WASHINGTON, DC, US — Ample domestic supplies, tighter exportable supplies from competitors and strong global demand have combined to push Indian exports for rice and wheat to their highest levels in several years, according to an International Agricultural Trade Report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“India has re-emerged as an exporter due to significant production and trade disruptions for other major exporters,” the USDA said. “As exporter grain prices escalated with strong global import demand, India’s previously uncompetitive prices became competitive in 2020-21. Indian rice has dominated exports globally, while exports for wheat and corn are currently confined to nearby markets, notably Bangladesh and to a lesser extent Nepal. India’s rice exports are currently sustained by Bangladesh’s short-term purchases but are nonetheless likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.”
The USDA said India’s exports for rice in the 2020-21 marketing year are expected to be record high, while wheat exports are forecast to be the highest since the 2014-15 marketing year.
While India has been a major rice exporter for many years, the USDA said the country’s market share has increased over the past year due to a number of factors, including tighter exportable supplies from other exporters and the implementation of export bans and quotes in other Southeast Asian nations. India also is benefiting from the opening of a new deep-water port access in eastern India, which has allowed the country to regularly ship larger vessels, especially to West Africa, the USDA said.
Meanwhile, in the case of wheat, India’s exports have benefited from lower production in the European Union, a smaller crop in the Ukraine and government policies in Russia, the USDA said. India also has received a boost from increased demand from China, which is expected to become the second-largest importer at 10.5 million tonnes, according to the USDA.