By banning the export of Basmati rice valued at less than $1,200 per metric tonne (MT), the Union government on August 28 ensured additional safeguards for its export ban on non-Basmati white rice (by misclassifying it as Basmati rice).
The export of non-Basmati white rice was prohibited on July 20, 2023, citing increasing domestic prices of rice.
The Union Commerce Ministry said it had directed the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the agency responsible for regulation of export of Basmati rice, that contracts for Basmati exports with the value of $1,200 per metric tonne and above only should be registered for issue of Registration-cum-Allocation Certificate (RCAC).
It has also asked the APEDA that contracts with the value of below $1,200 per MT may be kept in abeyance and may be evaluated by a committee to be set up by the Chairman, APEDA, for understanding the variation in prices, and the use of this route for export of non-Basmati white rice. “It has been noted that there has been large variation in the contract price of Basmati being exported with lowest contract price being $359 per MT in backdrop of average export price of $ 1214 per MT during August,” the Centre said.
The Ministry has asked the committee to submit its report within of one month, and said a decision on lower price exports of Basmati can be taken based on the report. The Ministry has also directed the APEDA to hold consultations with traders to sensitise them about the matter, and work with them to discourage any use of the window for export of non-Basmati white rice.
In September 2022, the Centre had banned exports of broken rice. In August 2023, the Centre imposed 20% export duty on par-boiled non-basmati rice. There have been reports that such curbs have impacted the availability of foodgrains in many African countries.