25,000 Tonnes of Basmati to be Exported to Iran
India has contracted to export 25,000 tonnes of basmati rice to Iran after the Persian nation started issuing import permits last week.
“Traders have started getting into contracts, as they were waiting for the restrictions to be lifted,” an industry official said.
The first deal is said to have been received by a Punjab-based basmati exporter, sources said. FC was first to report the news on February 1.
The average price for the export deal is about $1,050 a tonne, the sources added. The current price for Iran is the same as in other countries.
There was apprehension that export price may fall after Iran fixed a cap on its local retail price of rice at rial 38,000 a kg ($1.18).
Iran last month cut import duty on rice to 26 per cent from 40 per cent. It has placed for the first time separate import duty on brown rice (unprocessed) at 5 per cent.
An Indian trade delegation returned from Iran last month. The Trade Promotion Organization of Iran recently announced changes in import duty in various commodities including rice.
The decision was taken to keep domestic prices of these essential commodities under check. Meat and some agricultural commodities have increased in the past few weeks in the Persian nation.
The Iranian government had last year banned the import of rice by not issuing permits. The ban was in place during the harvest season from July to November in 2016.
Iran’s annual domestic rice demand is estimated at 3 million tonnes, out of which about 2 million tonnes are produced and the remaining quantity imported from mainly India and Pakistan.
Since consumers in the Persian gulf nation prefer basmati rice, they buy the maximum quantity from India.
The country has imported over 6.30 lakh tonnes of rice worth $527 million between April and December 2016, which is up by 22 per cent in terms of volume compared with the year-ago period, according to Iran government data.
“This year they have rice production of about 2.2 million tonnes, which means they may have to import about 0.8 million tonnes,” a rice exporter, who was part of the delegation said.
Since only two months are left before this fiscal ends, it will be difficult to match over 7 lakh tonnes of basmati exported to Iran in 2015-16, he added. So far, about 5 lakh tonnes of basmati rice have been exported to Iran since April 2016.
India has exported a total 2.30 million tonnes of basmati rice during April-October of the current fiscal as against 2.39 million tonnes in the year-ago period.
Exporters estimate that the total shipments in 2016-17 will reach the same level as last year. The country had exported 4.04 million tonnes of basmati rice and 6.36 million tonnes of non-basmati rice in 2015-16 FY.