Basmati rice overtakes buffalo meat to become India's top export

The basmati rice exports increased from Rs 6,196 crore in last year’s April-June quarter to Rs 8168 crore in the same quarter this year.

Basmati rice has regained its position as the top commodity export from India. The famed rice variety replaced buffalo meat to become the top most export for the April-June quarter.

Basmati rice had been countries key export commodity for years. But since the 2014-15 financial year, buffalo meat had surpassed the former, thus becoming the top export commodity.

A report in the Business Standard says, this happened after Iran, which consumes over a quarter of India's Basmati exports to the world had suspended all new orders earlier.

Iran usually suspends import orders during its harvesting season. As per reports, this year the traders in Iran have continued importing Basmati even during the harvesting season.

As per the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) estimates, the Basmati exports increased from Rs 6,196 crore from last year's April-June quarter to Rs 8168 crore in the same quarter this year.

Another factor behind Basmati grabbing the top spot in exports is the decline in the export of buffalo meat. Despite the decline in buffalo meat exports, the revenue earned from its exports increased nominally from last year’s Rs 5445 crore to Rs 5473 crore in present year’s April-June quarter.

While the short lived ban on the sale of cattle in mandis hit the buffalo trade adversely the recent government actions in the export market has had a contrary effect on basmati trade.

“Indian exporters used to execute orders on 'documents against acceptance', which was stopped by the government because overseas buyers re-negotiated terms after shipments reached them. So there were corrections in export of basmati rice over the last few years. Now overseas buyers are purchasing commodities on spot cash,” said an official from Apeda.