Agri Business

Fungicide traces may hit basmati exports to US

Vishwanath Kulkarni New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Nearly 3,000 tonnes detained at various ports in the past 3 months

Indian basmati exporters may face a tough time after traces of fungicide residue were detected by the US authorities and their shipments detained.

In the past three months, over 150 containers carrying some 3,000 tonnes of basmati rice have been detained at various ports after traces of tricyclazole were found, a senior official with a major rice exporter said.

As a result, buyers from the US are hesitant to sign new contracts, the official told Business Line. The US is one of the growing markets for Indian basmati and accounts for about 7-8 per cent of the country's exports, which stood at 2.18 million tonnes valued at Rs 10,578 crore in 2010-11.

“At the moment, the impact on exports is not big. But, if the issue is not resolved, there may be a significant impact,” said Mr A. K. Gupta, Advisor, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). He said the issue is being taken up at the Government-to-Government level.

It is said that tricyclazole has low toxicity, low residue and is effective in controlling rust and powdery mildew and is used in major rice-producing countries such as Japan, Thailand and India, among others.

Downplays issue

However, the Indian basmati exporters sought to downplay the issue stating that it is being sorted out. “Shipments were held up for random checking and are being cleared,” said Mr Gurnam Arora, Joint Managing Director, Kohinoor Foods, a large exporter of basmati.

Stating that the US was a small market compared to West Asia, Mr Arora said there is no impact of the issue on new contracts. “There are no long-term contracts as such from the importers in the US as they buy on need basis. Shipments are sent on a routine basis,” Mr Arora said.

“It (the random checks) is a regulatory requirement and that is being addressed. The situation is quite manageable. We have not come across any such instances wherein new contracts are delayed,” said Dr Ayushman Gupta, Business Director, Best Foods.


Published on November 25, 2011

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