Rice is delivered to the port of Kakinada Anchorage in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh – Photo: REUTERS
According to Reuters news agency, the 22 million tons of rice that India has exported this year is more than the three major rice exporters in the world, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan combined.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture estimates that world rice exports will reach 48.5 million tons in the 2021-2022 season.
“Along with traditional buyers, this year China, Vietnam and Bangladesh also buy rice from India,” Nitin Gupta, vice president of rice trading company Olam India, told Reuters news agency.
India is the second largest rice producer in the world, after China. According to statistics, China produced 147 million tons of rice in the 2019-2020 season, followed by India with 116 million tons.
According to data from India’s Ministry of Commerce, India’s rice exports in the first seven months of 2021 increased 65% year-on-year to 12.84 million tonnes. Earlier, India’s rice exports in 2020 increased by nearly 50%, to a record 14.7 million tons.
Indian rice has prevailed in cheaper prices than Thai and Vietnamese exporters since March 2021, while world demand for rice hit a record high during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, the big difficulty for India was the Kakinada Anchorage seaport infrastructure, India’s main “gateway” to export rice to foreign countries. Poor port infrastructure has caused congestion and delays, causing India to lose many orders.
However, from February 2021, India put into use the deep-water port of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh state to serve rice exports.
“Shipping time has decreased after this deep-water port started exporting rice,” said BV Krishna Rao president of the Indian Rice Exporters Association.
The port of Kakinada is expected to help export one million tons of rice in 2021 and Mr. Rao thinks the number could double if the port infrastructure is upgraded and the export process improved.