China takes over the largest importer of Indian broken rice

China emerged as the main buyer of Indian rice during the pandemic, with the neighboring country exporting 16.34 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) — or 7.7 percent — of India’s total rice exports of 212.10 LMT in fiscal 2021-22, according to one analysis imported from trade data.

The analysis shows that of China’s total rice imports from India of 16.34 LMT, nearly 97 percent or 15.76 LMT was broken rice, demand for which from that country has surged.

In fact, China is now the largest buyer of Indian broken rice, which used to be mainly exported to African countries.

In 2021-22, India’s total rice exports – both Basmati and non-Basmati – amounted to 212.10 LMT, which is 19.30 percent more than the 177.79 LMT exported in 2020-21. During the same period, rice exports to China increased by 392.20 percent: from 3.31 LMT to 16.34 LMT.

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Of India’s total rice exports in 2021-22, basmati rice accounted for 39.48 LMT, which was 14.73 percent less than the 46.30 LMT exported in 2020-21.

Non-Basmati rice accounts for the lion’s share in the basket of Indian rice exports. In 2021-22, the export of rice other than Basmati was 172.62 LMT, which was 31.27 percent more than 131.49 LMT in 2020-21.

In 2021-22, India exported 38.64 LMT of broken rice to 83 countries; of which a maximum of 15.76 LMTs were procured by China – 476.40 percent more than 2.73 LMTs in 2020-21.

Trade experts say the reason for this increase in broken rice exports to China is the higher demand for rice used in the production of noodles and wine in that country.

Vijay Setia, former president of the All India Rice Exporters Association, said, “China mainly buys broken rice, which is made into wine and noodles.”

He said China sent a delegation to India before the outbreak of Covid-19 and that delegation visited several rice mills.

Experts assume that another reason for this increase in demand could be the rising corn prices. Demand for broken rice has surged at a time when food prices have been rising around the world in recent months, particularly following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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