India has started losing its global market share in basmati rice following the government’s decision to fix a minimum export price (MEP) of $1,200 per tonne for the commodity, industry executives and exporters said.

At the recently concluded Istanbul food fair in Turkiye, a key destination for basmati business, not a single Indian company could bag an order for the new basmati crop of any variety because of the $,1200 benchmark fixed by the Centre, they said.

Global buyers are resorting to arm-twisting tactics and delaying payments for orders that were shipped before the Centre’s instructions came in. They are also putting pressure on the Indian basmati trade to send the contracted orders at the price that was fixed earlier to get payments for the already shipped consignments, these people said.

“There were no buyers for India’s newly harvested basmati rice at the International Food Products & Processing Technologies Exhibition in Istanbul held between September 6 and 9,” said Vijay Setia, former president of the All India Rice Exporters Association and a basmati exporter.

Price of Rice

India produces five varieties of basmati rice – Pusa, Pusa 1401, Pusa 1121, Pusa 1509 and Pusa 1718. The average FOB (free on board) price of basmati rice last year was around $1,050 per tonne.

Without orders in hand, exporters are not buying good quantities of rice from farmers or creating an inventory.

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