Rice exporters welcome hike in non-basmati export price

New Delhi, Mar 28 | Updated: Mar 30 2008, 04:26am hrs
The rice exporters have welcomed the government's decision to hike the minimum export price (MEP) of non-basmati rice to $1,000 a tonne, saying the move will improve the domestic availability and benefit the consumers.

All India Rice Exporters Association chairman Vijay Sethia said, though the hike in MEP of non-basmati is steep, still it is a welcome step as it serves the interests of the Indian consumers. He, however, said Had it (non-Basmati MEP) been raised to $850-900, it would have been justified.

The government on Thursday raised MEP of non-basmati rice by $350 to $1,000 a tonne and that of Basmati to $1,100 from $900 a tonne.

Sethia said Basmati exporters may face some difficulties due to hike in MEP, but said, the industry as a whole will readjust to the situation and do better marketing for their products.

According to the traders, there are only 6-7 non-basmati varieties such as Pusa 1121 and Sarbati, which are exported at a premium and those will not be affected by the increased MEP. While Pusa 1121 fetches $1600-1700 in the international market, others like Sarbati and Pepsi command $900-1100 a tonne, a Delhi-based exporter said.

India has exported 31.87 lakh tonne of non-basmati rice, valued at Rs 3,759.84 crore during April-October period of the current fiscal. In the previous year, exports stood at 37.02 lakh tonne valued at Rs 4,243.08 crore. Basmati rice exports till October this fiscal were 5,67,000 tonne valued at Rs 1,687.77 crore. In the previous year, these exports were 10.45 lakh tonne valued at Rs 2,792.81 crore.