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June 4, 2023

India halted Rice Exports After an Increase in Shipments Drove Up Local Prices.

A top government official said on Friday that India had prohibited rice exports after shipments had increased significantly in recent months and despite worries about the current season harvest due to below-average rainfall in four important producing regions.

India, the world’s largest exporter of grain, tried to increase supplies and stabilize local prices on Thursday after planting was hampered by below-average monsoon rainfall by banning the sale of broken rice and imposing a 20% levy on exports of various grades of grain.

According to Sudhanshu Pandey, the most senior civil worker at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, broken rice prices have increased 38% so far in 2022 as exports from April to August increased to 2.13 million tonnes from 1.58 million tonnes a year ago.

In recent months, a rise in maize costs has forced feed manufacturers, particularly in China, to switch from corn to broken rice. A few African nations import broken rice for human use from India.

Concerns have been raised about India’s rice output due to below-average rainfall in important rice-producing regions including West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.

In the worst-case scenario, according to Pandey, the nation’s rice production might decrease by up to 12 million tonnes. He continued, “Yields could be lower in some places due to lesser rainfall, but in terms of general availability and supply, we do not have any concern at all.”

In the first eight months of 2022, India’s rice exports increased from 14.5 million tonnes to 15.25 million tonnes.

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