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India to Introduce New Regulations to Reduce Broken Percentage in Non-Basmati Rice Exports

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India is considering implementing new regulations to lower the percentage of broken rice in non-basmati rice exports, in an effort to address rising food prices amid ongoing general elections.

The current proposal aims to reduce the permitted percentage of broken white and parboiled rice used for exports from the existing 25% to just 5%. This initiative is being explored to bolster domestic rice stocks amidst a surge in prices affecting consumers.

Despite various measures taken previously, such as the launch of Bharat rice, stock disclosures, and export curbs, rice prices remain high. As of the latest data from the Consumer Affairs Ministry, retail rice prices stand at Rs 44.40 per kg, indicating a 13.10% increase year-on-year.

While overall food inflation showed a slight decline in March, the inflation rate for rice remained notably elevated at 12.7%. The escalating prices have prompted the government to seek additional interventions in the market.

As per existing regulations, the broken percentage in parboiled rice export stands at 15%. However, the Department of Food and Public Distribution is suggesting a reduction to just 5% for export consignments.

For non-basmati white rice exports, the current broken percentage allowed is 25%. The proposed change would see this reduced to 5% in order to regulate the quality specifications for export consignments.

The broken rice percentage in exports typically varies based on the importing country’s requirements. For example, African nations often demand non-basmati white rice with a 25% broken percentage, while the US prefers a much lower 2-3%.

This potential modification may have implications for India’s rice exports, as different markets have differing preferences for broken rice percentages. The Department of Commerce is set to evaluate the impact of potential changes before a final decision is made.

Export of non-basmati white rice is currently prohibited except on a government-to-government basis, while the export of parboiled rice attracts a 20% duty. Any new regulations would be implemented during the next G2G shipment of non-basmati white rice from India.

The move to alter broken rice percentages in exports comes as India has exported nearly 2 million tonnes of non-basmati white rice under the G2G route since last July. The Commerce Department, along with other relevant authorities, will further assess the situation before implementing any changes to the existing regulations.

Rachel Adams

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