India Imposes Ban on Non-Basmati White Rice Exports to Address Price Surge

India Imposes Ban on Non-Basmati White Rice Exports to Address Price Surge

The Indian government has prohibited the export of non-basmati white rice, including semi-milled or wholly milled rice, regardless of whether polished or glazed, according to a notification from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. However, there is an exception for rice shipments already in progress at the time of the announcement, which will be allowed to proceed with their exports. 

This decision comes amidst reports of the government’s consideration of a ban on most rice varieties for export. The potential ban could impact about 80% of India’s rice exports and may lead to lower domestic rice prices while potentially affecting global prices negatively. 

The recent surge in rice prices within India is attributed to uneven rainfall in key rice-growing regions over the last ten days. Vietnam, another major rice exporter, is also experiencing rising rice prices due to concerns about supply shortages caused by the El Nino weather pattern and potential export restrictions from India. 

In September 2022, India had already taken measures to address production concerns by banning overseas shipments of broken rice and imposing a 20% duty on various rice grades for exports. 

B.V. Krishna Rao, President of the Rice Exporters Association (REA), has raised concerns about the government’s decision to raise the paddy procurement price, which has resulted in higher rates. He believes that the government is holding excessive rice stocks for welfare schemes, and he opposes the restriction on rice exports. 

Despite the ban on non-basmati white rice exports, rice planting in India has gained momentum due to the revival of monsoon rainfall over the past two weeks. As one of the world’s largest rice exporters, this development could have significant implications for the global rice market.

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