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Non-basmati rice emerges as top agri export produce in April-Dec

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Non-basmati rice as a product category has overtaken basmati rice to emerge as the top grosser in India’s agri-export basket in value terms with shipments exceeding $3 billion in the April-December period of the current financial year.

Basmati rice has been the top grossing product among the Indian agri produce exports for many years.

For the first nine months of the current fiscal, the overall exports of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority’s (APEDA) product portfolio grew by close to a fifth to $13.74 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal compared to $11.58 billion in the same period last year.

Latest APEDA figures reveal that basmati shipments during April-December stood at 3.38 million tonnes (2.84 million tonnes in the same period last year), valued at $2.947 billion ($2.936 billion). In rupee terms, basmati exports grew 5 per cent at ₹22,038 crore (₹20,926 crore).

Exports of non-basmati rice registered a 112 per cent growth at $3.068 billion for April-December against $1.448 billion in the same period last year. In rupee terms, non-basmati rice exports for the period were ₹22,858 crore (₹10,268 crore) and, in volumes, the cereal shipments topped 8.21 million tonnes (3.58 million tonnes).

Bullish outlook for rice

India has emerged as the largest supplier of rice in the recent past as other origins are facing supply issues. “We are bullish on the outlook and expect the non-basmati rice shipments to exceed 11 million tonnes for the current fiscal,” said BV Krishna Rao, President of the Rice Exporters Association.

As wheat prices firm up in the global market, demand is seen rising for the Indian cereal. Wheat exports in the first nine months of the current fiscal rose by over four times in volumes to 9.76 lakh tonnes (1.70 lakh tonnes). In dollar value terms, the exports more than quadrupled to $252 million ($48 million). Also, in rupee terms, the exports rose to ₹1,870 crore (₹336 crore). Other cereals, including maize, have registered a significant growth at $413 million ($149 million).

Other products under APEDA basket that registered growth include pulses, processed vegetables and groundnut. Pulses exports rose to 2.15 lakh tonnes (1.65 lakh tonnes) and registered a growth of 27 per cent at $205 million ($161 million). Processed vegetables grew 40 per cent at $316 million ($226 million) and processed fruits and juices also registered 8 per cent growth at $498 million ($461 million). Groundnut exports registered 8 per cent growth at $526 million ($486 million).

However, major products that registered a negative growth during the period include buffalo meat and guar gum. Buffalo meat exports were down 5 per cent at $2.37 billion ($2.49 billion) on lower volumes. Similarly, guar gum exports almost halved to $189 million ($367 million) during the period.

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