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India expands its cereals exports footprints through shipping rice, wheat and other cereals to newer destinations ;

 Overall exports of cereals have seen a sharp spike in 2020-21
Delhi 21 JUN 2021 

India’s quest for expanding the footprint of cereals exports through exploring new opportunities in countries or markets has started to yield results. The sharp spike in exports of mainly rice (basmati and non-basmati), wheat and other cereals in 2020-21 is attributed to synergy and collaboration between various stakeholders – farmers, millers, exporters and government agencies in boosting exports.

APEDA in collaboration with stakeholders have been exploring new opportunities through ensuring market access, adherence to products qualities and phytosanitary measures for cereal products.

In terms of rice (basmati as well as non-basmati) exports especially in 2020-21, India shipped non-basmati rice to nine countries  – Timor-Leste, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Eswatini, Myanmar and Nicaragua, where exports were carried for the first time or earlier the shipment was smaller in volume. The total volume of export of rice to these nine countries was only 188 metric tonne and 197 metric tonne in 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively while the volume shipment rose to 1.53 lakh tonne in 2020-21.

Table 1: India’s rice exports to newer destinations

Countries 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Qty in MT Rs. Lacs US$ Mill Qty in MT Rs. Lacs US$ Mill Qty in MT Rs. Lacs US$ Mill
Timor-Leste 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 52225.0 13187.2 18.0
Puerto Rico 0.0 0.0 0.0 25.0 6.6 0.0 32278.0 8822.1 12.0
Brazil 15.0 10.1 0.0 4.0 3.2 0.0 39875.0 8279.2 11.2
Papua N Guinea 2.0 4.5 0.0 4.0 3.6 0.0 21922.0 5726.6 7.8
Zimbabwe 145.0 67.7 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 3785.0 1103.6 1.5
Burundi 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1788.0 470.0 0.6
Eswatini 26.0 8.9 0.0 383.0 94.5 0.1 1214.0 332.7 0.5
Myanmar 0.0 0.2 0.0 90.0 57.4 0.1 299.0 190.3 0.3
Nicaragua 0.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 32.3 0.1 400.0 122.0 0.2
 Total 188.0 91.4 0.1 606.0 197.5 0.3 153786.0 38233.5 52.0

Source: DGCIS

In case of wheat, India exported substantial quantity of grain to seven new countries – Yemen, Indonesia, Bhutan, Philippines, Iran, Cambodia and Myanmar during 2020-21. In the previous financial years, only small quantities of wheat were exported to these countries. Wheat exports did not take place to these seven countries in 2018-19 and only 4 metric tonne of grain was exported in 2019-20. The volume of exports of wheat to these countries rose to 1.48 lakh tonne in 2020-21.

Table 2: Wheat exports to new destinations / countries

Countries 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Qty in MT Rs. Lacs US$ Mill Qty in MT Rs. Lacs US$ Mill Qty in MT Rs. Lacs US$ Mill
Yemen Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 86000 17506.33 24.05
Indonesia 0 0 0 4 2.15 0 56051 11131.88 15.29
Bhutan 0 0 0 0 0.07 0 2796 597.46 0.8
Philippines 0 0 0 0 0 0 2135 408.01 0.55
Iran 0 0 0 0 0 0 960 201.84 0.28
Cambodia 0 0 0 0 0 0 483 96.22 0.13
Myanmar 0 0 0 0 0 0 244 50.79 0.07
Total 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.0 2.2 0.0 148669.0 29992.5 41.2

Source: DGCIS

In case of exports of other cereals excluding rice and wheat, India shipped cereals of substantial quantity to newer destinations or countries – Sudan, Poland, Bolivia, Colombia, Congo D. Rep. and Ghana in 2020-21. India did not export cereals other than rice and wheat to these six countries in 2018-19. Only 102 metric tonne of cereals other than rice and wheat was exported in 2019-20 which rose to 521 metric tonne in 2020-21.

Table 3: Export of cereals (other than rice & wheat) to newer destinations / counries

Countries 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Qty in MT Rs. Lacs US$ Mill Qty in MT Rs. Lacs US$ Mill Qty in MT Rs. Lacs US$ Mill
Sudan 0 0.01 0 50 34.36 0.05 169 230.63 0.31
Poland 0 0 0 14 12.04 0.02 122 94.92 0.13
Bolivia 0 0 0 11 9.73 0.01 85 80.49 0.11
Colombia 0 0 0 24 21.88 0.03 46 33.18 0.04
Congo D. Rep. 0 0.26 0 0 0.36 0 31 23.73 0.03
Ghana 0 0.69 0 3 15.43 0.02 68 21.37 0.03
Total 0.0 1.0 0.0 102.0 93.8 0.1 521.0 484.3 0.7

Source: DGCIS

India’s overall exports of cereals have seen a sharp spike in 2020-21 with export of non-basmati rice growing by 136.04% to USD 4794.54 million; wheat by 774.17% to USD 549.16 million; and other cereals (Millets, Maize and other coarse gains) by 238.28% to USD 694.14 million.

Table 4: India’s total exports of cereals (2018-19 – 2020-21)

  2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
  Qty

in million metric tonne

Rs (crore) US $ million Qty

in million metric tonne

Rs (crore) US $ million Qty

in million metric tonne

Rs (crore) US $ million
Rice* 11.94 53,708 7769 9.51 45,426 6351 17.71 65,297 8,815
Wheat 0.18 369 60 0.21 444 63 2.08 4,034 549
Other cereals 1.22 2354 79 0.05 1455 204 3.02 5117 694

Source:DGCIS, *includes basmati as well as non-basmati rice exports.

The sharp spike in rice exports especially during a phase where globally the COVID19 pandemic has disrupted supply changes of many commodities, has been attributed to the government taking prompt measures to ensure exports of rice and other cereals while taking all the COVID19 related safety precautions. “We took several measures in terms of ensuring safety and hygiene because of the operational and health challenges posed by COVID19, while ensuring that agricultural products exports continue uninterrupted,” Dr. Madhaiyaan Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA has said.

APEDA has been promoting rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains. The government had set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of the APEDA. REPF has representations from rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, ministry of commerce and directors of agriculture from major rice producing states including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

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