India’s rice exports would continue to see robust growth in the current fiscal (2022-23) after a record shipment of about 20 million tonne (MT) of grain worth more than $ 9.6 billion in 2021-22.
The expectation of a ‘normal’ monsoon rains this year is expected to give a boost to rice production which is predominantly a Kharif crop.
India has been the world’s largest rice exporter in the last decade — export earnings stood at a record $8.7 billion in 2020-21
Official sources told FE that rice exports would continue to surge this fiscal year because of factors such as surplus domestic stocks and expectation of robust forthcoming Kharif crops. More than 80% of India’s rice production is grown in the Kharif season.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) as of April 1, 2022, had rice stock of more than 32 MT against the buffer norm of 13.58 MT. However, this stock excludes 22 MT of rice yet to be received from the millers by FCI.
“We have more than adequate rice stocks to meet supplies for the Public Distribution System,” an official said.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rice outlook report for April, the global trade in the 2022 calendar year is projected at a record 52.5 MT out of which India’s rice exports are projected to be around 21 MT while Vietnam will ship around 6 MT of rice.
As per DGCIS data, India exported rice to over 150 countries in 2021-22. “It indicates the diversification of India’s rice export over the years,” a commerce ministry official said.
India exports aromatic and long grain Basmati rice to Saudi Arabia, Iran and other middle east countries besides to the United States and European Union. In the case of non-basmati rice shipment, the West African country Benin is one of the major importers of non-basmati rice from India. India exports non-basmati rice to Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Cote D’ Ivoire, Togo, Senegal, Guinea, Vietnam, Djibouti, Madagascar, Cameroon Somalia, Malaysia, Liberia, United Arab Emirates etc.
M. Angamuthu, chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), said that the thrust on expanding port handling infrastructure, developing 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
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.
As per Second Advance Estimates for 2021-22, the rice production in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) is estimated at a record 127 MT, which is higher by 11 MT than the last five years’ average production of 116 MT.
India is the world’s second-largest rice producer after China. The record exports would enable the rice producers to reduce their stocks and would also benefit the farmers as the increased demand for Indian Rice is likely to improve their realisation.