Asia Pacific Trade

India’s Non-Basmati Rice Exports Ban – Market Report Analysis

  • India’s basmati rice exports and non-basmati rice exports stood at USD 3485 million and USD 1586 million respectively in Jan-Jun 2023.
  • Iran and Saudi Arabia are the largest importers of Indian rice with a market share of 20% together.
  • India’s exports of basmati and non-basmati rice declined in Q2 of 2023 as compared to the previous quarter.
  • Besides Asia, many African and Middle East nations are also vulnerable to the export ban.

On 20th July 2023, India banned exports of non-basmati rice in an attempt to calm the increasing domestic prices of the cereal. What does it mean for global countries which are already struggling with food crises since the Russia-Ukraine war? India is the world’s top rice exporter, accounting for some 40% of the global trade in cereal. India exported around 22 million tonnes of rice to 140 countries in 2022. Till June 2023, India supplied basmati rice worth USD 3485 million and non-basmati rice worth USD 1586 million.

Why India is crucial to the global rice trade?

India is crucial to the global rice trade as almost 40% of rice shipments get departed from the country to meet the needs of rice importers globally. In 2022, India shipped rice worth USD 10,766 million, which was more than the combined shipments of Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, and the United States, the next big exporters of grain. Here’s a data visualization to understand the market share of India in the international rice export market.

India’s exports of basmati and non-basmati rice by quarter

India’s basmati rice exports declined from USD 1915 million in Q1 of 2020 to USD 1421 million same quarter of 2021. In Q1 of 2022, India shipped basmati rice worth USD 1446 million, and USD 1922 million worth of basmati rice was supplied in Q1 of 2023. However, the demand for Indian non-basmati rice is high in the international market due to the fact that India’s exports of non-basmati rice increased in Q1 of 2021, 2022, and 2023. Here is a quarter-wise analysis of India’s rice exports.

Which countries are importing basmati and non-basmati rice from India?

According to Jan-Jun 2023 data, India’s top export destination of basmati rice was Iran and for non-basmati rice was Madagascar. Check the list of top 10 export destinations of Indian basmati and non-basmati rice.

Yearly trends of India’s exports of basmati and non-basmati rice

India’s exports of basmati rice totalled USD 5582 million in 2020, and that dollar amount rose to USD 5708 million in 2022. Whereas, India shipped non-basmati rice worth USD 1695 million in 2020, which increased to USD 2807 million in 2022. Look at the chart to understand India’s rice export market.

List of countries that imported Indian rice in 2022

Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Benin, the United Arab Emirates, and Senegal were the top export destinations of Indian rice in 2022. Check the list of countries with their values and market share.

CountryValue USD MillionValue USD %
Saudi Arabia9899.2
United Arab Emirates4324
Côte d’Ivoire4163.9
United States2702.5
Sri Lanka2202
United Kingdom1301.2
Countries that imported Indian rice in 2022

Possible mayhem in the global market

Similar to India, if other major rice exporters such as Vietnam and Cambodia also impose their own forms of export restrictions, the world will be looking at possible mayhem in the rice market. The scale of people impacted by Indian rice will be in the millions. Besides Asia, many African and Middle East nations are also vulnerable to the export ban. The poorer consumers in India’s neighbours, particularly Bangladesh and Nepal will be the hardest hit.

Amid the global food crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has encouraged India to lift the export ban on non-basmati rice. The Indian government banned the export of non-basmati rice on 20th July 2023 to boost domestic supply and keep retail prices under check during the upcoming festive season. The government has amended the export policy from free with an export duty of 20% to prohibit with immediate effect.

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