Fuelled by the rising demand for Indian rice, exports of farm produce monitored by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) crossed the $10 billion mark during the April-October period this year, registering almost a 20 per cent growth over same period last year.
While basmati rice continues to be the largest exported farm produce, the robust demand for the cereals has pushed up the shipment of non-basmati rice.
The non-basmati rice, which overtook the shipments of buffalo meat in value terms during April-September period, is now seen bridging the gap with basmati rice.
In volumes, non-basmati shipments more than doubled to 6.12 million tonnes (mt)during April-October (2.81 mt in the same period last year), while basmati shipments were at 2.74 mt (2.05 mt).
Shipments of non-basmati could have been higher for the April-October period, but for the congestion in the main shipping port of Kakinada, said BV Krishna Rao, President of The Rice Exporters Association.
“There is robust demand for Indian rice. At present, there are 10 vessels waiting to be loaded at Kakinada,” Rao said.
Global supply constraints have fuelled a demand for Indian rice with new demand coming from countries such as China, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and African nations such as Cameroon, Congo, Mozambique and Madagascar among others. In volumes, the shipments of non-basmati have crossed six million tonnes.
“With fresh demand coming in, we expect the total exports to cross the targeted 10 million tonnes for non-basmati rice this financial year,” Rao said.
Other products that registered a growth during the period include groundnuts, pulses, processed vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables, wheat and wheat products and fruit and vegetable seeds during the period.
Groundnut shipments were up 40 per cent in value at $298 million during the period, while pulses exports grew 30 per cent at $171 million.
Overall exports of Apeda products grew 26 per cent in rupee terms at ₹77,721 crore during April-October as compared to ₹61,847 crore in the same period last year.
Interestingly, the livestock product as a category that consists of buffalo meat, poultry and dairy products among others have seen a decline of about 10 per cent during the period.
Exports of dairy products witnessed a decline of 5 per cent to $162 million.