No more basmati rice exports below $1,200 per tonne, says Central govt

The govt said the decision is meant to restrict possible illegal shipment of white non-basmati rice under the guise of premium basmati

Raw white basmati rice (photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Raw white basmati rice (photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)


The government on Sunday, 27 August, said it has decided not to allow exports of basmati rice below $1,200 per tonne to restrict possible illegal shipments of white non-basmati rice in the garb of premium basmati rice.

In a statement, the commerce ministry said it has directed trade promotion body APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) not to register contracts below $1,200 per tonne.

Existing contracts below $1,200 per tonne have been kept in abeyance. A committee under the chairman of APEDA will be set up to evaluate future course of action.

The Central government had already banned the export of non-basmati white rice on July 20 this year.

The official statement read: 'The government has received credible field reports regarding misclassification and illegal export of non-basmati white rice, export of which has been prohibited with effect from 20 July 2023. It has been reported that non-basmati white rice is being exported under the HS codes of parboiled rice and basmati rice.'

As APEDA is responsible for regulation of export of basmati rice and already has a web-based system in place for the purpose, the government has issued instructions to APEDA to introduce additional safeguards to prevent the possible illegal export of white non-basmati rice in the garb of basmati rice.

The statement added: 'Contracts with the value of below $1,200 per (metric tonne) may be kept in abeyance and may be evaluated by a committee to be set up by the chairman, APEDA, for understanding the variation in prices and use of this route for export of non-basmati white rice.'

It also noted the large variation in the contract price of basmati being exported, with the lowest contract price being $359 per metric tonne against a backdrop of average export price of $1214 per metric tonne during the current month. 

The Committee should submit its report within a period of one month, so that a decision on lower-price exports of basmati planned by the industry can be dealt with appropriately.

The statement also suggested that APEDA should hold consultations with stakeholders in the trade to sensitise them about the matter and work with them to discourage any use of this window for export of non-basmati.

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