According to industry executives, China has taken an interest in Indian rice and black tea. The country has started importing basmati rice from India. While the volumes China has been exporting are not huge for the financial year, it is expected to help the business grow in 2021-2022.
From the end of December, China began exporting non-basmati rice. It is expected that the Indian rice industry will close the financial year with about 400,000 metric tonnes of total exports to China.
Another commodity that China has begun to buy from India is black tea. In 2020, China bought 11.4 million kg of black tea from India. While China has not yet placed any shipment orders for black tea in 2021, the tea industry in India expects orders to come in from April.
Gurnam Arora, join managing director of Kohinoor Foods said, “China has started taking small quantities of basmati rice along with non-basmati rice. This is for the first time they have looked at basmati rice.”
It is suggested that China’s reasons for importing basmati rice is to cater to the Indian diaspora living in the country. Earlier, China had avoided buying rice from India, stating quality issues as its reasons and traditionally bought rice from Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Due to the limited supply and price increase in the aforementioned countries, China began looking elsewhere for rice.
India has offered a price range of USD 300-350 per tonne to its Chinese buyers. The price is lower than the global prices of USD 390-400 per tonne.
Indian traders are hoping that rice exports, including both basmati and non-basmati types, may reach 16-17 million tonnes in this fiscal, higher than the 9.48 million tonnes in the previous fiscal. This is due to the country seeing more buyers from South America, Eastern Africa, and Southeast Asia.