India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, has decided to give 5 per cent subsidy for non-basmati rice exports for four months from November 26 till March 25, 2019 in its efforts to boost flagging overseas sales.
The decision was made after shipments of the commodity declined 13 per cent during first half of the current fiscal. The move is expected to boost the shipments of exporters.
India exported 37.23 lakh tonne of non-basmati rice (worth Rs 10,426 crore) during April-September, against 42.87 lakh tonne in the year-ago period.
Total non-basmati exports in 2017-18 were 86.5 lakh tonnes valued at Rs 22,968 crore, of which 20.28 lakh tonnes were shipped to Bangladesh. The non-basmati rice export to the neighbouring country stood at only 3.40 lakh tonne in the first half of FY19.
Hence India’s rice exports fell 9.6 per cent to 5.8 million tonnes in the first six months of the financial year that began in April despite a weaker rupee that makes the grain cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Meanwhile, a team of Chinese officials is set to visit India by the end of this month to inspect and certify some non-basmati rice mills of the country. A major rice market in the world, China currently allows import of basmati rice from India.
The two countries last week signed an agreement under which China has agreed to import from India non-basmati rice as well. Under the pact, the shipments will have to comply with the Chinese plant quarantine laws and regulations.
India will also have to ensure that processing and storage houses of the rice to be exported to China is free from pests – Trogoderma granarium and Prostephanus truncatus – and live insects.
The signing of the protocol between the two countries assumes significance as India has time and again asked for greater market access for its agri commodities in the Chinese market.
India wants to increase exports to China with a view to bridging the ballooning trade deficit, which has increased to $ 63.12 billion in 2017-18 from $ 51.08 billion in the previous fiscal.