Amid fears of a 6% year-on-year decline in kharif rice production jacking up prices of the cereal, the government on Friday said prices in the domestic market will remain under control, thanks to a ban on exports of broken rice and “sufficient stocks”.
By imposing the ban on export of broken rice, the government has “successfully ensured domestic food security, availability of domestic feed for poultry and cattle feed, while keeping a check over inflation as well as domestic price of rice,” the food ministry said in the statement on Friday.
With effect from September 9, the Centre imposed a ban on broken rice exports and also a slapped a 20 per cent export duty on non-basmati rice, except for par-boiled rice.“The domestic price of rice is in comfortable position and the prices will remain well under control… Due to surplus stock of rice, the domestic price of rice will be under control as compared to international market and neighbouring countries where the price is comparatively high,” the ministry said.
India’s rice production in the current kharif season for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) is expected to decline by around 6% to 104.99 million tonne (mt) against 111.76 mt of in 2021-22, according to the first advance estimate of foodgrain production released by agriculture ministry earlier this week.
The production would be impacted because of deficiency in monsoon rainfall in the key grain growing states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Area under paddy in West Bengal, the largest rice-producing state, was down by 8.6%.
The minimum support price (MSP) of paddy has been increased by 5.15 % to Rs 2,040 per quintal in 2022-23 compared to Rs 1,940 per quintal in 2021-22. The ministry highlighted that all-India domestic wholesale prices of rice and wheat decreased by 0.08% and 0.43 %, respectively, over the week.
On Friday, the average retail price of rice stood at Rs 37.65 per kg, as per the data compiled by the department of consumer affairs.
Regarding the export ban, the ministry said the restriction has been imposed to ensure adequate availability of broken rice for consumption by domestic poultry industry and for other animal feedstock; and to produce ethanol for successful implementation of EBP (Ethanol Blending Programme).