China has recently approved five more Indian rice mills for export of non-basmati rice, a move that could help fuel shipments to the country. On Monday, India again pitched aggressively for sale of its rice to China and urged the neighbouring country to open up its market further.
So far, a total of 24 Indian rice mills have received approval from Chinese authorities, Prashant Lokhande, Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Indian Embassy in Beijing said in a statement.
For the first time, mills based in South India, such as Pattabhi Agro Foods Pvt Ltd and Sri Lalitha Enterprises Industries Pvt Ltd, which have traditionally exported non-basmati rice, have received Chinese approval.
With world-class quality and cost competitiveness, India has emerged as the biggest exporter of rice in the world, Lokhande said. He hoped to have significant quantities of rice shipped to China at the earliest to cater to the $1.5-$2 billion rice import.
BV Krishna Rao, MD, Pattabhi Agro Foods and President of the Rice Exporters Association, told BusinessLine that the approval by Chinese authorities holds “potential to export over a million tonnes of rice in an year's time”.
While India has been the largest exporter with annual shipments exceeding 10 mt for several years, it has barely any share in China, which imports about 5 mt from the Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan. However, with the signing of a protocol on export of non-basmati rice in June, the first shipment was made in September.