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Export of rice from India

by | Jul 12, 2020 | Export | 0 comments

Rice is a cereal grain that is globally consumed as a staple food. It is the third-largest agricultural commodities in the world after sugarcane and maize. Rice can be dried and ground to make flour. It is also used in beers and alcoholic drinks. But, it is mainly steamed or boiled for daily consumption.

India is one of the largest exporter across the world

Countries exporting rice

Rice is mainly cultivated in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. It is also exported by some countries in Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean. India is the largest exporter with 32.5% at US$7.1 billion. Thailand is the next largest with 19.2% exports valued at US$4.2 billion. USA, China, Pakistan, and Vietnam export 5% to 8% valued at $1 to $2 billion. Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands do $200 to $300 million business. Italy has a market share of 2.9% at US$624.3 billion. Other major players are Myanmar, Cambodia, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay with a combined value of US$1.9 billion.

Countries importing rice

India, a major exporter, offers Basmati and Non-Basmati varieties.  Basmati is imported mainly by Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, UAE, and Kuwait. They import between 1.8 to 9.5 million metric tonnes per year. The UK, USA, and Yemen Republic follow suit with 1.8, 1.2, and 1.4 million metric tonnes per year. The total worth of exports amounts to US$2.5 billion. The Non-basmati variety is chiefly imported by Nepal, Senegal, Benin, Bangladesh, Guinea, and Ivory Coast. These countries import anywhere between 7.7 to 4.3 lakh metric tonnes of rice. UAE, Somalia, Indonesia, and Liberia also import a combined quantity of 12 lakh metric tonnes.

Which country is on the top to export rice

India is by far the largest exporter of rice in the world. It exports US$7 billion worth of rice amounting to 32.5% of the global share. The shipments mainly reach the Gulf, African, and Caribbean nations. Iran, UAE, and Nepal request bulk imports amounting to 40%, 33%, and 23% respectively. The country exports both Basmati and Non-basmati varieties worth billions of dollars.

Which country is on the top to import rice

Nepal is the largest importer of Non-basmati rice from India. It receives 7.7 lac metric tonnes of rice at a value of US$245 million. Saudi Arabia and Iran have a huge demand for Basmati rice from India. They import 7 to 9 lakh metric tonnes at US$570 to US$840 million. The imports from these nations have decreased in recent times by 22% to 33%.

What type of rice is exported and which one is more famous for export

Basmati is a long, slender, and aromatic rice variety. It comes in two different colours, white and brown. The rice is used to cook delicious and flavour-filled dishes like biryani, fried rice and pilaf. The high-quality variety is also more expensive. But, it is preferred by oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Iraq, and Yemen. The non-basmati varieties cost a lot less and are bought by Nepal, Senegal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Liberia and Guinea.

India is specialized in what type of rice for export and what is the volume of rice

India grows more than 6000 species of rice varieties all across the country. The most popular ones are, undoubtedly, the basmati type. Importers also opt for non-basmati species like sona masoori, gobindo bhog, ambemohar, seerga sambha, mullan khazama, etc., The Basmati variety is grown in North and North-Western India. More than 40 lakh metric tonnes of this species is shipped to various countries. It has a total value of US3.5 billion dollars or 22,000 crore Rupees. The rice is exported to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, UAE, and Yemen. The non-basmati exports, valued at US$1.6 billion, weigh 48 lakh metric tonnes.

Which region is more famous to export rice in India

Rice constitutes 2% of total Indian exports to other countries. The sector has grown at CAGR of 14% between 2010 and 2019. Haryana is by far the topmost rice exporting State in India. It shipped US$ 2.4 billion worth of rice in 2019. It has a CAGR of 3%, followed closely by the Western state of Gujarat. Haryana exports different kinds such as Sugandha, Sharbati, Parmal, RH-10, etc., It also ships traditional, PUSA, 1121, and 1509 varieties of the aromatic Basmati rice.

Who are the suppliers of Indian Rice

Haryana, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh are major rice cultivators. In Haryana, R.P. Exports, K.S. International, Goel International, Sri Krishna and Hanuman Rice Mills are popular. Other suppliers include Rice India Exports, Indus Food Products, Dolphin International, Amira Food, Priyanka Overseas, United and Jaishree Exports. Exporters like Adani Wilmar, Al Gyas, Al Maha Foods, Amba/Arm/Balaji Overseas focuses primarily on Saudi market.

