Impact of India’s minimum Basmati rice export price felt in Iraq


The global rice trade landscape sees a notable shift as Iraq faces repercussions from India’s recent decision to implement a minimum export price for basmati rice.

India, a key player in the rice exporting arena, dispatches approximately four million metric tons of this fragrant rice variety to various nations, including Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

In a strategic move aimed at stabilizing local prices, especially in the lead-up to significant state elections, India’s government has unveiled a minimum export price of $1,200 per ton for shipments of basmati rice. This announcement was made on Sunday, highlighting the country’s proactive approach to economic management.

This move follows a series of previous actions by the Indian government to control rice exports. Earlier in July, the export of non-basmati white rice was outright prohibited, and subsequently, on a later Friday, a substantial 20 percent duty on the export of parboiled rice was enforced.

However, these measures were not without their challenges. Post the export ban on non-basmati rice, certain traders resorted to reclassifying their products as basmati rice in an attempt to circumvent the imposed export restrictions. An official government statement addressed this evasion tactic.

The introduction of the minimum export price mechanism serves a crucial purpose—preventing the misrepresentation of non-basmati rice as the prized basmati variety during international trade. Officials assert that this measure aims to maintain the integrity of basmati rice in the global market and safeguard its reputation as a premium product.

For Iraq, basmati rice occupies a vital place in its culinary landscape, serving as a staple ingredient in traditional dishes. The distinct long grains of basmati rice contribute a unique texture and flavor, making it an essential accompaniment to various Iraqi stews and recipes.

It’s important to note that the premium and aromatic basmati rice is an exclusive product of India and Pakistan, underscoring the significance of this region in the production of this highly regarded variety. As India implements these export measures, its effects ripple through international markets, with Iraq standing out as one of the nations directly impacted by this policy shift.

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