Basmati exports fall down by 38pc in 1HFY21

Basmati exports fall down by 38pc in 1HFY21.

Basmati exports from Pakistan fell 38% in 1SFY21 (the first half of the current fiscal year) due to the low prices offered by India for non-basmati products.

Moreover, shipping issues and higher shipments from October 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country’s overall rice exports fell 10 percent in quantity to 1,824 million tons. Also 6.74 percent in value to $ 963 million in July-December 2020-21 compared to the same period in the last fiscal year.

Of the total exports, the share of basmati exports dropped by 38% in quantity to 265,672 Tonnes and 31% in value to $ 262 million. While non-basmati exports fell 3% in quantity to 1.558 million Tonnes and 7.45% in value to $ 700 million in 1SFY21 compared to the same prior fiscal period.

Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) Abdul Qayum Paracha said:

Chinese buying of Pakistan’s non-basmati rice had kept our exporters busy in September to December 2020.”

He said Pakistani basmati also has an advantage in European markets, as the level of pesticides in our local crop is low by the European Union standard, compared to the high level in India.

Moreover, He said that a ray of hope emerged with the increase in exports from November 2020 to 78,160 Tonnes, valuing the US $ 76 million, from 43,032 Tonnes, reaching the US $ 41 million in October 2020.

While non-basmati exports improved sharply to 379,944 tons, with export revenue of $ 154 million in November, compared to 220,674 tons, reaching $ 98 million in October 2020.

I hope that the second half of FY21 proves much better than the first half as things appear to improve and much will depend on rice prices,” he said.

In general exports of basmati, Europe holds 40% of the shares. The goods are also being exported to Gulf countries, Australia, the USA, etc. Non-Basmati markets include China, African countries, the Far East, etc.

How much rice Pakistan produces annually:

Pakistan produces 7.4 million Tonnes of rice annually, of which more than 4 million Tonnes are exported, while the rest is consumed locally.

The country exported 4,166 million tonnes of rice in the FY20, which yielded $ 2,175 billion, of which basmati exports stood at 890,207 tonnes worth $ 790 million, while non-basmati exports were 3,275 million, earning $ 1,384 billion.

Meanwhile, Reap has successfully submitted the Rational Declaration in opposition to India’s claim on the Geographic Indicator (GI) tag for Basmati on February 5 of this year. Filling out a reasoned statement would be the second step after filing the Notice of Opposition initially on December 7, 2021.

The third step is the three-month reflection period after which hearings at the European Commission’s DG Agriculture will begin.

Making a statement that makes sense takes Pakistan a step closer to maintaining its trade with Basmati. As basmati rice prices are higher than non-basmati rice on the international market, India is trying to block Pakistan’s trade with the EU by registering as the sole owner of Basmati GM.

Pakistan opposed this claim to protect its basmati trade.

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