Who are the buyers of Indian rice

Indian rice is shipped all over the world by various suppliers. The major buyers are Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Iran, UAE, Iraq, Yemen, Senegal, and Ivory Coast. Other importers include Benin, USA, Liberia, Bangladesh, and the Caribbean nations.

Price of Indian export rice

The 5% parboiled, broken rice variety costs US$ 470 to 480 per tonne. Last year its price varied between US$358 to US$365 per tonne. The more expensive and aromatic Basmati species has a price range of US$ 1200 to US$ 860 per tonne. The non-basmati variety is priced at US$ 400 to 420 per tonne, while Sella type sells at approximately US$500 to 530 per metric tonne.

Price of other Countries suppliers’ rice

The 5% broken rice from Thailand is priced at US$560 to 570 per metric tonne. USA rice prices range between US$430 to 564 per tonne. Broken, white rice from Vietnam costs US$370 to 380 per tonne. While Chinese suppliers offer their variety at US$457 per metric tonne.

Future of Indian export rice

India exports a major portion of its Basmati rice to other countries. The non-basmati varieties also yield good profits. India grows rabi crops during dry monsoon, while Kharif crop is grown during wet monsoons. Western states grow Kharif rice while Assam, TN, WB, and AP grow the rabi crop. The exports have seen a decline in recent months. UAE and Yemen are major importers and regional tensions are not helping the rice imports. However, exports to Saudi, USA, Benin and Iraq have grown by 4%, 10%, and 8% recently.

What is the tariff against Indian rice

India mainly exports large quantities of basmati varieties. The rate of duty for this variety is Rs 12,000 per tonne. This is approximately US$150 per metric tonne of Basmati rice.

Which countries come to MFN for rice export

Most Favoured Nation(MFN) is a multilateral trading system’s principle under WTO/GATT rules. All member countries extend this status to each other. India’s MFN in rice export business include Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Pakistan has been denied the status in 2019 due to political tensions. Gulf nations like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman also receive this status. India does billions of dollars worth trade with these nations, that includes rice exports. The MFN status ensures trade equality between nations, without imposing any bias or partiality.

Is there any export barrier for Indian rice?

Indian rice exports are very dynamic and span the whole world. However, pandemic worries in recent times did create unfortunate barriers. They include export bottlenecks, logistical issues, social and economic shutdown. The exporters face labour, raw material, and transportation shortages. They also face bottlenecks in phytosanitary certification, shipping documents’ clearance, and lack of courier services. Other problems include import and export goods’ clearance, and inaccessible ports or shipping yards. India’s EU exports have decreased by 40% in 2018-19 due to maximum residue level(MSL) in pesticides issue. 

What certification will be required to export Indian Rice

The Export Inspection Council or EIC is the official Indian certification body. It ensures high quality and safety of shipped food products. Those who export basmati and other rice varieties to EU need a certificate from them. The board inspects the sample for acceptable levels of a fungicide called Tricyclazole. The early limit was 0.03 mg per kg, while the new level is 0.01 mg per kg only. The board works under the Export Quality Control and Inspection Act of 1963. Exporters also seek IEC code from DGFT, fix an HS code; and apply for APEDA, Non-GMO, and PQ Clearance.

Any specific packages are required for rice export?

Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) specifies the packaging rules. The shipments have to follow the labelling format and packed for containment, protection, preservation, and safety. The packages have to be attractive, and convenient to distribute, handle, display, open, use, reuse, and sale. They also require security features such as RFID tags, anti-theft devices, electronic article surveillance tags, and dye-packs.

Trade agreement between India and other countries for rice export

India favours rice exports to the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa and Egypt. The popular European importers are the UK, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, and Georgia. The list also includes the USA, Canada, and Australia

% tariff for India Export to which countries

As per India’s Agriculture Trade Policy, rice is exported freely. There are no prohibitions or constraints under Foreign Trade Agreements(FTAs). These include agreements with Korea, Japan, ASEAN, SAFTA and UTP. Exports can ship cereals such as broken, brown, milled or semi-milled, and husk rice under free trade policy. However, they have to pay currently applicable duties with bound rates(fixed by WTO rules) and statutory duty at the revenue department’s discretion

What is the benefit the Indian government provides for Indian rice export (For Example: Draw Back / MEIS)

India’s competitors in the global rice market are Thailand and Vietnam. At the policy level, the government encourages low-cost production technology, surveys, and quality assurance. It also considers subsidized seeds, breeding programmes, modernization of rice mills, etc., Other ideas include systematized supply chains, logistics, R&D, Intelligence gathering, and sufficient seaports. To encourage the export of agricultural produce, MEIS was initiated. The Merchandise Export from India Scheme offers rewards, inducements, and incentives. But the drawbacks are merchandise bias, bureaucratic tedium, and corruption.  Customs and central duties on traded goods, that are imported and exported, can be reclaimed. But the costs are heavy due to procedural delays.

