India’s rice exports could rise 15% in 2020-21 as buyers stockpile grain

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According to industry officials, India’s rice exports in 2020-21 might increase by roughly 15 per cent as buyers purchase lower-priced supply from India to rebuild their inventories.

These are among the first forecasts for rice exports during the new fiscal year beginning from April 1.

Higher shipments from the world’s biggest exporter is likely to cap the global prices and help the Indian traders in reducing bulging inventories.

“There is a surge in demand for Indian rice right now and we are expecting demand to continue for some more time,” Nitin Gupta, Vice President for Olam India’s rice business, said.

“Demand has improved as Indian rice has become competitive after the rupee dropped to a record low,” said B.V. Krishna Rao, President of India’s Rice Exporters Association.

This forecast comes at a time when the key export destinations are badly hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. Also, logistical constraints and Coronavirus-triggered shutdowns had a negative bearing on the industry.

During the 2019-20 FY, the South Asian nation’s rice exports were 9 million tonnes, as per the government data.

It is worth noting that India mainly exports premium basmati rice to Iran, Iraq amd Saudi Arabia, while non-basmati rice to Benin, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Senegal. Other African nations are also major consumers of India’s non-basmati rice. In 2018-19, India exported over ₹53,700 crore worth of rice, including non-basmati rice worth ₹20,900 crore.