Non-Basmati rice exports rise steeply, likely to more than double in volume terms over FY 2018-19


India’s thrust on expanding port handling infrastructure, development of value chain involving key stakeholders along with efforts to explore new opportunities in countries or markets for rice exports in the last couple of years have led to a huge spike in rice exports.

Challenges of COVID

Notwithstanding logistical challenges posed by COVID19 pandemic, India continues to expand its rice exports footprint in the African, Asian and European Union markets, thus having the largest share in global rice trade. The robust global demand also helped India’s growth in rice exports.

Huge Growth in Exports

In 2020-21, India’s rice exports (Basmati and Non-Basmati) rose by a huge 87 per cent to 17.72 Million Tonne (MT) from 9.49 MT achieved in 2019-20.

In terms of value realisation, India’s rice exports rose by 38 per cent to USD 8815 million in 2020-21 from USD  6397 million reported in 2019-20. In terms of Rupees, India’s rice export grew by 44 per cent to Rs 65298 crore in 2020-21 from Rs 45379 crore in the previous year.

In the first seven months of the current financial year (2021-22), India’s rice exports rose by more than 33 per cent to 11.79 MT from 8.91 MT achieved during April-October, 2020-21. It is anticipated that India’s rice exports in 2021-22 would likely surpass the record feet of 17.72 MT achieved in 2020-21.

Shipment of Non-Basmati Rice

In 2020-21, India shipped non-basmati rice to nine countries – Timor-Leste, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Eswatini, Myanmar and Nicaragua, where exports were carried out for the first time or earlier the shipment was smaller in volume.

India’s Non-Basmati rice exports was valued at USD  4796 million (Rs 35448crore) in 2020- 21, with Basmati Rice exports a close second at USD 4018 million (Rs 29,849 crore).

Shipments of Basmati Rice

In terms of volume of Basmati rice exports in 2020-21, top ten countries – Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Qatar and Oman have a share of close to 80 per cent in total shipments of aromatic long grained rice from India.

Top ten countries – Nepal, Benin, Bangladesh, Senegal, Togo, Cote D Ivoire, Guinea, Malaysia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates – have a share of 57 per cent in India’s total exports of non-Basmati rice in 2020-21 in terms of volume.

The sharp spike in rice exports especially during a phase where globally the COVID19 pandemic has disrupted the supply chain of many commodities has been attributed to the government taking prompt measures to ensure exports of rice and other cereals while taking all the COVID19 related safety precautions.

Role of APEDA

“India continues to supply rice to the global market thus ensuring food security in many countries while many countries are stockpiling in anticipation of logistical disruption because of COVID19 pandemic,” said Dr. M Angamuthu, Chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA).

APEDA, which functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with state governments as well as concerned stakeholders, have helped improve port handling facilities at Kakinada, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai, Mundra and Krishnapatnam and Paradip, thus boosting rice exports.

APEDA has been promoting rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains. The government had set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of the APEDA. REPF has representatives from the rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Directors of Agriculture from major rice-producing states including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

Role of Basmati Export Development Foundation

For boosting exports of quality production of aromatic and long grain Basmati rice, APEDA supported Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF) has taken innovative steps to sensitise farmers involved in the cultivation of Basmati rice in the key growing regions about the adoption of good agricultural practices.

As part of the initiatives, BEDF in collaboration with the rice exporters associations of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi, state agriculture universities and state agriculture departments, organised 75 awareness and training programmes to encourage farmers for growing high-quality Basmati rice in the seven states. BEDF is also involved as a technical partner for different FPOs, exporter associations, etc in Basmati rice-growing states.

Through the awareness creation program, farmers were informed that Basmati rice cultivation is an Indian tradition and it is a collective responsibility to maintain this tradition as there is a huge demand for Basmati rice in the global market. The farmers have been requested to get themselves registered on through the State Agriculture Department. APEDA, through BEDF, has been assisting the state governments in the promotion of Basmati rice cultivation.

We continue to focus on creating infrastructure for boosting exports by focusing on clusters in collaboration with state governments while taking into consideration the aim of Agriculture Export Policy, 2018,” Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA said.

APEDA has been engaged with State Governments for the implementation of the Agriculture Export Policy. Maharashtra, U.P., Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Manipur, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, M.P., Mizoram and Meghalaya have finalized the State-specific Action Plan for exports while the action plans of other States are at different stages of finalization.

India’s Rice Exports Trend

 Q/MTRs/Crore$ millionQ/MTRs/Crore$ millionQ/MTRs/Crore$ millionQ/MTRs/Crore$ million
Source: APEDA, Quantity (million ton), *Apr-Oct, USD / Million

India’s Top Ten Export Destinations for Basmati Rice (2020-21)

CountriesVolume (lakh ton)*% of total exports
Saudi Arabia10.3522
Yemen Republic3.367
United Arab Emirates2.295
*% based on the total volume of exports of 46.3 lakh tonne in 2020-21

India’s Top Ten Export Destinations for Non-Basmati Rice (2020-21)

CountriesVolume (lakh ton)% of total exports
Cote D Ivoire7.35.5
United Arab Emirates2.92
Others 43
*% based on total volume of exports of 130.95 lakh tonne in 2020-21

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