Promotional council for Indian Export Rice

APEDA Online Registration and its Advantages | by SHIVAM PANDEY ...

The APEDA works under Indian government after replacing PFEPC(Process food export promotional council). It supports various animal and organic products, including cereals like rice. The All India Rice Exporters’ Association (AIREA) is also a force to reckon with. It generates trade leads, boosts exports, promotes and develops basmati rice. AIREA also organizes seminars, supports exporters, and raises public awareness. It participates in global trade fairs, coordinates trade delegations, and interacts with Commerce and other ministries.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)

The APEDA is the apex body with branches in New Delhi, New Bombay, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkatta, and Guwahati. It offers membership apps, farmers portal and a single window for trade facilitation. The authority also regularly publishes rice exporters’ lists, survey reports, and trade advisories.  Exporters also learn about standard operating procedures, storage and handling requirements. APEDA archives data and it also operates a specialized portal for users.

Activities of promotion council for Indian export rice

AIREA is a registered body that focuses on basmati and non-basmati rice. The association liaisons with State and Union governments to frame and resolve trade and policy issues. They work closely with APEDA, NPPO, Commerce Ministry, State and Union Agriculture Ministries. Their objective is to bring rice exporters onto a single platform. To achieve this mission, they offer facilitation, appraisal, assistive, and organizational services. But, APEDA also handles fruits, veggies, flowers, seeds, etc.

What is the main season to grow rice

Rice is mainly grown in the Winter Kharif season of June-July(sowing). The produce is harvested in Northern, NW states by November-December. Summer or Autumn rice is also grown in various parts of India. Assam, Bengal, AP, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar sow in November-February. They harvest different rabi varieties like Boro, Dalua, Dalwa, Punja, and Navarai in March-June.

New rice vs old rice and their prices

New rice is not normally cooked and eaten right after the harvest. Rice has to age and becomes a little old. This old rice is drier and has a dehydrated look. Their low moisture content demands more water while cooking. But the cooked grains look perfect and fluffy, unlike new rice that has stickiness after cooking. Old rice is expensive due to enhanced taste, aroma, and cooking quality. Basmati sells 3 to 4 times higher when old than at new rice prices. Basmati varieties cost ranges between Rs 3600 to Rs 5400 per quintal. While non-basmati species cost Rs 2200 to Rs 2600. Some varieties like Steam, Sella, Samba, and Gobindo Bhog are priced higher between Rs 3000 to Rs 6000.

News / Magazines for rice export

APEDA has product catalogues for basmati and non-basmati rice. The non-basmati catalogues include Parboiled, brown, husk, broken, milled and semi-milled rice. Their website also offers regular field crop survey reports. You can get the latest rice export news from APEDA and AIREA. Rice India is a periodical magazine published by AIREA. They offer news, views, updates, facts, and figures. The journal also profiles companies, states, countries, and trade leaders. The outlook, The Hindu, European Supermarket Magazine, and Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine are other good sources of news.

Companies that research the export of rice

APEDA’s Basmati Export Development Foundation(BEDF) has 10 acres of land. They have a state of the art lab, demo and training farms, and authorized centres. They improve farmer awareness, build seed capacity, and do basmati quality assurance. They work with CDFD of Hyderabad to DNA fingerprint Basmati identification. They also strive to register and protect intellectual property rights. The Indian Institute of Rich Research in Hyderabad develops crop cultivation technologies and conducts multi-location rice genetic lines testing. They work under ICAR which is the apex body in Delhi for coordination, guidance, education, and management of research.


India is one the largest rice exporters. The key export destination of Indian rice is Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and other parts of GCC. The Indian Basmati rice is the best in the world and Arabs like Indian Basmati rice the most favorite. Saudi is one the top importing countries to buy Basmati rice from India.

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