India has the emerged as the world's largest rice exporter in 2012 beating its Asian counterpart Thailand with shipment of 9.75 million tonnes, according to United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) latest report.
Thailand was the top rice exporter with exports of 10.65 million tonnes in 2011. However, its volume slipped to 6.5 million tonnes in 2012.
"On the export side, India's [ Images ] exports were raised 1.75 million tonnes to a record 9.75 million tonnes based on a record pace of shipments to date and larger supplies. This makes India the largest rice exporter in 2012, a first for India," the USDA report said.
India is followed by Vietnam, which shipped 7 million tonnes of rice, Thailand (6.5 million tonnes), Pakistan (3.75 million tonnes) and the US (3.5 million tonnes), it added.
India moved to the top slot from the third place in 2011 buoyed by record production of 104.32 million tonnes on the back of good monsoon rains.
The US agency said with India's shipments rising this year it had to revise its global trade estimates upwards by 1.85 million tonnes.
"Global trade for 2012 was raised 1.85 million tonnes to a record 37.7 million tonnes, with India accounting for the bulk of the upward revision in exports," it said.
The global rice production in 2012 is estimated at 464.87 million tonnes in 2012. India is the world's largest grower.