India asked to resume rice exports – report
Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines have called on India to lift its restrictions on rice exports amid soaring prices, the financial news website Mint reported on Sunday.
The Indian government suspended exports of non-basmati white rice in late July after prices jumped 3% in a month following heavy monsoon rains, which caused widespread damage to crops. In June, Indonesia had announced plans to buy 1 million tons of rice from India to alleviate disruptions to its own food market, expecting a longer dry season due to the El Niño weather pattern, according to the outlet.
Singapore has requested some 110,000 tons of rice from India, the article said, adding that the Philippines also relies heavily on supplies from India. Bangladesh is also in talks with New Delhi on increasing imports, according to Mint.
The article noted that India's suspension of exports – which was aimed at solving domestic supply problems – has had a global impact. The restrictions have almost halved shipments by the world's biggest rice exporter, stoking inflation on global food markets. India accounts for 40% of global supplies of the key staple.
“Earlier rice was trading for $550 per metric ton, now prices are hovering above $650,” Nitin Gupta, senior vice president of Olam Agri India Private Limited, one of India's biggest rice exporters, told Al Jazeera last week.
The United Nations World Food Program also recently appealed to Indian suppliers for 200,000 tons of rice as humanitarian aid, to improve global food security. The UN noted that the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict have significantly reduced the world's rice supply.
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