New Delhi, December 1 (Business Standard): China has agreed to import basmati rice from 14 companies in India, opening a new vista for the country’s rice exports, writes Sanjeeb Mukherjee.
The companies include LT Foods, maker of the Dawat brand, KRBL, maker of the India Gate brand, and Kohinoor Foods.
Five companies that wanted to export to China and were registered with the authority for phyto-sanitary certification, the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), did not qualify and have been told to improve their quality before applying afresh.
“There is no question of China allowing imports of non-basmati as it already has its own varieties and as far as allowing imports ofbasmati is concerned, yes they have agreed to inspect our facilities, but there is no commitment that it will materialize into firm export orders,” Rajen Sundaresan, Executive Director, AllIndia Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) toldBusiness Standard.
The NPPO will assist its Chinese counterpart AQSIQ during theinspection fromSeptember 19-28for pest risk analysis and plant quarantine purposes to ensure that the non-basmati consignments fromIndia will be pest-free, safe and of good quality.
Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which is part of the Indian commerce ministry, is also involved in the process.
Indiahad earlier sent the information sought by AQSIQ regarding the quality protocol and standard operating procedures.
India accounts for over 70% of the world’sbasmati rice production. However, it constitutes a small portion of the total rice produced in India. By volume, the share ofbasmati was around 6% in India’s totalrice production in 2014-15. By volume, however, basmatirice export accounted for 57% of India’s totalrice exports in 2014-15.
Studies show that basmatiexports have increased at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% from INR 28.24 billion (US 408 million) in 2004-05 to INR 275.98 billion (US$ 4.2 billion) in 2014-15.
The proportion of basmatiexport in India’s total exports has increased from around 0.6% to around 1.3% during the last one decade.
Whilebasmati is consumed across the globe, West Asian countries account for 75% of Indian basmatiexports in 2014-15.
Within West Asia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two largest buyers, together accounting for over 50 per cent of basmatiexports from India.
India’s goods trade deficit withChina has surged from US$1.1 billion in 2003-04 to US$52.7 billion in 2015-16.