Farm exports, led by rice, jumped by 13 per cent during April-September
as dealers overseas built up stocks amid fears of a ban by the EU, which strengthened quality norms.
The rise in farm exports was primarily driven by rice, both basmati and non-basmati, which contribute nearly 44 per cent to the country’s annual farm shipments. Exports of rice
rose by over 30 per cent in dollar terms and 25 per cent in rupee terms during April-September
as European buyers built inventories in anticipation of tighter quality tests effective November 1.
“European buyers built their inventories on fears a smaller quantity of rice
would pass the quality tests. Iran, too, purchased a huge quantity of rice, resulting in an increase in overall exports,” said Gurnam Arora, joint managing director, Kohinoor Foods.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in a communication to Apeda, said basmati rice
from India needed to pass through a pre-shipment residue test for 22 pesticides from November 1. Apeda
clarified that the minimum residue limit for propiconazole was under review.
The value of basmati rice
exports jumped to $2.13 billion in April-September
from $1.63 billion in the same period a year ago. Exporters’ realisation rose to $997 a tonne from $789 a tonne last year. Rice
exports were 2.13 million tonnes in April- September, up from 2.07 million tonnes in the same period of 2016.
Guar gum also witnessed a sharp rise in exports from 163,958 tonnes ($180 million) in April-September
2016 to 252,568 tonnes ($317 million) in the comparable period this year. Increasing demand from shell gas companies for oil drills yielded 14 per cent higher realisation this year at $1,255 a tonne.