India keeps global rice prices in check with record exports

Indian exports of the planet’s most consumed staple may climb to an all-time high of 16.2 million tons this year

The world’s biggest rice exporter is heading for record shipments this year that will help to keep rising food prices in check, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.


Indian exports of the planet’s most consumed staple may climb to an all-time high of 16.2 million tons this year, up about 12% from 14.5 million tons in 2020, said Shirley Mustafa, a Rome-based senior economist at the UN agency.


Ample Indian exports “have greatly contributed to ensuring access to affordable rice in international markets at a time when prices of maize, soybeans and wheat have surged, and the Covid-19 pandemic has made some sections of the global population poorer,” Mustafa said in an email May 6.


India’s rice production is seen increasing to an all-time high of 120.3 million tons in the year ending June, from about 118.9 million tons a year earlier, according to the latest estimate from the nation’s farm ministry.




The average price of Indian basmati rice sold overseas in the 11 months ended Feb. 28 was about 13% lower than a year earlier, while the non-basmati variety was down 8%, according to government data.


India will give away about 8 million tons of rice and wheat in May and June to people covered under the nation’s food program to ease hardship caused by the resurgence of Covid across the country, the government said last month.


India has also started selling rice and wheat in the open market for domestic use at below procurement costs to help consumers get food at affordable rates, Sudhanshu Pandey, the top bureaucrat at the food ministry, said on Monday.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel