Here’s how Indian rice exporters are finding ways to get past the curbs

Indian exporters of basmati rice are negotiating with global buyers to buy it at a rate of $1,200 per tonne now and adjust the price against future orders, The Economic Times (ET) said in a report on Thursday. They are also reportedly overbilling to take the prices above $1,200 per tonne.

This comes just days after the Centre on Sunday imposed a temporary ban on the export of any basmati rice for less than $1,200 per tonne. The move, which will remain effective till October 15, was to restrict “illegal shipment of white non-basmati rise in the garb of premium basmati rice.

The exporters are overbilling so that they do not lose their export market share to Pakistan, which is another major competitor in rice exports.

The ET report also quoted a chief of a rice exporting company as saying, “For the time being exporters can only do overbilling and export rice above $1,200. They will adjust it with the buyers in future orders.”

This practice may be possible where the sellers have long-standing relationships with the buyers and have officers abroad. Moreover, the report added that importers from foreign countries are also working on some way to get more rice from India to meet their domestic demand.

Gulf countries are major buyers of Indian basmati rice. Notably, India exported 4.5 million tonnes of basmati valued at Rs 38,524.11 crore in 2022-23.

However, later on Wednesday, in view of the “special relationship” with Singapore, India decided to allow the export of rice to “meet the food security requirements” of the southeast nation, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

“India and Singapore enjoy a very close strategic partnership, characterized by shared interests, close economic ties and strong people-to-people connect. In view of this special relationship, India has decided to allow the export of rice to meet the food security requirements of Singapore,” it said.

This article has been republished from The Business Standard

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