Basmati Rice is one of the most revered food crops around the world. It is also one of the most desirable varieties of rice found anywhere in the world. However, Middle Eastern regions embrace some of the largest basmati rice importing countries.
Basmati rice is cultivated naturally and exclusively in the northern tracts of India and some southeastern areas of Pakistan. Its natural properties, such as its long and slender shape and incredible aroma, make it the first preference for various sizzling, delectable, and aromatic cuisines.
Rice, as a grain, is consumed by more than half of the world’s population every day, and Basmati meets more than 21% of the world’s calorific needs. It is a whole grain that is high in fiber and has an 80 percent protein, phosphorus, and potassium content.
This rice comes in a variety of textures and colors. India meets about two-thirds of the global demand for basmati rice. India has the distinction of being the world’s leading exporter of Basmati rice.
Basmati rice has been a popular ingredient on the rich and royal menus. It offers a harmonious blend of fixed kernel sizes, appealing flavor, fluffy rice texture, high expansion post-cooking, and linear elongation of the kernel with minimal swelling of the width, its sweetness, fast digestibility, and prolonged shelf life.
India meets 90% of the world’s demand for Basmati rice, with Pakistan accounting for the remaining 10%.
In India, it is grown mainly in the northwest Indo-Gangetic region comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu, and Kashmir and 27 western Uttar Pradesh districts.
Following are the largest basmati rice importing countries worldwide:
- Iran is one of the largest importers of white rice and brown rice.
- Iran imported the highest export volume of basmati rice worldwide, at 1.31 million metric tons as of 2020.
- India and Pakistan are the main rice importing destinations for Iran.
- Iran was also the world’s leading importer of Basmati rice, with 1.48 million metric tons imported in 2018-19.
- Saudi Arabia is the second-largest buyer of basmati rice.
- A great part of this country is surrounded by desert, which makes rice cultivation difficult.
- This country has imported 0.97 MMT of basmati rice in 2019-2020.
- Saudi imports basmati rice from India and Pakistan.
- Saudi Arabia purchases a large quantity of Indian Basmati rice every year.
- They use this aromatic rice in preparation of Al Kabsa, Mathlotha, Ruz al Bukhari, etc.
- Iraq ranks third in the world in basmati rice procurement. It imported approximately 0.46 MMT in 2019-2020.
- India is the main exporter of basmati rice to Iraq.
- This country’s inhabitants enjoy both sticky and slender long grain rice.
- Yemen imported 0.20 MMT basmati rice during 2020.
- It is the 4th largest basmati rice importing country.
- India is the main exporter of basmati rice to this country.
- Kuwait holds the 5th position by importing 0.14 MMT of basmati rice in 2020.
- India is the main supplier of basmati rice to Kuwait.
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