India, as the world’s largest rice exporter, has imposed an immediate ban on non-basmati white rice exports to keep domestic prices stable ahead of the 2024 general election. The country will only allow overseas grain sales to countries requiring assistance with food security upon government request.
What Happened? The ban may reduce India’s local rice prices, but could potentially increase global costs, especially as climate changes and geopolitical tensions in the Black Sea region already threaten crop yields.
This move could affect around 25% of India’s total rice exports. Talking to Bloomberg, B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association, expressed concern over the ban’s impact on African nations relying on Indian rice supplies, urging the government to reconsider the ban once local prices stabilize.
A Cause for Global Concern: India’s soaring prices of grains and produce are causing widespread concern, with retail rice prices in Delhi having risen by 15% this year alone. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked global price hikes for food staples, India previously imposed export restrictions and duties on other grains.
However, the country’s food ministry said the rice export ban would help reduce local prices. Exporters already loading grain or with berthed vessels at Indian ports will still be allowed to proceed, ensuring that farmers can still benefit from profitable global prices.
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