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June 2024

Basmati export price drops but Indian shippers unfazed 

Most shipments contracted at higher rates amid globaly supply disturbance


Basmati rice exports have increased by 12.3 per cent at 4.11 million tonnes (mt) during the January 2023-24 fiscal from 3.66 mt in the year-ago period, as per provisional data released by Agricultural and Processed Foods Exports Development Authority (APEDA). In value terms, the growth is an impressive 20.2 per cent at $4.59 billion against $3.82 billion year-ago. The higher growth has been attributed by industry experts on increased demand from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Striking bargains

The average realisation was about $ 1,120/tonne until January, whereas it was nearly $1,045 year-ago, said an exporter. However, the basmati paddy was considerably lower in harvesting period (October-December) of 2022 from the same period in 2023, the exporter said. He said while it is less than 10 per cent increase in the export realisation, paddy prices this year (2023-24) were 20-25 per cent higher.

In Punjab, Pusa Basmati 1509 (paddy) sold at ₹3,200-3,600/quintal, depending on quality while Pusa Basmati 1718 at about ₹3,800 in November 2023. On the other hand, traditional Basmati CSR 30 commanded between ₹6,300 and ₹6,600/quintal for the farmers. The key Pusa 1121 was sold at ₹4,300-4,500 per quintal, whereas last year it was ₹3,600-3,800.

“There is a slowdown in demand from overseas buyers after the Red Sea issue came up as freight cost increased. But, this type of event is normally temporary and hope we see things to normalise in the days ahead,” said Vijay Setia, a former president of All India Rice Exporters Association.

Response to global trade

According to foreign trade policy expert S Chandrasekaran, current basmati export price decline is a response of global trade demand sentiments and pressure from competitive supply. “However, the export price will recover when domestic and export market finds equilibrium. This will reflect at the end of festival season in the West Asia,” he said.

Further, Chandrasekaran said the local demand and higher price realisation from domestic market brings new trend and trade stability for basmati rice.

Official sources in the Commerce Ministry do not see the fall as a concern and term it as normal market trend on demand-supply issue. The officials said that since more than 90 per cent of the shipments have already gone in the ten months of this fiscal as against 4.56 mt exported during the entire 2022-23, the exports in February and March may also follow the current trend of 10-12 per cent rise. QR Code

Published Date: March 5, 2024

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