RIYADH: India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, is considering whether to restrict exports of 100 percent broken rice, government and industry officials said on Friday, after paddy areas reduced due to a lack of rainfall.
The potential export curbs could see rice prices rising globally because India accounts for more than 40 percent of the world’s rice shipments. It could also hit a few poor African countries that import 100 percent broken rice for human consumption, though broken rice, rice grains that are damaged during harvesting, milling or transportation. is mainly used for feed purposes.
“We have been discussing whether we need some sort of curbs on 100 percent broken rice exports,” said a senior government official involved in the decision process.
India is more than comfortable in terms of both private and government rice stocks, so there is no point considering any curb on overall rice exports, the official said, adding that the discussions are confined to broken rice.
The state-run Food Corporation of India held 41 million tons of milled and rice paddy stocks as of Aug. 1, far above the government’s requirement of 13.5 million tons by July 1.
Below-average rainfall in key rice-producing states such as West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh prompted the latest discussions in a country that has already banned wheat exports and restricted sugar shipments this year.
India in talks with Russia over LNG supply resumption, GAIL says
India is in talks with Russia to resume gas supplies under the long-term import deal between Gazprom and GAIL India Ltd., the state-run Indian company’s chairman said at an annual shareholder meeting on Friday.
GAIL, India’s largest gas distributor and operator of pipelines, has not received the agreed imports since May and has had to cut supplies to clients as a result.
“There are some immediate issues which we are trying to tackle both at the company level and also at G2G (government to government) level,” said GAIL Chairman Manoj Jain, adding that supplies under the Gazprom deal have been hit by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Volumes under the deal were about a fifth of GAIL’s overall overseas gas portfolio of 14 million tons a year, including supplies from the United States, Qatar and Australia, Jain said.
“So overall it is not affecting us in a significant way. The only effect is to the extent of 10-15 percent,” he added, pointing out that the addition of domestic gas reduces the impact on local supplies to about 7-8 percent.
He said GAIL is scouting for more long-term gas import deals to prepare for “such eventualities in future.”
(With input from Reuters)