Basmati Sowing Likely to Go Up 25 Percent in FY18 on High Demand Normal Monsoon
Sowing area under basmati paddy is likely to increase by 25 per cent in 2017 on the back of favourable climatic conditions and forecast of normal rainfall this monsoon season.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday forecasted normal rainfall this monsoon at 96 per cent of long period average (LPA) with 5 per cent of plus and minus error.
Late beginning of rainfall coupled with dry spells in some parts of major growing regions resulted into less acreage under basmati paddy last year.
Rating agency Icra estimates the area under basmati paddy at 1.6 million hectares for the financial year 2016-17, around 20 per cent decline from the level of 2.1 million hectares in the previous year.
“This year, the area under basmati paddy, however, is estimated to rise at least to the level of 2015-16. There are two major factors which would help farmers to bring in the additional area under basmati this year – favourable monsoon and sharp increase in realisation from basmati rice this year,” said Gurnam Arora, joint managing director, Kohinoor Foods, producer of Kohinoor brand basmati rice. "We are confident that basmati rice production and export would also proportionately go up."
Following a sharp decline in acreage, India’s basmati rice output is estimated to have declined by over 18 per cent to 8 million tonnes for 2016-17 compared to 9.8 million tonnes in the previous year.
Basmati rice constitutes a small portion of the total rice produced in India. The second advanced estimate of the Ministry of Agriculture estimates India’s total rice output to hit the new record at 108.86 million tonnes for the year 2016-17 compared to the final output of 104.41 million tonnes for 2015-16.
While Kharif season contributes nearly 88 per cent of India’s overall output, rabi season shares the rest.
Basmati rice has witnessed growing demand from the domestic market for past few years. The international demand, though has remained weak for the last two years, it is expected to witness some uptick from this year onwards on Iran, the largest importer, coming back on procurement from India again. Basmati rice exports to Iran have started since January–March quarter. The industry expects Iran to purchase at least 1 million tonnes this financial year.