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Home > Business > Business Headline > Commodities

China: India's new basmati export destination

Commodity Online | May 16, 2007 12:22 IST

Nearly six months after New Delhi and Beijing signed a protocol to facilitate the export of Indian basmati rice to China, rice exporters are here in an upbeat mood.

Leading basmati players from India have already started shipping tonnes of basmati rice to China. It is for the first time that India is exporting the basmati rice to China, the world's largest rice consumer.

Kohinoor Foods Ltd, one of the largest basmatic producer in India, has exported more than 200 tonnes of basmati rice to China

"The first shipments of basmati rice to China are small. But we are certain that China will emerge as one of the largest importers of Indian variety of basmati rice," Kohinoor' financial controller Rajiv Mangla said.

The India-China protocol on basmati export provides for phytosanitary requirements to allow the export of basmati rice, which will comply with the Chinese quarantine laws and regulations and World Trade Organisation measures.

The protocol was signed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and the Administrator of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the Chinese Republic in New Delhi last November.

Mangla added that exports of basmati rice from India in this year would be around the previous year's level of 1.1 million tonnes or slightly lower. But exports could grow more than 10% in the current marketing year ending March 2008.

Basmati rice is primarily cultivated in India and Pakistan. The Himalayan foothills are said to produce the best basmati. The Super Basmati, a premium variety from Pakistan and Dehra Dun from India, are the most prized of the basmati varieties.

India is the largest producer and exporter of basmati rice in the world. The annual production in the country hovers at around 10-15 lakh tons a year, of which around two-thirds is exported. The remaining is consumed, within the country.

Basmati rice is grown exclusively in the northern part of Western Punjab (on both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border), Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh.

Gulf region remains the major markets for Indian basmati rice and inside Gulf, Saudi Arabia accounts for the major chunk of basmati imports from India. Pakistan is the sole competitor for India in the international market for basmati rice.

India's major markets for basmati rice exports have been Saudi Arabia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bahrain, France, Germany, U.K., Denmark, U.S.A., Canada, Belgium , Kuwait, Italy, Oman, Yemen, Netherlands, Jordan, Indonesia etc. Infact, Saudi Arabia traditionally has been the largest market for Indian basmati rice

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