The top ten countries in terms of volume of Basmati rice exports from India in 2020-21 are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Qatar, and Oman. Together, these ten countries are responsible for around 80 percent of the total shipments of basmati rice from India. In 2020-21, India exported around 4.63 million tons of Basmati rice valued at Rs. 29,849 crore.
The market for Indian Basmati Rice
India has been growing as a rice exporter despite the logistical challenges posed by the forced lockdown and discovering new trading opportunities in the African, Asian, and European markets. The Indian government has been taking prompt action to ensure that the supply chain of rice is not disrupted in any manner while taking all the COVID19 related safety precautions. The rising global demand has also contributed to the cause of India’s exports.
The countries which emerged to be the largest basmati rice importer according to reports of 2020-21 are the following:
- Saudi Arabia
- Yemen Republic
Saudi Arabia has a history of being the foremost importer of Indian basmati rice for centuries now. The value of export from India to Saudi Arabia is approximately US$ 951,992,062.00 dollars as per the records of 2020-21.
In the period 2017-2018, Iran was the largest importer of this long-grained aromatic rice, followed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Other major importing countries are Algeria, Somalia, and Kenya. The demand for the basmati variety is also present in markets in the US.
Importing Rice from India – Trends and Drivers
India has been doing well in terms of exports of basmati and non-basmati rice in 2020-21, a trend that is expected to continue in 2022 as well. India’s rice exports (basmati and non-basmati) increased by a massive 87 percent from 9.49 MT in 2019-20 to 17.72 Million Tonne (MT) in 2020-21.
The drivers for this increase include an expansion of port handling infrastructure, the creation of a value chain involving key stakeholders, and the initiation of efforts by the government to explore new markets.
The superior quality, taste, and aroma of basmati are also driving consumer preference for the product. It is used extensively in middle eastern cuisine and is also a staple in many cultures. Other drivers for the global basmati rice market generating a lot of queries for Indian rice online are given below:
- Increase in disposable incomes in major consuming nations
- Increased consumption of premium products
- Growing awareness about the nutritional value of basmati which comes with a lower fat content
APEDA Initiatives Boosting Exports
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA), functioning under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with state governments and other stakeholders has been working towards improving the port handling facilities at Kakinada, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai, Mundra, and Krishnapatnam, and Paradip, thereby giving a boost to rice exports.
In July 2021, APEDA with Basmati Export Development Foundation organized an awareness program for basmati rice growers regarding the judicious use of chemicals in basmati paddy cultivation. The right quantity of chemicals and fertilizers are necessary to produce high-quality basmati which would further give a boost to basmati rice exports from the country.