India’s rice exports may decline to 19.5 mt in 2023 from a record 21 mt of shipment this year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)  has stated in its outlook.

The USDA  said the fall in exports is mainly because of an anticipated decline in India’s rice production due to deficiency in monsoon rainfall in the key grain growing states in eastern India.

Thailand’s exports are projected to increase 0.6 mt to 8.2 mt next year, given weaker shipments from its top competitors India and Pakistan.

While projecting a marginal decline of 0.4 mt in global rice trade to 53 mt 2in 023, USDA has said that despite the government in September announcing a 20% export tariff on non-basmati and non-parboiled rice shipment, ‘India remains the most competitively-priced source for rice in Asia,’.

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India’s price quotes for 5% broken-kernel rice shipped bulk were $ 380/tonne for the week ending November 8, 2022 against Pakistan’s $ 415/tonne and Argentina’s $ 415/tonne.

India banned broken rice exports, used as animal feed in September.

Officials said that India would continue to be the largest exporter of the grain in the world next year as well despite a decline in shipment.

USDA also projected a 2 mt decline in production for China, world biggest producer of rice, to 147 mt, from a record of output for 2021/22. Pakistan’s rice production is expected to decline by 2.5 mt to 6.6 mt because of flooding in the Indus river valley.

In September, the agriculture ministry in its first advance estimate for foodgrain production had stated that rice production in the current kharif season for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) would decline by around 6 mt to 124 mt from a record 130 mt reported in the previous year.

India has been the world’s largest rice exporter in the last decade — export earnings stood at $ 8.8 billion in the 2020-21 financial year (April-June) and $ 9.6 billion in 2021-22. In the current fiscal (April-Sept), $ 5.4 billion worth of rice (11 mt) has been exported.

India accounts for around 40% of global rice trade and exports to more than 150 countries.

Out of the 21 mt of rice shipment in 2021-22, India exported more than 17 mt of non-basmati rice and the rest of the volume was aromatic and long grain Basmati rice. In terms of volume, Bangladesh, China, Benin and Nepal are five major export destinations of rice.

In September a food ministry official had stated that there has been ‘mind-boggling” increase of exports of broken rice which had caused domestic shortage and increased poultry and feed meal rates. Broken rice is largely meant for the non-human consumption and it is used as a feed in the poultry industry.

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