Basmati rice exports are off to a good start in the current financial year, registering a 14 per cent growth in April, sustaining the strong growth momentum witnessed last fiscal. Basmati exports in value terms stood at $534 million during April against over $470 million in the same period a year ago on increased offtake from key buyers such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq among others.

In volume terms, basmati rice exports were up 17 per cent at over 4.99 lakh tonnes (lt) compared with 4.25 lt a year ago. Saudi Arabia, with purchases exceeding 1.45 lt valued at over $177.24 million, was the largest buyer of Indian basmati in April 2024 followed by Iraq at 1.37 lt valued at $141.60 million. United Arab Emirates, which purchased 0.99 lt valued at $130.43 million, followed by the US, with 0.58 lt valued at $124 million, were the other large buyers as per the APEDA data.

Record shipments in FY24

During 2023-24, India’s basmati shipments clocked a 15 per cent volume growth, rising to a record 5.24 million tonnes. In value terms, basmati shipments registered a 22 per cent growth to cross $5.83 billion during 2023-24.

Basmati rice along with a few other agri products such as guar gum and processed vegetables monitored by APEDA have bucked the broader trend to register a growth during April this fiscal. Exports of overall agri product exports monitored by APEDA registered a 6.39 per cent decline during April at $2.101 billion against $2.245 billion a year ago. Guar gum exports were up 43 per cent at $50 million, while processed fruits and juices were up 12 per cent at $73 million.

Non-basmati rice shipments declined by 21 per cent to $418 million on account of restrictions on exports. Similarly, wheat shipments dropped 75 per cent due to export curbs. Overall, cereal shipments were down 8.44 per cent at $974 million against $1.064 billion a year ago.

Exports of agri products that registered a negative growth include floriculture products, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, pulses and livestock products such as buffalo meat and poultry products. Groundnuts, cashew kernels and cashew nut shell liquid also registered a negative growth during April.