NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: India’s decision to maintain the current floor price for basmati rice exports will further hamper overseas sales of the premium variety and hit farm income, leaving growers saddled with large stocks of the new-season variety, farmers and millers said. India and Pakistan are the only growers of basmati rice.
New Delhi exports more than 4 million metric tons of basmati - the premium long-grain variety famed for its aroma - to countries such as Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
New Delhi set a floor price, or minimum export price (MEP), of $1,200 a ton in August. It was expected to cut this MEP but the government on Saturday said it would maintain the floor price until further notice.
India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, has also curbed exports of non basmati rice varieties in an attempt to keep a lid on domestic prices ahead of key state elections.