India Permits Export of Stuck Non-Basmati White Rice at Ports

India Allows Release of Non-Basmati White Rice Trapped at Ports Amid Export Ban Reversal

NEW DELHI, Aug 30 (Reuters) – In a late Tuesday announcement, India has granted permission for traders to export their stranded non-basmati white rice stocks that were caught in ports due to an unexpected ban on such exports. The decision comes after India banned exports of commonly consumed non-basmati white rice on July 20 to curb domestic price surges. The ban had resulted in significant quantities of rice being stranded at ports, leading traders to face losses.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), a division of the trade ministry, has issued a new order allowing the release of the trapped rice shipments, contingent on traders paying the export duty prior to the July 20 ban implementation date. Preceding the ban, the export of non-basmati white rice incurred a 20% tax.

According to Prem Garg, President of the Indian Rice Exporters Federation, approximately 150,000 tonnes of non-basmati white rice cargoes would now be eligible for shipment from various ports. He highlighted the difficulties faced by the rice industry due to the ships and containers remaining stationary at Kandla port and other locations.

Being the source of 40% of global rice exports, India’s exports of the staple reach over 150 countries, including vulnerable nations in Africa and Asia. In 2022, India achieved a record-breaking 22.2 million tons of rice exports.

Following the ban on non-basmati white rice exports, India implemented a 20% tax on parboiled rice shipments and introduced a minimum price for international sales of basmati rice as part of its strategies to control local price fluctuations.

India’s export restrictions have influenced an uptick in worldwide rice prices. Prem Garg emphasized that this permission to release the stranded cargoes not only benefits Indian suppliers but also aids consumers in needy nations, primarily in East and West Africa.

The decision to allow the shipment of previously stranded non-basmati white rice comes as a significant relief to traders and contributes to the stability of global rice markets.

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