Indian basmati rice is getting a premium of $20-30 (₹1,550-2,330) per tonne from countries in the Middle East, as rumours spread that New Delhi may put a ban on the export of the commodity to help cool local inflation, Trend reports citing The Economic Times.
Exporters have received communication from buyers to urgently ship the aromatic, long-grain rice, trade sources said. A firm price trend in global markets has pushed up domestic basmati prices by up to 15% in the last two weeks. The export price of basmati rice, which was $1,200 per tonne in November last year when the crop began arriving, cooled slightly but increased again in the past two weeks to $1,350. Middle eastern buyers are paying the premium over this price.
"We are suddenly witnessing a huge demand from the Middle East," said Gautam Miglani, who owns Haryana-based basmati rice exporter LRNK. "The buyers are offering exporters a premium for urgent shipping of the grain. Rumours are going around that the government might put an export ban on basmati rice after it had banned wheat exports. This is fuelling the exports."
India had put curbs on wheat exports earlier this month to control the food grain's price, which has been rising due to worries over global short supplies amid the events in Ukraine. But traders said there had been no indication of India banning rice exports.
"We do not know from where these rumours of export ban are spreading," said Vinod Kaul, executive director of the All India Rice Exporters Association.