economy and politics

India, the world’s largest producer of rice, restricts its exports due to rising prices

India is the world's largest exporter of rice

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As a measure to guarantee the internal supply of rice and stop price rises, the Government of India announced the suspension of part of the exports of the cereal, amid the effects on crops due to the heavy rains in recent weeks.

India has banned the export of white rice with immediate effect, according to a government notice, after a late start to seasonal monsoon rains damaged the crop and raised fears of a production shortfall.

The Government clarified that the restriction on external sales of this food does not include basmati rice, considered the most popular in Asian cuisine, thus prioritizing the domestic market.

This announcement adds to the pressure generated by Russia, which recently withdrew from the agreement that allowed the safe transit of grains from Ukraine, amid the escalation of the war in that country.

The world’s largest exporter

India has annual external sales of rice of more than 10 billion dollars and covers 40% of the market, which in 2022 was 55.4 million metric tons, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). With the announced measure, at least half of the volume of rice to be exported annually is restricted.

India is the world’s largest exporter of rice © France 24

India’s rice shipments reached a record 22.2 million tons in 2022, more than the combined shipments of the world’s next four largest exporters of the grain: Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan and the United States, according to the Department of United States agriculture.

In addition, India exports rice to more than 140 countries, and its main non-Basmati buyers include Benin, Bangladesh, Angola, Cameroon, Djibouti, Guinea, the Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Nepal. The Ministry of Consumption lists Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia as buyers of premium basmati rice.

With Reuters

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