Agri Business

More mills look to export rice to China

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on June 29, 2021

The rice exports stood at $104.07 million during 2020-21 as compared to $0.45 million   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

As shipments to Beijing top $100 million, Indian rice units vie for certification

As China steps up rice purchases from India, more mills are keen to export the cereal to the neighbouring country. China in 2018 had allowed only 24 Indian rice mills to ship the cereal after certifying their plants and processing facility.

China rice purchases from India, mainly the non-basmati type, exceeded $100 million for the first time. Compared to the previous year, India’s total rice exports, including Basmati, to China registered massive increase at 3,31,989 tonnes during 2020-21 compared with 747 tonnes the previous year. In value terms, rice exports were valued at $104.07 million compared with $0.45 million.


Export potential

Considering the export potential to the neighbouring country, the Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage (DPPQS) has made a case for allowing more mills to export rice to China. Of the 79 mills registered for rice export to China with DPPQS, only 24 have been approved by the Chinese authorities for export of rice.

DPPQS has recently written to the Agriculture Ministry to take up the issue with Chinese authorities to allow rice shipments from the remaining 55 mills registered with it, as it may enhance the quantum of Indian exports.

“The NPPO China may be requested to consider rice import from DPPQS registered rice mills/processing units,” the DPPQS letter to Agriculture Ministry said. This is considering the Covid situation and difficulty in travelling by the inspectors from China NPPO to travel and inspect all the rice mills/processing units.

Trade sources said the certification process by the Chinese authorities during 2018 had pushed the Indian mills to raise their standards of milling and processing. In recent years, several of the mills had made investments in upgrading their units to Chinese standards, which in turn has helped them fetch higher realisations in that market.

China is currently considered a lucrative market for Indian exporters, where the margins are as high as $15 per tonne compared with $7-8 per tonne from the traditional African markets.

Export values

Though India is the largest exporter of rice, its share in the Chinese market, the largest importer has been miniscule. Exports to China picked up only during 2020-21, when India shipped out record volumes of the cereal.

India, the largest rice exporter shipped out around 17.71 million tonnes of rice during 2020-21, an increase of 86 per cent over previous year’s 9.5 million tonnes. In value terms, the rice shipments stood at $8.8 billion as against previous year’s $6.35 billion.

Published on June 28, 2021

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