India’s rice exports are likely to be lower this year

Despite the fact that rice exporters have signed ahead contracts of 1-1.2 million tonnes (MT) month-to-month until November 2021, India’s total exports of rice are slated to be lower by about round 12 MT, according to market experts. India had achieved the highest-ever exports of 17.72 MT of rice price $8.89 billion in FY21.

India’s Basmati rice export to the European Union (EU) alone has dropped to 1.7 lakh tonne from 4 lakh tonne in 2017-18. Lack of containers, rise in ocean freight charges and a drop in rice prices by Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan have affected the rice exports from India within the season of 2021-22.

Rice Exporters Association’s president B V Krishna Rao, stated that the excessive freight price was changing into the main problem for exporters aside from rising logistic bottlenecks at ports. “Last two to three months, no containers have been able to leave because of rains and today at least 15 vessels are waiting at the Kakinada port,” he said.

“In a letter, we have approached the railway ministry to seek additional railway sidings with the opening of the deep-water port. The capacity has doubled from 7 to 15 vessels and, therefore, requires more sidings to cater to the growing requirements,” said the association.

The Indian non-basmati rice commerce is dependent upon Indian Railways for interstate logistics as Kakinada port is the primary cargo port for non-basmati rice sourced from Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Orissa areas to fulfill the shipments.

Moreover, Vietnam which turned out to be the main buyer last year has stopped buying rice from India from May. Vietnam importers are searching for reductions for the discharge of cargo, Rao stated.

“Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan have also dropped prices. Last year they had held positions at higher levels. Thailand’s 5 per cent broken rice price is quoted at $380 per tonne. While the price of Vietnam’s 5 per cent broken rice is quoted at $390 per tonne. Last year, prices in these countries were at least $100 per tonne higher than the current rates,” Rao stated. Indian costs are at the moment around $350 per tonne to $370 per tonne. China can also be importing rice in a large manner and is probably going to import around a million tonne this season, stated Rao. Bangladesh, Nepal, West Africa and East Africa is a major consumer of Indian rice.

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