiscal.

Saudi Arabia became the top basmati export destination last fiscal, importing 966,931 tonnes, worth $1,188 million.

“There was a shortfall of about 10,000 tonnes as of April, but we expect this to pick up in the next round of data that will be published by the Centre this month. Some of the Iran shortfall was compensated by Saudi Arabia,” said Rajen Sundaresan, Executive Director, All India Rice Exporters Association.

Non-basmati

A combination of external factors should also help non-basmati 5 per cent parboiled and 100 per cent broken parboiled varieties achieve higher sales abroad. Thailand’s situation due to its earlier ‘paddy pledging scheme’ has resulted in a massive glut of almost 18 mt, of which, six mt is unfit for consumption.

“The quality of Thai rice is suspect, which will benefit India since there’s good quality white rice, parboiled rice and 100 per cent brokens. There are numerous varieties that keep us competitive. We are flexible in pricing, so exports should remain steady unless the rupee strengthens or there’s Government intervention,” said Tejinder Narang, a grains trade analyst.

Also, with China’s demand rising by almost one mt each year, Indian exporters can expect to cover the African and West Asian markets since Thailand and Vietnam service the 130-140 mt market.

Published on July 08, 2015
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