India may corner nearly half of global rice trade as exports soar to record By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A employee collects boiled rice to unfold it for drying at a rice mill on the outskirts of Kolkata, India, January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photograph

By Rajendra Jadhav

KAKINADA, India (Reuters) – India may account for as a lot as 45% of world rice exports in 2021 as expanded port-handling capability permits the world’s second largest rice grower after China to ship file volumes to patrons throughout Africa and Asia.

The world’s prime exporter may ship as a lot as 22 million tonnes of rice this yr, or greater than the mixed exports of the subsequent three largest exporters Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan, stated Nitin Gupta, vp of Olam India’s rice enterprise.

“Together with conventional patrons, this yr China, Vietnam and Bangladesh are additionally making purchases from India,” he stated.

India’s exports in 2020 jumped 49% from the yr earlier than to a file 14.7 million tonnes, as shipments of non-basmati rice spiked 77% to a file 9.7 million tonnes.

India on target to dominate world rice commerce in 2021 as new port capability boosts cargo potential

In 2021, non-basmati rice shipments may almost double from a yr in the past to 18 million tonnes, whereas premium basmati rice exports are seen regular at 4 million tonnes, Gupta stated.

The U.S. Division of Agriculture initiatives world rice exports of 48.5 million tonnes within the 2021-22 season.


Indian rice has been constantly cheaper than provides from Thailand and Vietnam since final March, whereas world demand for rice has scaled file highs.

India rice export costs maintain steep low cost to Southeast Asian costs since early 2020

Nonetheless, restricted infrastructure at Kakinada Anchorage, India’s fundamental rice port, led to persistent congestion and prolonged loading delays final yr, prompting some patrons to change suppliers.

India was providing a reduction of greater than $100 per tonne over different exporters, however a lot of the low cost was worn out by greater demurrage prices tied to the delays, says exporter Brahmananda Gudimetla.

To ease the congestion, the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in February allowed using an adjoining deepwater port at Kakinada for rice shipments.

“Vessel ready interval has gone down after the deepwater port began dealing with rice. Demand that would have shifted to different nations remained with us,” stated B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Affiliation of India.

India exported 12.84 million tonnes of rice within the first seven months of 2021, up 65% from a yr in the past, in line with provisional knowledge from the commerce ministry.

Not less than a million tonnes of rice can be shipped from the deepwater port in 2021, stated M Muralidhar, chief working officer of Kakinada Seaports Ltd.


Regardless of further port capability, Kakinada’s loading price nonetheless lags effectively behind Southeast Asian ports because of an absence of devoted rice-handling infrastructure.

“Right here in Kakinada, it takes almost a month to load round 33,000 tonnes of rice from the time we drop the anchor. In Thailand it takes solely 11 days for the same amount,” says Fahim Shamsi, caption of a ship that was loading rice at Kakinada this month.

Pressure on the Kakinda port has elevated after the price of delivery rice by container surged, forcing rice shippers to change from containers to bulk vessels, stated Gupta of Olam.

Kakinada can export a further 2 million tonnes of rice if infrastructure was upgraded and the method mechanized, Rao stated.

India’s exports of non-basmati rice go primarily to African and Asian nations, whereas premium basmati rice goes to the Center East, the USA and Britain.

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