India should exclude premium rice variety from export ban, trade body says

India should allow exports of 1 million metric tons of a premium non-basmati rice variety favoured by overseas Indians, which are struggling to secure staple after New Delhi banned the exports, a leading trade body requested the government.

The world’s biggest exporter of rice surprised buyers last month by imposing a ban on exports of non-basmati white rice after retail rice prices climbed 3% in a month after late but heavy monsoon rains caused significant damage to crops.

The ban triggered panic buying in many countries from the U.S. to Canada and Australia, where thousands of overseas Indians went to grocery stores and retail chains to stock up the staple, prompting some shops to impose limits on the amount consumers can purchase.

The price of sonamasuri rice, which is mainly produced in southern India and consumed by south Indians residing overseas sky-rocketed outside India following the ban, the Rice Exporters Association said in a letter to the government on Monday.

The government should fix the base price of sonamasuri rice at $1,000 per metric ton and allocate annual quota of 1 million metric tons for the exports, the association said in the letter.

This article has been republished from The Reuters

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