China imports Indian rice after two years, orders 5,000 tonnes


China has started importing Indian rice after a gap of two years and placed orders for the shipment of about 5,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice due to competitive prices offered by India compared to other nations, the All India Rice Exporters Association said.

IMAGE: Kindly note that this image has been used for representational purposes only. Photograph: Reuters

India is the world's major exporter of rice, while China is the biggest importer. In 2006, China was given market access for Indian rice but shipments took place only during the 2017-18 fiscal.

China buying rice from India comes at a time of heightened border tensions between the two nations.

"Although market access was given in 2006, China imported about 974 tonnes of non-basmati rice in the 2017-18 fiscal. Now after a gap of two years, we have started receiving enquiries," AIREA executive director Vinod Kaul told PTI.

Less than 150 tonnes of basmati rice have been exported till October in the 2020-21 fiscal. In the last two months, China has placed orders for shipment of about 5,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice, called broken rice, from south India, he said.

Broken rice is used for making noodles as well as in the wine industry.

China has started showing an interest in buying rice from India, Kaul said, as it was facing a tight supply situation amid a likely fall in output and trade curbs in the wake of Covid-19 from its other importing destinations like Thailand and Vietnam.

That apart, India offers competitive prices when compared to other nations, he added. 

As per AIREA, India has exported 2.8 million tonnes of basmati rice and 6.1 million tonnes of non-basmati rice during the April-October period of the current fiscal.

In the 2019-20 fiscal, total basmati rice exports were at a record four million tonnes and non-basmati rice at five million tonnes.


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