26% rise in exports can be called phenomenal I guess. This rise in basmati rice exports has not happened in a span of decade or half a decade or a year but just one solitary quarter. Q1 export data of 2022-23 financial year shows 26% rise in rice exports from Indian shores. $1.15 billion exports by value is a handsome rise over $922 million rise in the corresponding period last year. Rise in export of Pakistani basmati is no match to growth in export of Indian basmati but Pakistani basmati dominates European Union market and is giving stiff competition to Indian basmati in Middle East. Indian domination on global basmati trade is not easy to challenge by Pakistan but still India is wary of Pakistani challenge as Pakistani claim on basmati brand is quite genuine. Only problem with Pakistani claim is production that is many times higher in India compared to Pakistan.
Why Call 26% Rise Phenomenal?
By comparing export rise of other agro commodities from Indian shores with rise in export of basmati rice, one can easily conclude that rise in basmati rice exports is phenomenal. Rise in non-basmati rice exports is mere 5%, although total non-basmati rice exports is slightly more than Basmati Rice Exports in first quarter of FY 2022-23 and stands at $1.56 billion. 31% is the rise in export of agricultural products. That simply means 26% rise in exports of basmati is huge. 31% is greater than 26% but still 26% growth is huge. Base effect is the reason. Basmati rice is a commodity whose only exporter apart from India is Pakistan. India has lion’s share already in global basmati trade, that’s why 26% is huge. On the other hand India doesn’t have lion’s share in agro commodities trade and 31% growth is very much anticipated. Here I am not suggesting that basmati export business of India has reached saturation point. That’s definitely not the case and there is too much scope of growth and many more markets to explore.
Basmati rice was is and will always be one of the biggest foreign exchange earner agro products for India but need for making some other agro commodities important foreign exchange earners can’t be ignored too. If we study the trend set in first quarter of FY 2022-23 then we can easily conclude that India has to go a long way before it can match major agro commodities suppliers of this world. Basmati is a niche agro commodity and is still right at the top of Indian agro export pyramid, this is not very encouraging. Global trade of non-basmati rice is many times more than basmati rice trade but from India outflows of non-basmati rice is only marginally higher than outflows of basmati rice. $1566 million worth of non-basmati rice has been exported compared to $1157 million worth of basmati rice in first quarter of FY 2022-23. In the same period of April-June 2022, other cereals worth $306 million and $1120 million worth of livestock products was exported.