Basmati Rice Prices Firm up as Iran Lifts Ban


Economic Times (E-Paper Edition)

Basmati rice prices are firming up because of demand from Iran that has lifted its five-month-old ban on imports of the grain from India two days ago.

Iran is one of the largest importers of Indian basmati rice in recent years, and the prospect of high sales has raised prices in the Karnal mandi by Rs 200-300 per quintal for the popular 1121basmati (sela) rice which is largely exported.

India, the leading basmati exporter in the global market, exported 4.05 million tonnes in 2015-16, out of which 1 million tonnes was to Iran. This year, the industry expects exports could fall to 3.8 million tonnes, due to less exports to Iran. \x93Basmati rice prices have started increasing as Iran has allowed imports from India. A formal notification is awaited, but exporters and companies have started getting queries from Iran and some have even started signing contracts,\x93 said Angshu Mallick, chief operating officer at Adani Wilmar.

. 100-200 a quintal,\x93 added \x93Prices will go up further by ' Mallick. India plans to send a delegation to Iran on January 27 to protect its basmati rice market in the face of an aggressive campaign by Pakistan to paint the Indian variety as inferior. Iran has a permit based system based on which it decides the imports.

In Delhi market, 1121(sela) basmati rice variety was be . 5,125 a quintal while 1121 (parboiled) was at ing sold at ' . 6,275 a quintal on Monday. \x93Basmati rice prices have ' been rising this year due to basmati rice production being 25% to 30% less than the previous year. News of Iran opening imports from India will encourage stockists to take advantage. The rally in prices will continue,\x93 said Prerana Desai, vice-president at Edelweiss Agri Research. Mohinder Pal Jindal, president of All India Rice Exporters Association said the notification from Iran on allowing Indian rice would come by January 11.

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