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Basmati exporters expect higher output on good monsoon forecast

No change seen in shipment volumes; basmati output in the country is roughly 6.6 million tonnes

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Branded basmati sales to touch 2.9 mt

The forecast of a good monsoon and projected rise in basmati sowing is likely to mean more earnings for its exporters in the current season, though the volume of shipments is not expected to change.

Of all production, basmati accounts for about 6.6 million tonnes (mt); last year's sowing was on 1.6 mn hectares.

This year’s monsoon forecast and farmers' better realisation last year is projected to result in more sowing. That translates to a lower purchase price for processors and exporters. The volume of export is not expected to go up, due to difficult economic conditions in the key of the and European Union.

In 2016-17, basmati export was about four mt, with almost 80 per cent to the countries, and Iraq. “Our projection is that export would remain at last year’s level; new have not been explored,” says Gurnam Arora, joint managing director, Kohinoor Foods, which send out 150,000 tonnes a year.

The domestic basmati is also expanding and likely to see close to five per cent growth this financial year.

“China is a big and if we are able to and distribute our product properly, it would expand export volumes significantly,” Arora added.

R Sundaresan, executive director, All India Rice Exporters Association, said Haryana and Punjab accounted for 40-45 per cent of total basmati production, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 10-15 per cent. In UP, sowing is likely to expand by almost 30 per cent, feels UP Rice Millers’ Association patron Sanjeev Agarwal.