India’s rice exports is likely to jump by 22 per cent in 2017 to a record 12.3 million tonnes, as neighbouring Bangladesh ramped up purchases after flooding hit its crops.
The boost in shipments from the world’s top exporter of the grain is set to extend into 2018 as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka continue to buy aggressively, analysts have said.
Bangladesh’s purchases lifted India’s non-basmati rice exports by 38% in 2017 to 8.4 million tonnes and total exports to 12.3 million tonnes. This would surpass 2014’s record of 11.5 million tonnes.
Traditionally, the world’s fourth-biggest rice producer, Bangladesh emerged as a major importer of the grain in 2017 after floods damaged crops and pushed domestic prices to record highs.
It sourced more than 80 per cent of its 2017 imports of 2.4 million tonnes from India. Last year, Bangladesh reduced import taxes on rice to boost private buying. It also bought rice from India in state-to-state deals to quickly raise supplies and rein in prices.
But rice prices stayed high in Bangladesh despite the largest imports in nearly two decades, which will encourage farmers to expand the amount of land used to cultivate the staple crop, Hasan said.
India’s Rice exports in 2018 depend largely on non-basmati shipments, as basmati exports are likely to remain more-or-less steady at around 4 million tonnes, the All India Rice Exporters’ Association said.